Doctor Who

There will never be enough time to consume all the content you love.

Yikes, that seems really cynical when I look at it again. But alas, I feel like it’s true — or at the very least, it’s true for me. There will never be enough time to watch all the shows I want to see, read all the books I’m dying to read (including graphic novels and comic books) or take in all the brilliant Internet posts that are waiting in that gigantic online whirlpool.

Because you see, as crappy as it is to say, we’ve only got a finite amount of time in which to consume this content. That being the time we’re not changing babies (or making them), stuffing our faces with fried foods, seeing sights, spending time with real people or huffing bath salts. After all that, let’s be honest, there’s not much left. Life is not often characterized by how overly long it happens to be.

And this is why one of my pet peeves is when people bug you to watch a TV show with the caveat of: “Oh, it takes a couple of seasons to get going, but after that it’s great!”

If we’re talking about a cable TV show, that means at least 24 episodes. At an hour apiece, that’s one whole day of my overly long existence wading through cruddy television. If we’re talking about a network show, that turns into as many as 50 episodes, which is just a staggering amount of time to invest in something while waiting for it to get good. I’ve had that experience as a Houston sports fan for pretty much my whole life ever and believe me, it’s not fun.

It seems like the most egregious offenders of this are shows with 4 or 5 seasons plus. I don’t doubt that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is marvelous/incredible/orgasmic and whatever other hyperbole people throw at the feet of Joss Whedon, our nerd and savior, but you Buffy fans realize that it is 140 hours or more long, right? And that as a network TV show, it takes about 50 hours to get through those first 2 so-so seasons? And that as a network show in the nineties, it is particularly brutal to watch? It’s horribly dated and happened before TV’s Golden Age.

People do the same with Doctor Who. Forget about the fact that it’s confusing about where you should even begin since it’s been on since the dawn of time, but it’s cheesy British TV and a bit hard to get into.

I’ve seen the first seasons of both of these shows. And while I am immensely enjoying Doctor Who after its first season (just as people said), and thought Buffy was just OK for the first season and a half, it’s odd to me that people can thrust things on you so evangelically that almost literally require you to waste a good 12-24 hours of your life so readily. As if there aren’t a million other things vying for your time.

Don’t get me wrong. I get it. I get that shows like The Wire or The Sopranos are groundbreaking, and are Change Your Life good. But at a certain point, we have to recognize the problem of Content Versus Time. There is a limited amount of time to consume everything that we desire, and eventually, we have to be picky.

Which is a hard thing to say, because I love stories. If I could I would read all the books, watch all the movies, devour all the shows. But it really isn’t possible without forfeiting other things I have to do be happy and you know, live a life. And I understand that people push this because they understand just how amazeballs everything gets later, and if that other person would just watch it they would fall in love, too, man, but it’s not always that easy to drop everything and jump into a gazillion hours of How I Met Your Don Draper.

As much as it bums me to miss out on certain things (although I never say never), I think it’s important for me to be selective about what I consume, and what will help me grow as a writer. Eventually I might make my way to these other pieces of content, but if I never do — there will be plenty of other people around to enjoy them, and that’s OK. In the end, we have to go for the stories we think will resonate most with us, and have the absolute most impact for where we are now.

How do you guys feel about the battle of content versus time? How do you pick new things to watch/read and how do you recommend them to others? What shows should I watch and seriously just stop whining about how much time it takes?

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