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Robert Cox

Writing on the Wall

Robert Cox is a reporter and page designer for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CCNnews@cox-internet.com.

Opinion

Who needs sleep with all this TV?

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Netflix is ruining my sleep schedule.

It’s getting a fair bit of help from Disney+, HBO Max, Prime and all the other streaming services.

As I’ve written before, I watch a lot of television. A lot. My mother would say too much. Heck, your mother would likely say the same if she knew how much TV I watch.

It’s excessive.

Usually, I take a bit of a break during the summer months, as most of the networks fall back on reruns or specials of questionable value to fill their airtime.

For the most part, I don’t watch so-called “reality TV.” I can’t stand it.

Well, except for “So You Think You Can Dance.” I think I watched every season of that show, except for the one where they let little kids compete. The auditions were fun, but they lost me when the competition started.

What? Don’t judge me.

My TV addiction is so bad that, in the past, before the advent of streaming services and online viewing, I daisy-chained half-a-dozen VCRs — for you younger folks, those letters stand for “video cassette recorders,” the ancestor of TiVo and DVRs — in an effort to record all the shows I wanted to watch, no matter what network they were on.

Programming the various recorders always took a decent chunk of time, but with the hectic schedule of a sportswriter, it was the best option available if I wanted to keep up with the adventures of FBI agents Mulder and Scully on “The X-Files.”

Every once in a while, something would run over, meaning the beginning or end — or sometimes both — of a show would be cut off.

I often had to make a note to catch that episode during summer reruns.

With the advent of the internet and various streaming services, all that hassle has pretty much melted away.

It’s so much easier to watch what I want, when I want. And I want to watch more of it.

Ever since Netflix came around and started cranking out good original series, that summer break has become almost non-existent. As the number of streaming channels continues to grow, it’s only gotten worse.

It seems like every time I finish watching a show, another one that I have to watch — or a must-see movie — comes out. “WandaVision” blends into “Ozark,” fading into “Godzilla Vs. Kong” in a never-ending stream of escapism, drama and superhero shenanigans.

I’ll be spending my summer in my recliner like a caveman with a fire, watching the flickering lights in the magic box.

Even now, instead of sleeping, I’m pushing the “Skip Intro” button like an alcoholic rat who gets a shot of vodka after pushing the big red button next to the blue one that dispenses water.

In the recent past, I even took to watching Korean dramas like a former elderly neighbor, who always had one playing in the background and could always tell you who was who and which character was trying to date whom.

I don’t think she spoke Korean – she just paid attention.

Now that I have more options, I’ve moved on from the Korean shows — mostly. My new obsession revolves around the various superhero shows and movies. I recently completed a timeline order rewatch of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, from “The Incredible Hulk” through “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and have no moved on to the Marvel shows on Disney+.

Currently, I’m enjoying “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

There’s one problem. Only one episode of the show is uploaded each week. After months of binge-watching, it’s enough to keep you awake at night.