How Has Your TV Watching Changed Through The Years?

Wednesday night was Barb’s book club night–a return to in-person book chat after pandemic-driven Zoom sessions. With Barb out of the house, I settled into my favorite chair, Cooper at my side, to watch the next few episodes of Slow Horses, my new favorite TV streamer on Apple TV+.

After maneuvering the proper remote controls (it takes three for us to get to Apple TV+) I prepared to click on Episode 4 of this series about the characters who swim in the bottom of the barrel of the British Intelligence service.

“What the F,” I exclaimed, as the TV screen informed me the episode would be available starting FRIDAY. “I want my Slow Horses now!”

How the times have changed. If you are from my generation, or from the Greatest Generation before me, your TV viewing was rigid. You had your TV Guide, you knew what nights your favorite shows were on, and you were satisfied with one episode of Bonanza, Mission: Impossible, or The Dick Van Dyke Show a week. Miss it, and you could hope to catch it during the summer rerun season. Otherwise, it was gone until, like I Love Lucy, syndication would immortalize it.

The video-cassette recorder was the start of an evolution. Whether you were into VHS or Betamax, you could now go bowling on Thursday night and still catch that week’s episode of Hill Street Blues during some free time over the weekend. No need to ever miss Furillo and Davenport getting hot under the sheets.

That technique served our family well for us for many years. Even in the early 2000s, when some people discovered TiVo and began to record their favorite show digitally, I still loaded a cassette into the old VCR every Sunday night to tape Tony Soprano and friends, praying the cassette wouldn’t break.

Finally, in about 2013, Barb and I discovered streaming. We had started watching Parenthood on NBC during its 4th season. Barb wanted to know how the Braverman family had gotten to where they were. We discovered we could find the old shows on Netflix, and began a ritual of watching an episode of our current favorite show every night. After Parenthood came Breaking Bad, and the Sons of Anarchy, and on and on— through Offspring and many more to our current favorite Yellowstone. (We are on Season 2 while you may be watching Season 4. )

So with the very few exceptions of the shows that we keep up with on a weekly basis (This is Us, The Walking Dead), I expect to have episode after episode of a show available to me–a full season at my fingertips. No stewing through seven long days waiting to find out what is going to happen next.

Thus my frustration with Apple TV+ and Slow Horses. I want to know how these lovable losers are going to screw up next–and I want to know!


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Tags: Slow Horses, Television

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