Honestly can’t remember the last time I had cable, but it’s been at least three years. The cord was severed sometime after the fifth season of Dexter and luckily, it’s never grown back. Earlier this week, my Facebook feed was inundated with status updates about Beyonce and Jay-Z and a bunch of other people I could give a crap about. Apparently, there was something on the tube called the Grammy Awards. After digging through my past life as a cable subscriber, I realized what I was missing — nothing at all. And that led me to put together this list of the 10 Things Cord Cutters Are Happy To Live Without. Since I’ve just mentioned it, let’s start with the Grammy’s as our numero uno and go from there.
The Grammy Awards
Seriously, who cares about a bunch of horrid live performances from the Top 40 dregs who wouldn’t know a good song if it bit them on the butt? Not me. If you think this is good, get iTunes Radio or Pandora or Last.fm. You’ll hear this fascinating thing you may have forgotten existed — music.
The Academy’s move to 10 Best Picture nominees a couple of years back was a real head-scratcher since there are seldom more than five great films made in a year. In 2013, I only saw one that was worth a darn, and it was called Breaking Bad, which technically doesn’t count since it’s a TV show. Yep, the “Best Picture” picks are pretty pathetic these days, but they’ve still got a long way to go to overshadow the self-important political drivel seeping out of the pie-holes of Hollywood’s elite. Cutting cable meant that I no longer had the power to let my curiosity get the better of me, only to end up listening to ten minutes of Susan Sarandon or Sean Penn go on about … something.
Reality TV Exposure
Reality television. Yes, I know it’s mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence, but when it’s on, you inexplicably find yourself watching it. As a cord cutter, I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to say no when you have to make a concerted effort to find the show and load it on your streaming service.
For two weeks or so, the major networks bludgeon you with coverage of a bunch of sports that no one really cares about, yet we all feel we’re supposed to because it’s the Olympics and Team USA and Go For The Gold! Shut it. I’m just going to say this one time. The Olympics are a steaming pile of dung. Yes, the athletes can do some amazing things and I respect their ability, but that doesn’t mean I want to see some guy in a leotard doing a triple sow-cow-axel, or whatever they call it. There’s a reason this “sporting event” is given away for free, and it ain’t Goodwill.
Yes, we still have to deal with them if we’re using services like Crackle and Hulu Plus, but other than the fact that these two providers repeat the same commercial a little too much — I hate your face, Geico — the breaks are short and placed in appropriate spaces within the content. As a cable subscriber, I can remember watching Rocky IV only to have the network cut away in the middle of Round 15. Do you have any friggin’ clue what a buzzkill it is to sit through five minutes of commercial just to watch Rocky finish knocking the Russian’s teeth out?
CMAs, Emmy’s, And Awards Shows In General
Forgive my overindulgence on hatred for Awards shows. I’d rather have my eyeballs burned out with a hot poker than to sit through or hear about one.
Only in recent years has cable started to allow in more niche programming. Normally, you got the major networks, a few cable and premium channels that were virtually indistinguishable from one another (that you would have to pay stupid amounts of money for), and a few educational channels. That’s it. The Internet makes it possible to specialize based on your interests. If you like wrestling, there’s the WWE Network. If you like ice hockey and baseball and MMA and soccer, there are apps for those that allow you to watch until your heart’s content. Horror movie fans, choose from one of the 50 on your Roku or just go VOD, where most of the good flicks are now premiering alongside their theatrical release. Screw you, cable.
High Cable Bills
Sixty bucks plus taxes so I can watch USA and AMC with 20 minutes of commercials packed into an hour of programming. No thanks.
I appreciate the strategy and the ability that go into this game, I really do. But there are several coats of paint that I’d rather watch dry than deal with a four-hour session of men walking. I remember flipping through the channels as a kid and feeling my heart sink whenever I’d stumble upon a golf tournament. I still get that feeling.
57 Channels And Nothing On
Cable keeps adding channels — presumably so they can keep charging you more money — but there is never anything to watch. The more channels you get, the more likely your bill will go soaring over the $100 mark, and yet you usually end up watching stuff off the Internet anyway.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]