Television is a mess and both Apple and Disney must have conspired to make it worse. They are ruining television. Well, television as I once knew it; the television that once was easy to comprehend; the television that could be navigated by mere mortals of the human race.
My early days of television were peaceful; a quiet calm had settled over the land as cable TV and 30 crystal clear channels proliferated across the country. 30 channels. For $20 a month. Humans became infatuated with television and you know what that means?
It’s like alcohol and chocolate and calories. How so?
Too much of a good thing tends to ruin everything. People with fame and stardom are asses. People with billions of dollars are asses. People more handsome than me, with better jobs, and higher education are asses. Combined with television, they are ruining humankind.
OK, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but I can say that Apple and Disney are ruining television; the straw that broke the camel’s back. OK, straws. Two.
Television has changed in the past dozen years to encompass any kind of video that can be shown on any kind of electronic device. Television is not just an over-the-air antenna from Amazon strapped to the back of a widescreen TV from Walmart. YouTube is television. Instagram and Facebook, too.
My iPhone is a portable television as much as it is a phone. I haven’t done the math but it is likely I crossed the threshold this year where I watch more streaming video on iPhone, iPad, and Mac than I do on my TV. A 4K HDR widescreen TV. With cable that brings in 300 channels.
Last night we sat down after a long day and flipped on the TV. 300 channels. Nothing was on. We ended up watching The Morning Show on Apple TV+ before calling it a day.
Disney isn’t helping, either, because now Disney+ offers 639 TV shows and movies. For $7 a month. That makes Apple’s anemic Apple TV+ look, well, more anemic for $5 a month, but at least I haven’t had to pay anything yet. Apple TV+ is free with a new Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple TV. Disney+ is free with our Verizon unlimited account.
Someone called this mess we live in today Peak TV. That was four years ago. What comes after peak anything?
The very nature of television has changed to mean any kind of video; on device, or streaming. Frankly, it’s too much. There are too many choices. Apple TV doesn’t help because it’s a single screen source with access to almost everything else– YouTube TV, Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO, and, well… you get the idea. Everything.
Television of yesteryear was curated by humanity and economics. I don’t understand or fully appreciate the economics of streaming TV– somebody wants to make money from my viewing habits– but it is clear humanity has no boundaries anymore; with video, anything goes, and it does.
Anything you can dream of– except maybe peace and solitude– can be found in a video online, no matter how wonderful or how disgusting.
Just choosing what to watch is like choosing what to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. There are too many choices.