Is it “Binge” Worthy?

I am a sleep technologist full time.  Naturally, when I see articles related to sleep, I read them.  The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently took a survey to find out what keeps us up at night.

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Coming in at #4 – Playing video games.  59% of men and 42% of women do it.

Coming in at #3 – Watching sports.  The survey says that 60% of us sometimes choose sports over sleep. (75% were men, while 45% were women)

The second thing that keeps us up at night is reading.  According to the survey 71% of women and 61% of men lose sleep because they couldn’t put down a book. (Personally, I LOVE when a book keeps me interested like that!)

So what was the #1 thing that keeps us up at night?  No surprise – Streaming TV shows or movies. A whopping 88% of us do this!  Of that group, 95% of the people were between 18 & 45 years old.

24 % of people in the survey said they usually are angry with themselves for putting entertainment over sleep.

The results got me to thinking.  As someone who rarely gets enough sleep because of my job, what TV shows would I consider to be “Binge Worthy”?

Since the birth of television, there have been thousands of TV shows!  With the availability of many of those shows on DVD and on streaming sites, which ones would I actually think about streaming or binge-watching?  I decided to break it down by decade.  I wrote down the first four shows from each decade that came to mind down.  So, here are the shows that I could easily “binge” watch:

The 1950’s

honeymooners

Jack_Benny

twilight

PerryMason

The 1960’s

TheDickVanDykeShow

trek

mission

smart_title1

The 1970’s

sanford

mash-title-960x590

wkrp

columbo_title_screen

The 1980’s

cheers

dukes

Night_Court_-_Opening_Screenshot_of_caption_and_NYC_skyline

TNG_head

The 1990’s

friends

raymond

seinfeld

70's

The 2000’s

On_the_next_Arrested_Development

office

30 rock

House

Now it’s your turn.  If you want to Google it – go ahead, but I thought it was more fun to just think of the decades and write down the first ones that came to my head.

What are YOUR “binge worthy” shows??

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Reflections on “Blog Year One”

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One of my Facebook friends noted on his page that this weeks marks the 100th birthday of comedian Red Buttons.  Red was known for his “never got a dinner” and “I was there” bits which he did frequently at celebrity roasts.  I remembered that last year, on his birthday, I blogged about Red and included many of my favorite “never got a dinner” lines.  It was one of the first blogs I wrote when I started this Word Press Blog.  It’s hard to believe that this blog is over a year old!

The beginnings

When I began this blog, I really didn’t have any idea of what it would be.  In my head, I thought that I might blog about some things I liked.  I also knew I would probably write about some favorite memories.  I might also write tributes to important people in my life or just random thoughts to help me deal with emotions or life situations.

This blog was meant for me.  It was to be a “sort of” therapy for me.  I envisioned it as a way to keep track of thoughts, write down stories I didn’t want to forget, and occasionally just vent. I had often joked about writing an autobiography, and in a way, this blog has become “chapters”.

I never thought that anyone would actually want to read these blogs (unless, of course, the blog mentioned them)!  Yet, here I am over a year later and I have “followers” – people who actually make it a point to read this no matter what the topic.  It humbles me.

Looking Back

The last few years of my life have been full of many changes:  job changes, deaths, divorce, depression, stress, remarriage, happiness, bliss, and the rekindling of old friendships.  It is interesting to go back and see the variety of topics this blog has covered through it all.  It really is a hodge-podge of randomness.

There is no shortage of posts about music here!  My iPod selections and the various connections that I make with songs, events, and people in my life are well documented.  There are so many great songs!  Musical blogs are among my favorite to write.  I recently started following another blog (PowerPop) which shares many of my musical tastes and I have enjoyed some great conversations with the owner of that blog.

My love for movies is also represented by blogs I wrote about movies I watched for the first time and movies I have watched over and over.  Television is also represented by a salute to the Dukes, childhood memories of School House Rock, TV Catchphrases, and my favorite cartoons. My hatred of movie and TV remakes was one of my very first blogs.

My radio career is also reflected in this blog.  You’ll find blogs that include some of my favorite radio stories, about listeners who became friends, my first morning show partner, radio mentors, radio bosses and co-workers, and encounters with famous people I met during my career all make up a good chunk of this blog.  One of my favorite blogs about radio is the World Radio Day blog, which thanks many of those people.

My family and friends, who are very special to me, are also well represented in this blog.  Tributes to my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my children, and my uncle/Godfather often were very emotional to write.  A blog about those teachers who were so influential and helpful to me was one of the easiest to write.  As my first wedding anniversary approaches, a long overdue blog about my wonderful wife will appear here.  One of my favorite blogs was about the trip to Florida that my wife and I took, which also doubled as our honeymoon.  Re-reading that one brings back many happy memories!  It still amazes me how we were able to keep it a secret.

The Christmas holiday spawned many blogs.  Blogs about Christmas memories, Christmas specials, Christmas characters, Christmas songs that drove me nuts, Christmas coffee, and yes – even a letter to Santa!  Christmas remains one of my favorite times of the year.  One thing I was unable to really blog about was the Christmas songs I love.  My friend, Chris, asked me to do that and I started it … just never finished it.  Consider it a head start for next year!

It was always fun for me to write about famous people.  As you look over the list of those who I wrote about, it is easy to learn a lot about me and what I like.  Comedians Red Buttons, Jackie Gleason, Shemp Howard, Curly Howard, Soupy Sales, and Rich Little give you a glimpse and who and what I find funny.  Musicians Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Weird Al Yankovic, Frank Sinatra, and, of course, Dean Martin give you a picture of my musical tastes. Other blogs about Mr. Rogers, Jack Webb, Christopher Lloyd, and Wolfman Jack expose you to other aspects of who I am.

At times, my blog can tackle serious topics, too.  Breast cancer is a big one.  Cancer, in general, is a big topic. It took many people from me.   I foresee a blog about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the future. I’ve been there and they do amazing work.  The importance of Music Education in schools is another great cause I will always fight for!  I have yet to write about Autism, but that is definitely on my list of future topics.

One of my favorite blogs summed up a lot about the past and the changes that occurred in me and my life over the past two years.  The subject was “Negativity, Judgement, and Happiness”.  Moving from sadness to happiness and moving from away from negativity and finding positives made a lot of difference!  Living with a positive attitude was such a game changer – and life is good.

The Future

Not so long ago, I was told my someone once close to me to stop writing.  “Nobody wants to read about that crap!  It is a waste of time.  Stop trying to be creative. Nobody cares about what you like and don’t like!”  If I have learned anything from Facebook and this blog, it is that people do care!  People do like to read what I write!  In the end, I don’t really write for others, I write for myself.  The fact that other people read this blog and get some enjoyment out if it is a little bonus.

In future blogs, I will continue to write about things I love.  I will write about things that people want to know about.  I will continue to participate in Blogathons (I have a few coming up that I am excited to write for) on various topics like movies and music. I will continue to write about things in my personal life.  I will continue to write – because I enjoy it.  The minute this is no longer satisfying and I feel that I have written all I can write … I will stop.  Until then, thank YOU for reading my “various ramblings”.  I appreciate you!

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Is it too much to ask for a “good story”?

Literature-Books-Bookshelf-Shelf-Library-Bookcase-2007660.jpg  Just announced this week – the return of Murphy Brown to TV.  This follows the return of Will and Grace, the upcoming return of Rosanne, and the announcement of the return of The Office.  There was also an announcement this week that there are plans to do a “live action” sitcom of the cartoon series The Jetsons.  The question I have is simply – “Why?!”

This has been tried in the past, both  successfully and unsuccessfully, on the big screen and on television.  Successful ventures include The Addams Family movies, The James Bond movies, Fuller House, and Hawaii 5-0.  The unsuccessful ventures include Car 54, Where Are You?, The Honeymooners, Dragnet, Fawlty Towers, Ironside, The Munsters, and SO many more.

Is the creativity in Hollywood that non-existent?  This may very well be the case.  Tune in to prime time TV and you will find many shows who remain on the air despite scripts that are weak, laughs that are barely worth a chuckle, and predictable scenarios that leave the viewer feeling less than wowed.  In looking over a list of bad reboots, some were cancelled after only a handful of episodes aired, one was cancelled after only the premier aired, and many were shot, but never even made it to air.

Where are the ideas?  Where are the stories?  Why does Hollywood think it is ok to just rehash an old idea and spoon feed it to us?  Why is the below average product acceptable to audiences today?

As an avid reader, I can tell you that I have read many books and told myself that the story would make a good movie.  When I walk into my local library and look at the shelves of books, I wonder why no one has looked to these stories for inspiration or to make into a film.  In the past, so many of the movies now referred to as “classics” were all adapted from books.  Think about it:  Moby Dick, The Godfather, The Princess Bride, To Kill A Mockingbird, Gone With The Wind, Dracula, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath, The Brothers Karamazov, All Quiet on the Western Front, A Christmas Carol, and the list goes on and on!

There are so many stories (both fiction and non-fiction) that could easily be adapted for the big screen.  There are also many “character” book series that I could see being adapted for TV series (just like Perry Mason was adapted for TV from the Erle Stanley Gardner book series).  With so many varieties of stories, written by so many different authors, why hasn’t someone in Hollywood turned to them for projects?  Instead, TV relies on a handful of writers who rehash old story lines, predictable punch lines, and sexual and crude humor to power their shows.  Hollywood continues to remake classics (and in many cases destroy them) and churn out films with no story lines, bad acting, gratuitous sex scenes, or they just take an idea and reuse it until it just doesn’t work anymore.

Every time that I have thought about going to the movies over the last 6 months, I have gone to the website of the theater to see what was playing and decided that there was just not anything that I was willing to pay to go see.  Nothing interested me (with the exception of a Pixar or DreamWorks animated film I can see with my kids).  The same goes for TV.  I would say that 9 times out of 10, when I do watch TV, I am usually watching an old show on DVD or Netflix.  There are very few “new” shows that I watch.  I am content watching old episodes of Columbo, Mission Impossible, Sanford and Son, Twilight Zone, or the Three Stooges!

I can only hope that movie goers and TV viewers will show Hollywood that they are just not going to shell out money to see another bad remake or lame attempt at a plot.  I hope that they will turn off their sets and read a good book instead.  After all, at least when you read a book – your imagination gets a work out.  (That’s a good topic for a future blog.)

“A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors” – Blake Mycoskie

“Never underestimate the power of a good story” – John Kotter