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Denette Wilford

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Watching TV, Old School

Posted: 08/27/2012 1:40 pm

It's no coincidence that I write about TV for a living. I grew up in a family of avid TV watchers, and unlike all the projected outcomes of studies from the past and future, I didn't turn out half-bad -- with the exception that I'm a lowly blogger and not a CEO or engineer or doctor (sorry, Mom and Dad, but you can take some of the credit/blame).

If we weren't watching a TV show ("Battle of the Network Stars," "The A-Team," "Perfect Strangers" and "The Cosby Show"; yep, I just totally aged myself), it was a movie my dad recorded via our trusty Betamax (long live the better quality of the Beta!) from First Choice Superchannel.

I still miss the good ol' days when the converter box was on top of our tube television, our remote was as simple as a calculator, and our separate rewinder sat beside said Beta (then eventually, our VHS) to save the players' power. (That's not to say I don't appreciate the technology of today; I don't know what I would do without my PVR.)

But back to the days of yore, days when there wasn't so much on television at the same time competing for viewers. The days when new shows were given full seasons to find a fan base and prove they had the mettle to stick around. The days before the existence of YouTube, iTunes, MySpace, Hulu (in the U.S.), and not to mention all the networks and cable channels' websites. It's made it annoying for people like me who don't like to be spoiled, who don't like a ton of change, who like to do things old school, who like things the way they used to be. Grumble, grumble.

One of the new shows CTV and NBC are banking on this fall is "The New Normal," the latest show from Ryan Murphy (also known as the man you love/loathe for bringing us "Glee" and "American Horror Story"). If you haven't seen commercials for the comedy, then you don't watch enough TV (or weren't an Olympics whore like me). It doesn't "officially" premiere until Sept. 11 but if you don't mind watching your shows on a small screen without HD or great sound, CTV.ca will give viewers a sneak peek on Aug. 29.

It's a two-week window, and CTV hopes it will generate some serious online buzz and momentum going into its actual season. But will it work? I'm not sure. It's one thing to get viewers to watch the premiere of a show, but to get viewers to watch it online, then hope they remember to follow up in ensuing weeks is another. Don't get me wrong -- I will totally watch "The New Normal." I dig Justin Bartha and Ellen Barkin is all kinds of awesome. But I'll wait for its Sept. 11 premiere following "Anger Management," thank you very much. And I will continue to watch my shows where they should be watched: on a TV. If that makes me a crusty old lady (and based on my age, I might be just that), so be it.

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  • 1600 Penn

    Benjamin Stockham as Xander, Martha MacIsaac as Becca (seated), Bill Pullman as President Dale Gilchrist (seated), Amara Miller as Marigold, Josh Gad as Skip, Jenna Elfman as Emily Gilchrist (seated), Andre Holland as Marshall Malloy

  • 1600 Penn

    Amara Miller as Marigold; Jenna Elfman as First Lady Emily Gilchrist; Bill Pullman as President Dale Gilchrist; Martha MacIsaac as Becca; Josh Gad as Skip; Benjamin Stockham as Xander

  • Go On

    Allison Miller as Carrie, Khary Payton as Don, Suzy Nakamura as Yolanda, Matthew Perry as Ryan, Laura Benanti as Lauren, Julie White as Anne

  • Go On

    Matthew Perry as Ryan King

  • Revolution

    Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie , Zak Orth as Aaron

  • Revolution

    JD Pardo as Nate, Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Zak Orth as Aaron, Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie

  • Revolution

    Billy Burke as Miles

  • Revolution

    Anna Lise Phillips as Maggie, Graham Rogers as Danny, Tim Guiee as Ben, David Lyons as Bass Monroe, Billy Burke as Miles, Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, Andrea Roth as Rachel, Maria Howell as Grace, JD Pardo as Nate, Zak Orth as Aaron, Giancarlo Esposito as Lt. Neville

  • The New Normal

    Ellen Barkin as Jane, Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Georgia King as Goldie, Bebe Wood as Shania, Justin Bartha as David

  • The New Normal

    Bebe Wood as Shania; Andrew Rannells as Bryan; Justin Bartha as David; Georgia King as Goldie

  • The New Normal

    Andrew Rannells as Bryan, Ellen Barkin as Jane, Nene Leakes as Rocky

  • Save Me

    Anne Heche as Beth

  • Save Me

    Anne Heche as Beth Waring

  • Save Me

    Heather Burns as Jenna, Alexandra Breckenridge as Carly, Michael Landes as Tom Waring, Anne Heche as Beth Waring, Madison Davenport as Emily Waring, Lamman Rucker as John

  • Chicago Fire

    Teri Reeves as Hallie, David Eigenberg as Christopher Hermann, Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills, Lauren German as Leslie Shay, Monica Raymund as Gabriella Dawson, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey, Eamonn Walker as Battalion Chief Walter Boden and Merle Dandridge as Kay Fitori

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto

  • Deception

    Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto, Victor Garber as Robert Bowers

  • Deception

    Victor Garber as Robert Bowers, Meagan Good as Joanna Locasto, Katherine LaNasa as Sofia Bowers, Tate Donovan as Edward Bowers, Laz Alonso as Will Moreno

  • Guys With Kids

    Anthony Anderson as Gary, Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny

  • Guys With Kids

    Anthony Anderson as Gary, Jesse Bradford as Chris, Zach Cregger as Nick

  • Guys With Kids

    Jamie Lynn Sigler as Emily, Zach Cregger as Nick, Tempestt Bledsoe as Marny, Anthony Anderson as Gary, Sara Rue as Sheila, Jesse Bradford as Chris

 

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