When we lived in California, many many years ago, my parents arranged for a little gold box to be attached to our television. I was quite young at this time, so I don’t remember how it got there, but I remember that if I pushed a black switch from left to right, I could watch Fiddler on the Roof, Pirates of Penzance, and Oliver, if it was the right time of day.
This was the first time I was exposed to cable, in the form of one a la carte channel–HBO. My parents went back and forth with HBO subscriptions for the past 30+ years. It was a great channel for days I stayed home sick from school. Without HBO, I never would have seen Auntie Mame or The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or Fraggle Rock. Fraggle Rock! Can you imagine a childhood without Fraggle Rock?!
But in recent years, my parents have bailed on HBO in favor of other premium channels, and where I currently live, to get HBO I would have to quadruple my current cable bill. I don’t even get ESPN, for crying out loud. So when HBO announced the they were producing Aaron Sorkin’s new program, Newsroom, I thought long and hard about sacrificing other creature comforts–you know, like food–in order to get HBO so I could watch it.
Then I figured the episodes would be on iTunes! So I hoarded iTunes gift cards in anticipation of the program’s debut…only to learn that HBO doesn’t release programs online for at least a year. So I proposed to my parents that I would pay for HBO to be added to their cable subscription, because then I could get HBOGO on my Roku.
Well, my parents being who they are added HBO anyway and won’t let me pay (though I have figured out a way to do it anyway), so I spent last night and this morning catching up on Newsroom. It’s only four episodes, so it’s not like I spent 20 hours watching TV. But then I made a mistake of browsing the other offerings through HBOGO. Back to the Future! The Wire! Documentaries galore! And one thing is very, very clear to me:
I’ve made a huge mistake.
Arrested Development – Huge Mistake from Russell Challenger on Vimeo.