The Constant Churn of Pop Culture

I’ve been away from being able to watch new shows for the past 2.5 months, give or take. First my family was in Slovakia, and I didn’t want to watch a new show without them. Then I was with them, and we had other things to do than watch shows. Then Tomas headed to Fiddle Camp for a week, so we couldn’t watch without him, and then I was away for 3.5 weeks, so we couldn’t watch shows either. And now Denisa and Daniela have both been away on trips, so . . . yeah.

In that amount of time, I have racked up quite a list of shows that I’d really like to watch, but which I haven’t been able to watch yet:

  • We *almost* finished Stranger Things. We have the last episode to go. Maybe we can watch it . . . tomorrow night? I have no idea.
  • I haven’t seen anything of the Obi Wan show, which I get some people didn’t love, but some people didn’t love Moon Knight, either. Some people are just wrong. (Or they might be right in this case. I don’t know.)
  • Only Murders in the Building has a whole second season out that I really want to watch.
  • I haven’t seen anything of The Sandman series.
  • The third season of For All Mankind has been out for a while. Untouched by me.
  • She-Hulk is out now, right? I can’t even remember.

And that’s not even touching new series that are almost coming out, like Lord of the Rings.

Which leads me to my topic today. There are so many shows coming out these days, it feels like we’re just being flooded. Mind you, this isn’t necessarily a terrible problem to have. I love watching things, and I love having lots of things to watch. But at the same time, it feels like there’s no time to catch your breath and actually enjoy the things that are already out there.

Growing up, there were far fewer franchises, and Big Movies only came out every so often, usually over the summer or at Christmas. And so you had a lot of time to rewatch the ones you loved, and to anticipate the next thing coming. We still have that to an extent, but think of Avatar. It was one of the biggest movies ever. It came out and made a ton of money. People all raved about how awesome it looked. And then . . . nothing. Yes, there are sequels coming at last, and yes, it’s got a park in Animal Kingdom, but much of that feels forced. There didn’t seem to be this pent up demand for more Avatar. We were just given it because money.

I don’t know. I guess I’m torn between enjoying all the shows that are there and being frustrated by how quickly pop culture seems to be moving from thing to thing to thing. If I can get this behind by just stepping away from the flood of shows for three months, that just feels extreme. And these are only the shows I actually want to see.

I suppose some of it is that watching these takes much more time than just watching a movie. The fourth season of Stranger Things is around 13 hours long. When you’ve got other things to do, finding that amount of time as a family can be tricky. Some of it is also that I’d like to watch these with Tomas before he leaves on his mission, but it’s looking more and more like that’s just not going to happen, so I’m going to have to be at peace with that.

There are so many different things to watch, and with that many, it feels like there have only been more people complaining about what’s out there in terms of subject and execution. I really enjoyed Wheel of Time and (as I said) Moon Knight, but you’ve got swarms of internet folks ready to say just how awful they all were. But even then, we’re not talking about any one of them for long at all, because a month from now, the discussion will have moved on to something completely new.

I don’t know. Maybe there’s not a complaint here at all. Maybe I’m just wishing I had more time. But I can’t help remembering how things were when the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies were coming out. The anticipation/dread of what they might be like. The excitement when they arrived and were just so amazing. The years of additional rewatches since then. It’s the sort of thing that really can bring people together, even years later, as we talk about favorite movies or shows. But with so many coming so often, it just feels different to me.

Does anyone else feel the same way?

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