Over the winter, Sam and I decided we were spending too much money on our cable bill. It’s weird how it can sneak up on you – we have a satellite dish and over time added a sports package here, a movie station there, until we looked at our bill and realized we would be embarrassed for our parents to know how much we were spending on television. We rarely have time to watch television so the return on investment was nil, and he agreed to cut out his expensive sports packages if I eliminated my (less, cough cough) expensive movie packages.
“We have a deal,” I said. “But you have to make the call. If I make the call they’ll somehow talk me into keeping HBO, I just know it. I am weak when it comes to Game of Thrones.”
Indeed, Game of Thrones and Outlander are the only television shows I really miss, and I won’t have to miss them for long – one thousand different ways exist for me to access them once the seasons are complete. I’m actually looking forward to watching Game of Thrones in box set form with my dad next winter. It was, though,one of the only television shows I watched in real time, and in sacrificing it I’ve eliminated myself from any water cooler conversation I was able to participate in. More than one well-meaning millenial (all male, for some reason) have thought it necessary to fix my predicament…if I just buy this gadget for seven dollars and then get a password to access this site and then connect my ipad to my television…
“Wait right there,” I say, to these well-meaning colleagues and friends. “You’ve just made t.v. work. The whole reason I watch an hour or so an evening is to not be working. I appreciate your efforts but I’m going to just wait for the box sets like I always have and catch up then.”
Even in exchange for my life, should such a dire situation occur, I wouldn’t be able to explain how hulu, netflix or amazon t.v. work. Logically I know I could save a lot of money by choosing to understand this sort of thing but, meh. Mostly I can’t be bothered.
At least, that was the case until Fox decided to cancel one of my most favorite television series of all time: The Mindy Project.. This is probably what I looked like:
I have loved this television show since it began. I don’t know all the different places I’ve read about Mindy Kaling’s affinity for romantic comedies, but I knew about it before I started watching the program and expected her series to be an homage to romantic comedies which are not, in fact, not funny every second. That The Mindy Project is often so wickedly funny is a wonderful surprise – I don’t think I’ve laughed harder – as an adult – than I did the night I watched the episode “My Cool Christian Boyfriend.” Part of what makes the show so great is, of course, Mindy – but the collaboration of the entire cast is what makes the show work so damn well. Because Mindy’s character tends, especially in earlier seasons, toward the more superficial, with passions for clothes, popular culture and brunch, most of the rest of the characters bring some level of gravitas to the show, whether it’s straight man Jeremy trying to run a successful clinical practice or serious, Catholic Danny (and Mindy’s love interest) trying to excel at everything from cooking to caring for his mother. Don’t get me wrong, there is a pretty high level of jack-assery involved in every episode, but the characters create a balance I’ve rarely seen in other comedies. As the seasons have grown so have the characters, and so have the issues the show has been willing to tackle. Because it’s modeled, in some aspects, after a romantic comedy, things do take some time to unfold, and I suppose that might have frustrated some viewers. I’ve also read criticism claiming every show isn’t equally funny, but I’m not really sure how that could be achieved. What I really love about the show is how oddly true to life it can be – Mindy works in a multigenerational office that reflects a lot of current work places, with millenial ideals clashing against Gen-X ideology. There are family issues and race issues and work issues and body image issues – I defy anyone to find a show that more realistically portrays a woman’s true feelings about weight gain during pregnancy – especially if she already struggles with her weight – than this one:
All of which is to say, by the time The Mindy Project returns, I have no doubt you’ll find me a very loyal Hulu customer and, who knows? I might catch up on Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, for I will be streaming or downloading and attaching cords to cables while, apparently, spending even less money than I am now, which seems incredible. I guess I owe a thanks, after all, to Fox!