TV is as American as hooking up with your high school teacher. Our parents remind us of listening to non-XM radio and having to walk uphill both ways to watch the Andy Griffith show. But advances over the past 30 years have given us innovations like the magic black box that unscrambled Skinemax and Dish Network satellites strapped to low income housing that scream “we’re still fighting the Civil War.” The digital age has ushered in a new world of premium cable, “Internet killing the TV star”, and self righteous, anti-capitalist cord cutters giving millennials a bad name.
So it only makes sense that we’d stage our 2nd pre-1990 vs. post-1990 battle of the millennials around the most important item in any first world household: the TV.
TeeTime (Pre-1990 Millennial): Finding a show to watch is as easy as whispering sweet-somethings to your smart TV and about as difficult as watching previews as to what’s on. But back in the days before DSL, in the land before time that was dial-up, we had to work to find out what was on TV. Asking anyone over 35 what was on TV was a death-by-paper-cut wish, which included them handing you a hybrid magazine made out of newspaper that would not only stain your hands but force you to do the unthinkable: read to find out what was in TV. So let’s recap: not only were you NOT watching TV, but you were READING and would probably tune in 15 minutes late to an episode you already saw of a show you don’t like all that much.
Raekwon’s (Post-1990 Millennial) rebuttal: Honestly, I haven’t seen a physical, paper, TV guide since before my bat mitzvah (think 2007 Raekwon in her Abercrombie and Fitch prime). I barely even watch regular TV anymore due to my student budget, which ranks obnoxious craft beer that I secretly hate over a $30 cable bill. With the availability of online streaming services, both legal and illegal, I think cable itself might possibly be obsolete by the year 2050. Cable and chill just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Raekwon: As the true millennial that I am, I’ve hate-watched Kimmy Shmidt. More specifically, I’ve hate-binged Kimmy Shmidt, which is even sadder. I always found the actress who plays Kimmy, Ellie Kemper, to be super obnoxious. On a scale from Tina Fey, who is entirely tolerable, to Tracy Jordan, who makes me want to smash my computer every time he speaks, Ellie Kemper ranks at about a season 2 Meredith Grey- meaning, I cringe when she speaks but like, I kind of respect her. The show itself has an interesting concept: mole women saved from an underground cellar following the lack of an apocalyptic episode. Kimmy was a young girl when she was lured into the cellar by her priest (weird religious themes in this one, too), so she essentially still acts like a 12 year old in a 27 year old woman’s body. It gives me the creeps.
TeeTime’s rebuttal: I thought this would play out a lot more like Brendan Frasier’s “Blast From the Past” with Pam’s replacement from The Office. Boy was I wrong. This definitely falls into the “girlfriend made me watch it, pretty sure she didn’t even like it that much and now all my buddies are going to know I watched it because I wrote this blog, FML” category. There were no redeeming qualities about this show except that it ended and there was a time or two that death-by-apocalypse wouldn’t be so bad. This might be the only thing I see eye to eye on with Raekwon – maybe there is some hope for kids these days.
Non-Premium Cable Commercials
TeeTime: Call me old school or call me a purist but I’m a sucker for non-premium TV commercials. The “can you hear me now” guy trolling his old employer broke my metaphorical internal Internet. It’s an insult to our intelligence that TV commercials don’t have award shows but movie trailers do. The production value and childish humor geared toward those with the intellectual capacity of an 8th grader is on-fleek (did I use that correctly Raekwon?) in 2016 (see: KFC Colonel commercials, Direct TV “Settler” commercials and ANY Sonic commercial from the past 10 years). But probably my favorite part of TV commercials that peddle snake oil during my favorite shows, using white lies and borderline deception is that it is capitalism at its finest. And if there’s one thing that embodies America, it’s unbridled private ownership, for-profit, free enterprise.
Raekwon’s rebuttal: Not sure how TeeTime gets excited about a “good commercial”, because the only commercials I genuinely enjoy are the ones with the puppy on Super Bowl Sunday. (Evidence #45 of my basic bitch status). And you saying on fleet makes me want to buy (more) pepper spray.
Game of Thrones
Raekwon: My freshman year roommate raved about Game of Thrones being an unreal show in 2013, so that’s when my personal obsession began. Needless to say, every time Sunday at 9 PM rolls around, I question my sanity.
My ex-boyfriend watched GOT simply because “boobs”, as I’m sure many other guys do. GOT is like, less nerdy than Lord of The Rings, but still cool. Honestly, I watch 70% just because of how sick the intro is. Also, dragons. I have no clue what a “white walker” is, and I don’t think I ever will. Also, Jon Snow. Bitches love Jon Snow.
TeeTime’s rebuttal: Surprise, surprise a millennial doing something because someone else is doing it. Raekwon, if your college roommate jumped off a bridge …. eh fuck it. The Game of Thrones obsession is equivalent to being a Xena Princess Warrior and/or Hercules fan circa 1994 without the anime porn addiction and getting beat up in high school. This socially acceptable, live action Dungeons and Dragons is the worst thing to happen to office small talk since the Sopranos finale (and Brexit). And spoiler alert, mentioning you read ahead in the book screams “I can tell you what sitting through Hodor’s death feels like but I have no idea what a vagina feels like.” Did I mention I don’t watch the show?