I’d Rather Get to Watch Only One New Episode of Twin Peaks a Year Than Have to Talk to Anyone About What I Think of the New Twin Peaks
And other answers to unsolicited questions.
“Which way do you think is better to watch TV shows? All at once or weekly?” — TV Fan Fran
I just watched all of the second season of “Narcos” on Netflix over this Labor Day weekend. I have no idea how long it took them to put together all the episodes and shoot them and edit them and all that. Probably a while. Chances are I won’t see any new episodes until next Labor Day weekend. I now feel empty inside. I re-upped with Netflix specifically to watch “Narcos” again. And I have burned through them quicker than I’ve ever eaten a box of Twinkies.
That is not to say that this new form of TV distribution is bad. It’s not. It’s very different than having to wait week by week to see if Tyrion has ascended the throne of Westeros yet. That space of time, one week or so, gives me plenty of time to work out all the angles in my head. To wonder when Tyrion and Jon Snow will have a love affair, making out desperately in the snow. Or if Arya will just kill everyone on that show eventually. Does the delay of a week heighten the largeness of the drama? Maybe. I devour these Netflix shows willy-nilly, never considering the long, cold Narcosless winter I will spend wondering what everyone in Colombia is up to.
Maybe it’s better for TV shows to save me from myself and my own chain-smoking habits? I had no time to consider any of the larger aspects of life in Medellín. I devoured episodes chicken McNuggets — the good, old, bad-for-you, delicious kind. I generally do not believe in delayed satisfaction. If you don’t get it right away chances are you won’t get it at all. I grew up with two brothers. If I hid a Snickers bar in the freezer for a treat later it would be gone. No one would fess up to it. I might as well have thrown that Snickers bar into a volcano.
I missed most of “Seinfeld” on first runs because I had to work at the bookstore most Thursday nights. Consequently, and fortunately, I missed all of those episodes of “Mad About You” as well. There is something about having to be in front of your TV on a certain night to catch a show that makes it kind of more fun.
The new test will be “Star Trek: Discovery.” The first episode will be on CBS in January and then episodes will come out on CBS.com or something. Will they be all at once? Or once a week? Or what the hell? My tendency would be to devour them all, leaving me once again in a world without new Star Treks. I’d say the best way TV shows could be released would be slowly, a few at a time. If there are 10 episodes in a season, maybe 2 or 3 at a time. So I can go nuts on them. And then wait for more. Maybe they can secretly release one or two overnight, so you wake up and have a few to chew on. Save me from myself, TV! Don’t let me eat you all at once!
“When I’m at parties I feel like people talk about bands and movies that I don’t know anything about and it makes me feel stupid and uncultured. What should I do?” — Party Dave
I hate parties, Dave. Usually I spend most of my time checking out people’s bookshelves. What kind of books do they have. It’s kind of like checking out the inside of somebody’s skull. They have all the Harry Potters but no Games of Thrones? I don’t make judgments, it’s just interesting to see what people read (or at least what they will admit to having read, like what’s on display). Talking to people is usually terrible. Small talk in particular is awful. I have no kids, no plans for my life five years from now, no hopes and no dreams. I’m as close to living in this damned boring moment as possible, and the next and so on. I only go to parties because I think the social consequences of not going will be even more severe than having to stare at someone’s bookshelves for an hour.
I usually just make up the names of bands, movies and books I like. Because people aren’t really paying that much attention. They will say, oh, I just bought the new Radiohead and it’s pretty great and I’ll say “I went to this Swingset Pinkos concert the other night at Dodge Theatre and they were amazing.” And this person will be quickly googling Swingset Pinkos and Dodge Theatre and find nothing and I’ll hopefully be speaking to someone else at that point or headed for the door or whatever. Don’t let anyone make you feel uncool. These are the 2010s, nothing is really all that cool.
If you get one of those really pushy people who try to catch you in lies you may have to actually buy swingsetpinkos.com, record some awesome songs and post them and then travel the country just to keep them off of your trail of lies. But isn’t it worth it to know something five seconds sooner than some jerk at a party you don’t really know and won’t even remember talking to? I say yes.
Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works at a bookstore and is also the lead singer of The Swingset Pinkos.