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Circle_Breaker t1_iu5a63o wrote

Lol imagine living before streaming services when you had to catch an episode live if you wanted to watch it.


Deducticon t1_iu5d34y wrote

But many shows were not a serial format back then.

It was 'case of the week', or 'patient of the week', or 'monster of the week'.


GamingTatertot t1_iu5wd6z wrote

And many shows were as well - depending what we're counting as "before streaming services"


KaineneCabbagepatch t1_iu5ktz0 wrote

It was a pain in the ass but man, I miss it. The good ole days (like 2005), when TV viewing was a community experience. Not just online - real life sitting down with the family, talking about it at school the next day type deal.

The anticipation was fun, and limited options meant being super invested. I remember the devastation of missing an episode of Prison Break, then making my best friend put on a one woman show describing what happened lmao...


Techbone t1_iu693s9 wrote

Nah screw that, missing the finale because I got diarrhea or having to choose between two of my favorite sitcoms airing a new episode on different networks in the same time slot.

I missed half of Static Shock because I had soccer practice Saturday mornings.


KaineneCabbagepatch t1_iu8y52l wrote

lmao, life forcing you to miss things builds character! Makes you a better problem solver. I successfully faked being sick twice so I could stay home and watch Flight 29 Down instead of going to church...

Honestly, if I had nothing but my country's version of DVR growing up I probably would've been fine. Less distractions, more time for books...and people.


VelvetElvis t1_iu6bkty wrote

If you worked second shift with no predictable schedule, no TV for you.


JohnnyAK907 t1_iu5us3o wrote

You mean when new seasons premiered every year, without the 2-3 year lag current shows seem to struggle with?
Oh yeah, that was horrible *eye roll*


KalopsiaComa t1_iu5ytnq wrote

Also the normal season episode count was upwards of 30 episodes and rolled over into the next year, usually leaving a short 6 month wait. Even the hour long dramas like ER took over half a year to air.

It never actually felt that long, especially compared to today's 8 episodes every 18 months


HazelCheese t1_iu6146r wrote

The worst thing back then was the christmas and superbowl breaks. So annoying for a show to go on break for 4 weeks because of some random sporting event.


FickleSmark t1_iu6znim wrote

Always Sunny is getting pretty bad lately, Huge wait times and then the episodes are super short and the seasons get more and more condensed.


Skavau t1_iu8ef3x wrote

Yes, but those 20 episodes a season were procedural. Most of the episodes didn't really matter because they were self-contained.

When you get to 30+ it's drifting into soap opera tier quality.

Whilst there are less episodes per show now, there's way more shows.


MrPotatoButt t1_iu7bi6w wrote

Also, before streaming, popular shows would have a second airing that week, and they'd rerun the entire season over the summer, because "the big three" wouldn't release new content over the summer.

I get really pissed off now that FIOS doesn't make previous seasons of their broadcast/cable network shows available for free "on demand". I deliberately won't bother checking out Ghosts (CBS) in its second season, because I'm not paying for a Paramount+ subscription to watch Ghosts first season, and I don't torrent on a whim anymore.


madmadaa t1_iu6fm3n wrote

There were replays and reruns and internet too. It wasn't nearly as bad as waiting for 2 years.


McFeely_Smackup t1_iuc5yhn wrote

Back in the old days you had one chance to watch an episode, and once more in summer reruns... Then it was gone forever.

And before VCR's, you literally had to plan your ass to be in front of the TV at air time.