Bob Bestler

Bestler | Television is out of control

This image released by CBS shows Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State in “Madam Secretary,” airing Sundays at 8 p.m. EST. “Madam Secretary” is one of the can’t-miss shows in columnist Bob Bestler’s house.
This image released by CBS shows Tea Leoni as Elizabeth McCord, the shrewd, determined, newly appointed Secretary of State in “Madam Secretary,” airing Sundays at 8 p.m. EST. “Madam Secretary” is one of the can’t-miss shows in columnist Bob Bestler’s house. AP

We’ve got three TVs in our home and each one is watched at one time or another during the day.

But I’ll be honest. We would need a couple hundred more TVs and a few dozen more sets of eyes to keep tabs on all the shows being offered by the more than 200 stations available to us -- not to mention Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu.

Television, I would suggest, is out of control.

Even a TV executive would agree. Saying that more than 400 scripted series will be produced in 2016, John Landgraf, CEO of FX network, recently told a group of TV critics: “This is simply too much television.”

James Walcott, a former TV reviewer who no longer has to worry about the latest offerings on his TV box, put it this way in Vanity Fair: “So much stuff, so little time -- what’s a jittery soul to do?”

Beats me. The other day, I read about all the new series beginning in just the next three months. I counted 38 and knew, as I scanned them, that I would never see most of them.

A lot of the shows I miss win Emmys -- and that’s one reason I don’t even watch the Emmys any more. I don’t want to know what wonderful stuff I missed.

My viewing habits are pretty pedestrian, but they do take away the hours we could spend watching “Downton Abbey,” whatever that is.

The bride and I are into true crimes we see on “Dateline” and “48 Hours” and, on occasion, “20/20.” We now know a dozen ways to kill someone and understand the wonders of DNA evidence. Educational, see?

“Madam Secretary” and “The Good Wife” are also can’t-miss TV in our home.

After that, it’s hit and miss -- mostly miss.

Except for one or two episodes at the start, we’ve never watched such blockbusters as “Sopranos” or “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men” or HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

I’ve never watched a “Law & Order’’ all the way through; tried, but never got into “The Big Bang Theory.”

We probably spend too much time watching the news, followed by late-nighters Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert making fun of the news.

Then, for me, there’s sports, mainly golf and football, plus basketball and baseball during the playoffs.

Somewhere amid all of that is a life to live and, truthfully, I’ve barely got time to live it.

As the man said, “So much stuff, so little time...”

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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