As we near the end of 2017, I near the end of my first year of blogging. Actually, I’ve blogged for many years on business topics, for various sites and media outlets, including eConsultancy, Forbes, CMO.com and now, Digital Doughnut. You can look me up at those places, and at Clicktale, and see my thoughts about an industry I’ve been part of for a long time – Experience Analytics.
2017 was the year in which I felt the desire to start writing about more personal things. My first post outlined my reasons. As I look back, it has been a partially fulfilling exercise, and harder than I expected. Trying to find topics, trying to articulate my thoughts, trying to appeal to others and create dialogues, not just rants, is harder – at least I’ve found it to be – than telling the stories I encounter every day in my professional life.
Maybe it’s the fear of being vulnerable? When I write or speak about topics I encounter daily at work, I have the experience and some cache perhaps to be a thought leader or expert. I have no such illusions about day-to-day life. I’m just a passenger on that bus.
As I reflect on the first year of Genuine Fake Watches, this is also the time of year that I see three distinct types of content that dominate my social media feeds and my news scanning:
- First, retrospective lists of the best movies, music, books, TV shows, games etc. from the year. Here is a really solid Blog from my friend Eric featuring books he read in 2017.
- Second, lists of those of influence or fame we’ve lost during the year.
- Third (and I guess we can thank our friends at Walt Disney Studios for this) the annual discussion of the latest Star Wars movie as its premiere approaches, as the reviews come in, and the beginning speculation of what’s next.
Each of these lists makes me somewhat melancholy. I feel quite disconnected from the lists of the year’s best music, because while I love a lot of different genres, I tend to really only listen to either artists I’ve loved for years, or (rarely) something new I might’ve heard on SiriusXM. I am not a gamer. I read a lot of news and sports information (probably too much), and I read a lot of books when flying, but usually fiction – and heavily weighted to a few series I started years ago from authors like Michael Connelly, John Sandford, David Baldacci, Brad Thor and Lee Child. Mindless action mysteries that consume the hours, but don’t make me think too hard. Eric’s list is offering me some inspiration to possibly change that.
TV is a tough one for me, and actually one of the very few areas FMG and I struggle to be on the same page about. She loves TV series and watches some religiously. I have trouble doing that. I’ve tried, but Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black just couldn’t hook me. The last series that actually did was The Sopranos. It started almost 19 years ago. I trace some of my inability to get into episodic TV to the lifestyle I’ve had during that timeframe.
Remember, it wasn’t always easy to binge watch a series. I’d wait every Sunday night for a new episode of The Sopranos. There would be 9-10 per season, and the seasons were 18-20 months apart at times. If you wanted to start mid-way through, you bought or rented a bunch of DVDs and started watching. Since I traveled so much, at different days and times, it became really hard to be able to watch the latest “must see TV” at any time. If I missed it, I missed it, and I rarely had time to go back and catch up on 3 old episodes on TiVO before the next new one appeared that I’d be able to watch. So, I lost interest. In all of them.
Which leads me to Star Wars. The first movie came out in 1977. I was 17. I liked it, the ONE time I saw it. I saw Empire Strikes Back two years later. I liked it, the ONE time I saw it. Likewise, Return of the Jedi. Liked. Not loved. Certainly not enough to dress up, buy an action figure, subscribe to a forum, go to an event or anxiously wait for the next installment across 40 years. Certainly not enough to write social reviews and stack rankings, or to worry about spoilers. It’s just not that interesting to me.
I realized last night that a key reason for this also extends to the TV series challenges mentioned above, and to other movie series from Transformers to Marvel movies and beyond. I’m not sure if there is a clinical term, but I essentially don’t like to watch anything that doesn’t stand alone. I can’t stand the idea that I have to go back and watch 10 Marvel movies to understand Wonder Woman. Or that I can’t go see The Last Jedi without watching 11 other movies first (and in both cases in apparently indeterminate sequences or orders, that aficionados don’t even agree on).
I can buy the new U2 or Foo Fighters or Eminem album, and it doesn’t require me to listen to 25 albums and hundreds of songs to gain context to enjoy or understand it. I can watch any episode of Seinfeld, and while it might help a little if I knew the backstories and characters better, I can still laugh if I don’t. I can even watch Law & Order and just get the stand-alone story of the 44 minutes of that episode without requiring me to know the characters deeply. There is a level deeper, but I don’t have to dig there. I watch a lot of sports (probably an unhealthy amount) but I don’t need to watch a team’s prior games to enjoy their current one, I don’t even have to know who the players are. What happened to them 30 years ago is really of no consequence. There is beauty (to me) in that. But clearly, I am a minority here.
So I’m asking for your help and your feedback and your suggestions.
Why am I like this? How can I change it? What the hell is wrong with me? (be gentle, please).
I want to eagerly anticipate the next big TV show, the next big movie, the next good book, like so many of you do.
As always, your comments, shares and subscribes are appreciated.
9 thoughts on “Review”
Thanks for the callout, Geoff. It took some conscious effort to change my reading habits. The first book that really helped me do that was The Icarus Agenda by Seth Godin. That and seeing him speak at a conference helped me get into blogging. The vulnerability you mentioned was my #1 hinderance. Since then, it’s helped me hash out career and job changes, my dad’s illness and death, politics (OK, only a little), and more. The more you’re introspective and get it out creatively, the more you’re prepared to handle life’s kicks to the head.
As far as shows go… Sopranos was fantastic. I struggled through Season 1 of Breaking Bad and never went back. I’ve watched plenty of other series on and off. Many series on Netflix or Amazon get 3+ movies’ worth of content in a series you can watch on demand. That’s like Star Wars/Empire/Return of the Jedi put together. Maybe give Daredevil on Netflix a shot if you really want to give superheroes a chance. No backstory needed 😉
The funny part of Breaking Bad is that we tried to watch it together a couple years ago. Made it through ~3 episodes. Bailed. Then I went on a trip and her dad and brother came to visit. They talked her into starting it again. A couple weeks ago she admitted that she’s now 5-6 seasons in and doesn’t like it.
Maybe give Stranger Things a go. It’s a throwback.
I tried. Made it through first four…..
Maybe you should pick up a book 😜
Maybe I’m a lost cause. We watched the first four together, then I had to go out of town. So she watched the rest without me.
I find airplanes are a great place to get into episodic TV. You have less things to distract you and you (I?) can’t read for 8 hours straight. Take some of FMG’s recommendations to 35k ft??
That doesn’t help with her desire to us to watch shows together, though…..
If you have NetFlix try Longmire or Hell on Wheels or Frankie and Grace