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  • Writer's pictureHerb Williams-Dalgart

Cutting the Cord

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

So, I did it. I cut the cord. That means I gave up my satellite dish, said goodbye to corporate cable, and now rely solely on apps, streaming, a stick, and a TV to deliver my video entertainment.

That doesn’t mean it was easy, and I may be having a little cutter’s remorse. For example, it turns out none of my streamers or apps carry the AMC channel or, more specifically, my favorite post-apocalyptic show, The Walking Dead. How can I marvel at the irony of being a TV zombie while watching my favorite TV zombies when there are none of the aforementioned zombies? I cut before thinking about that.

Of course, I made some calls, Googled for help, chatted online, and tried to sleuth out a reasonable solution. It comes down to this: If I want my zombies, I have to pay $2.99 per episode on Amazon. Jeff Bezos, you evil genius. How could you have foreseen this moment when I’d be willing to pay you for the undead? Guess that’s why you’re a rich guy. You foresee such things.

You'd think I'd enjoy a little familial support in my indignation, but I seem to be the only one in my house that’s perturbed by all this cord-cutting fallout. Others have just moved on to others shows or movies. I tried to do that, let go my angst, and switched on Netflix (or more specifically, clicked on my Netflix app) to watch a movie called, Time Trap.

Turns out, it was. A total time trap. I’ll never get that eighty-seven minutes back. Should have known better. Warning was right there in the title. Rookie mistake.

Most of my other shows survived the cut, but some get released by season en masse, not by episode. So, I’m hurrying up and waiting on those. I started watching the new Watchmen, but that series gets delivered the old-fashioned way: one episode at a time with a week in between. Hard to remember that’s how programs usually get delivered, binge-less and bothersome. And now I have to admit, I'm impatient when it comes to wanting my entertainment on-hand, in the moment, like America promised.

But even as I search for some of my others shows, I find that I'm stuck watching shows that now have commercials. I suppose they've always had them, but now how I watched them back when I had a DVR. I leaned hard on that fast-forward or 30-second skip button. Now, the button is gone!

Now, weekly shows have commercial breaks like the old days where you have to sit and watch, or wait while Matthew McConaughey says weird things in a car or geckos sell insurance. This has become very upsetting, particularly for my wife who declared that she can no longer abide commercials. She's avoided the old model for so long now, she's built a deep and abiding intolerance of commercials; her disdain is so strong, she’s nearly ready to quit TV altogether.

Truth be told, the re-introduction of commercials only piled on the anxiety TV causes my wife. We have too many remotes, I'm told. There are too many shows, I'm told. Now the shows have commercials again? Things have grown grim on the family sofa.

Cutting the TV cord, as it happens, is much like cutting the parachute cord. Now, I’m free-falling and unsure where I’ll land, whether my shows will survive. Classic look-before-you-leap allegory, and the truth is I should’ve known better. Should've left well-enough alone. I'm wealthier by $150/month, but now I'm confused, concerned, and inundated with geckos and McConaugheys.

Of course, if this TV conundrum kills me, maybe I’ll come back as a zombie and you can watch me on your own cable. Or maybe that's just a Time Trap.

© 2019 Herb Williams-Dalgart

Image via files


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