I don’t know about you, but I grew up watching television. Certainly not the 50-inch flat screens of today, but I don’t really remember there not being a TV in our house.
My sisters were in school several years before I started, and I spent many winter days watching whatever was on the two channels that were available on our small, round-tube television. I loved watching everything — game shows, my mom’s “stories,” the Westerns my dad liked — I loved it all.
That love has continued all of my life. I watch sports, I watch dramas, I watch a few comedies, I watch the news, I watch ... pretty much it all. I remember getting up early on New Year’s Day to watch my first Rose Bowl Parade on my new color TV. We have come a long way from being excited about color.
Watching a recent presentation of the Emmys, the awards for excellence in television, I became acutely aware that I am possibly too old for current television viewing. Somewhere in the onslaught of technology and all sorts of viewing sources, I have become lost.
As the telecast of the Emmys began, I was immediately aware that I was out of touch, that I didn’t know what was happening. I heard the names of the two men acting as hosts for the evening — I didn’t know their names, even more, I didn’t recognize their faces.
I’m not always good at remembering actors’ and actresses’ names, but I’m pretty good at faces — I didn’t know them. I just knew that this was an aberration, I just knew that as the program got going I would recognize and be a fan of many of the winners. I continued to watch.
When Henry Winkler, aka the “Fonz,” won one of the first awards, even though I had never really heard of the show he was involved with, I was encouraged. I knew this was looking up. There would be more familiar faces, there would be winners that I knew, right?
The evening progressed, and I continued to watch, but I was still lost. I am obviously totally out of touch with current television. Maybe it is just me but I had never heard of many of the presenters, winners, and shows.
The best comedy was “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — never heard of that. I guess it is on Amazon? I thought Amazon sold stuff — I didn’t know they sold TV shows. Very odd. The best drama was “Game of Thrones.” I have heard of that; it has won for several years. I don’t subscribe to HBO, the channel it is on, but at least I had heard of it.
Best actor went to some man on a show called “Barry” — didn’t know the winner, didn’t know the show. There were several winners from “The Crown,” someone from something called “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and numerous other shows I had never heard of. I saw some clips from “The Handmaid’s Tale” — it looked creepy and frightening — I don’t know.
The awards won by what I would consider regular television were very few. I read later that HBO and Netflix each won 23 Emmys. That seems so weird. What has happened to CBS, NBC, ABC? Overtaken by cable television? I guess so. Makes me sad, makes me feel old.
Where did I get lost? I think I am lost in a swirl of cable TV, HBO, Netflix, Amazon, FX and binge watching. I hear talk about binge watching — not sure I have the attention span for binge watching — I would probably use it as an excuse for nap taking.
I am now trying to decide if I need to make the effort to catch up with the current viewing or if I just stick to my comfort zone. Or, should I take the easy way out and just skip the Emmy’s next year? I don’t know, Maybe I really am too old for current television. Surely not, am I?
Note to readers: Nita Wyatt of Wyanet can be reached at email@example.com.