Movies Television

A completely academic and scientific breakdown of social distancing-induced television viewing habits

As you’re aware, the ‘Rona is fucking up everyone’s day and our government was completely unprepared so now we all have to stay home and a bunch of us lost our jobs and there’s only so many times you can walk the dog and only so many board games you can play and yeah we’re gonna watch a bunch of TV and Netflix and all that shit and not think about how this is probably Mother Nature saying she’s had enough and we’re fucked and I’m pretty sure this is how the apocalypse starts and to hell with it bring on the zombies huh wait where am I?

As I was saying, we’re all watching a lot of content these days on our TVs and laptops and what not, and my household is no different. Since I have ample time on my hands, I’ve been taking detailed notes* and have compiled the data and would like to share my final, complete observations** here on The Take.

* Clever-to-me thoughts I had during initial viewings that I’ve since forgotten.

** Whatever comes to mind as I type.

Yesterday (HBO Go) — I really dug the concept of this one, but the execution faltered. I wished they would’ve leaned into the Beatles-less existence part and passed on the rom-com aspects, it really killed the second half/last act of the movie for me. Also, less Ed Sheeran would’ve been good.

Bodyguard (Netflix) — Robb Stark nearly gets blown up a bunch in London. They just never learn when it comes to going south. The story was intriguing enough, but whatever British style of television this is throws me off. There are A LOT of long pauses.

The last half of Narcos, season 3 (Netflix) — Didn’t like season 3 as much as the first two. I guess that’s why we tore through seasons 1 & 2, started season 3 and then took months to come back and finish. I didn’t like the lead DEA guys.

Because of that, I rewatched The Two Escobars (ESPN+) — There’s a reason Pablo Escobar has the notoriety he does, and it’s because he so damn fascinating. This “30 for 30” documentary is excellent, and if you haven’t seen it do so as soon as possible.

Professional wrestling without fans — This is just the weirdest damn thing, and it’s not working for me. Wrestling needs fans in the arena, period. You can have the rare, special attraction match, and maybe if you’re creative enough you can pull it off short term, but wrestling is nothing without fans. WWE has bumbled the creative side of it for the most part, and it seems like literally every single person in WWE wanted to delay WrestleMania… except for Vince McMahon. So now they’re going forward and wrestlers are dropping out and a couple are quarantined and it’s all shit. WrestleMania is going to suck and for once that’s not whiny, smark bullshit, it’s just fact. We love Mania, but Vince is gonna give us a butchered, neutered version of it that nobody wants. At least there’s the WWE Network’s amazing library.

NXT is doing slightly better, but still playing to a crowd that isn’t there. AEW is handling this the best, but it’s also falling flat. Their big moments like the reveal of Brodie Lee (Luke Harper) as The Exalted One, or Matt Hardy’s debut, have been great storytelling. But, without the fans and their reactions, the moments just kind of exist. I’d suggest finding Lucha Underground on whatever platform you can and get your pro wrestling fix there. I’d also suggest skipping season 4.

Westworld, season 3I’ve already talked about this, but I still think it’s gonna get nuts. The question now is how fast the showrunners get us there. The first three episodes have been getting the players in their places, let’s hope they get to the big game sooner than later.

Marc Maron’s new special (Netflix) — If you like Maron, “End Times Fun” will do you right. If you don’t, well he’s a very angry man and he bitches about a lot of things in a comedic manner. At least comedic to those of us who are also angry. If you watched him in Glow and liked him, watch his stand up.

Brave and The Good Dinosaur (Disney+) — Filling out my Pixar punch card with these two. I liked them both enough, probably would say “Brave” is better. Not Pixar’s upper echelon, but solid.

A world without live sports — Right now, I should be enjoying the Pelicans’ push for the 8th seed in the Western Conference, soaking in every Lonzo to Zion alley-oop and every Brandon Ingram mid-range nothing-but-net jumper. But I’m not, and we’re missing Liverpool’s dominating run to their first domestic title in decades. We’re missing Opening Day. The Stanley Cup Playoffs. March Madness. The Masters. Now we, in the South and midwest at least, just have to prepare ourselves for the rioting when this inevitably delays college football season.

Gentefied (Netflix) — I enjoyed this, but in a weird, almost like I’m forcing myself to way. It’s not great and there’s nothing that hooked me, but I’ll watch season 2 when it hits.

Hip-Hop Evolution (Netflix) — Interesting content, but the presentation is a bit underwhelming for me I think? By that I mean I can’t seem to get hooked into binging and knocking out like 4 episodes in one sitting.

American Ultra (Amazon) — Kinda fun, nothing remarkable from the script, but Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart work really well in their roles.

Logan Lucky (Amazon) —  I’m a bit surprised this movie wasn’t a bigger deal. I thought the cast was excellent and the writing was tight, the film flew by in the best way possible. If “hillbillies plan a heist during a NASCAR race” sounds like your thing — if you’re reading this site it absolutely should be — then give this one a look.

6 Underground (Netflix) — I tried twice now to watch this one, and I still don’t think I’ve hit the half hour mark. It’s not like I don’t know what I’m getting into — a Michael Bay film with Ryan Reynolds as its lead — but, each time I’ve started it up I ended up deciding there was a better way to waste time.

Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood (Amazon) — Finally got to check out Quentin Tarantino’s latest, and I’ll be honest, it didn’t hit for me. I think I might need a second viewing, but it took a long while for the movie to take 100% of my attention.

My wife is watching Outlander (Amazon) and Ozark (Netflix) — Outlander can best be described as a Scottish highlander time-traveler skin-e-max drama. Ozark I thought I might be into, but that’s another program that just doesn’t hook me.

Black Sails (Amazon) — Well, the first episode anyway. Figured it would work for the wife and I because it appeals to her taste for dramas like mentioned above, and for me it has pirates.

Party Down (Amazon) — I watched this years ago, but all that I remember is that it was a fairly close to accurate representation of life in the restaurant industry. Upon my second viewing I’ve found that to be mostly true, if not with a hyper-specific actor-trying-to-make-it-in-Hollywood slant. The cast is outstanding.

Veep (HBO Go) — Another I started at one point and never finished, but am thoroughly enjoying now that I’ve dove in.

The old go-to shows for background noise/familiarity — Sometimes, you just want to watch something you’ve seen before. In our house that’s been Friends, Ridiculousness, Archer, and Designing WomenFriends wasn’t something I watched during its original run, and that’d probably still be true if not for my wife. Just for the record, Ross is terrible, Rachel and Joey should obviously be together, and Phoebe is the only likeable one. Ridiculousness comes off as another clip show, but the chemistry and friendship between co-hosts Rob Dyrdek, Steelo Brim and Chanel West Coast actually makes this a likeable show.

I hope this helps.

1 comment on “A completely academic and scientific breakdown of social distancing-induced television viewing habits

  1. Pingback: Takin’ on Sports: The NCAA blew it, yet again

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