Every thing in life that we are passionate about, that we connect with on that spiritual level I feel in many ways connects back with our childhood. I shouldn’t say that is very surprising since for the majority of us childhood is the ultimate time of joy as it is also the period of our life where we are most innocent. Our greatest responsibility is listening to our parents, our biggest financial burdens lay far ahead of us and the pressures of adult life aren’t even conceived in our precious little minds.
I think for most this time also extends into our teens, at least it does for me. We’re still exploring the limits, we’re encountering our first romances, our first heart break, our first adventures without our parents. Sadly, for me, it also relates most to watching television.
Growing up I remember most the era’s of ABC and NBC ruling the airwaves. ABC rocked the house with Love Boat, Fantasy Island, and Dynasty. NBC had the A-Team, The Cosby Show, Family Ties, etc. All of the networks have gone through their stages of success, domination and eventually submission. The biggest rise and fall again involve ABC and NBC, with one shooting from 3rd to 1st, and vice versa.
NBC has made a very interesting choice this year regarding the fall preview content that they are making available to cable customers with On Demand. They have put forth the new hour long dramas that they have been advertising all summer on to On Demand for everyone to watch. That’s right, if you have On Demand (at least through Comcast for sure) you can watch The Bionic Woman, Life, Journeyman and Chuck without having to wait for their premieres.
Before I sat down to watch these shows I thought this was a pretty bold move considering this could affect the first set of ratings, which it seems most hot tempered networks pay very close attention to. Having watched the episodes, however, I can tell you that I am sure that NBC is very confident in the success of these shows because they are quite compelling. I’d almost say that some of them are possibly to cool for network TV to actually embrace, but that may be the very thing that is needed to get NBC out of this slump.
The weakest of the bunch is Chuck. Don’t get me wrong, the show comes off well. Once you see it I think you might come to the same conclusion that I did, Chuck is only going to be so useful because the information that he now “contains” is a snapshot only up to a certain point… in other words he’s like a newspaper. His information can only be interesting or relevant for so long.
Journeyman is the second show I would be most concerned with not having it stick around. The lead character some how comes unglued from the present and goes to the past. It seems that he keeps making these journeys in to the past to follow someone or something in the past to make sure that some how they make it safely to present day. It’s almost like a new twist on the Quantum Leap concept, so the idea already has kind of been done (not to mention the last time travel concept show “Daybreak” on ABC didn’t fare so hot). The only thing going for it I am sure is that it doesn’t require the same budget the QL did (since they can do everything in the city they live in).
Life is the most original of all the shows, even though it does echo of some of the other shows out there. The lead character (Detective Crews) was a cop put in jail 12 years ago for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s now quirky, nutty, and seems to be a deep follower now of the ways of Zen (to probably reach spiritual enlightenment in the face of getting his ass kicked every other day in prison). What we get out of this is a unique type of detective show that also has some wonderful conspiracy elements and Crews tries to figure out who set him up 12 years ago and why.
Last but not least is the Bionic Woman. This is definitely the one show that I think qualifies as the “could be too cool for network television.” I say this because it is the same thing that I said about Firefly in 2003. It’s definitely a new twist on the concept and trust me when I say that it has NOTHING to do with its namesake. It’s also a show that is partially brought to us by some of the people that brought us the new Battlestar Galactica. It is oozing with hip and cool. I don’t feel the need to say anything else about it. Watch it for yourself.
Yes, again I say with regret and sadness in my heart, that I am very passionate about television. NBC has some good stuff for our minds to chew on. Let’s just hope that Heroes can surpass what it did last year and Tim Kring has NOTHING to do with the writing of any of the episodes. No offense Tim, but that finale for example was not so hot man.
So Steve Jobs announced today at San Francisco’s Moscone Center the great new line of iPods and iPhones. They talked about all the great additions and innovations they have made. To top the whole thing off, right near the end (in an attempt to save the worst for last I’m sure), Steve Jobs announced that since everyone loves iPhone they want to make it more affordable! That’s right, now the 8GB iPhone will only be $399, and they are going to phase the 4GB iPhone out (and you can get it for the amazing low price of $299.00 if you can find it).
That’s right folks, if you were an early adopter of the iPhone and you bought a 4GB iPhone you already have discontinued product. If you bought the 8GB iPhone then you now just paid pretty close to a $100/month fee for having the latest and greatest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a product drop so drastically in such a short period of time, and with the iPhone that amount of time was just a little over 60 days (68 days to be exact). That’s paying a $2.94 a day penalty for buying the iPhone early. I hope those of you that are single were able to parlay having the phone into some sweet, sweet lovin’.
Now I’m not naive and I’m not stupid. I know that electronics do go down in price over time. I also know that as an early adopter you pay a higher price in order to have the latest and greatest (I don’t even want to tell you what the price we paid for our first DVD player, which has less functions then a $30.00 player you can get at Wal-Mart today). Usually time helps to take the sting off of the early adoption bite. You don’t mind paying $200 more then anyone else, because even at a year that would be only about $0.54 a day to have the coolest of the cool technology. Let’s face it, half a buck a day is a lot different then nearly 3 bucks a day.
Still, I do enjoy my iPhone. I’m glad that I can carry my music and my phone and it is just one device. If you look at the advances in the iPod itself I think we can all agree as well that in a year, maybe two, these very iPhone’s themselves will be obsolete compared to the future iPhones. So do we really have a lot to be angry about here?
I’m not really all that mad now that the dust has settled. I had sold a BlackBerry and an iPod in order to reduce the costs of my iPhone (in the end I only paid about $200 for the iPhone). Sure, if I had waited 68 days I would have been able to just use my sale proceeds to pay for the whole phone, and I’d be $200 bucks richer. I wouldn’t have enjoyed all of the attention that my iPhone brought me over the past two months though. With friends and family I was the center of attention for at least 10 minutes, which is very nice for an attention whore such as myself.
I think in the whole affair the people that should be the most pissed off are the ones that queued for more then just a few hours to get the iPhone on the day it was released. Supply was strong and there was no real need to camp for the phone.
I guess in retrospect we now know that we are suckers who fell for the hype, one way or another. Such is life.