Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What's On TV?

TigerBlog needs a new show.

Or at least the new seasons of some of his old ones.

Why is it that some shows just jump out at you from the first episode and others that are very similar just never click? How many times have you heard someone say that they couldn't get into one show or another when you loved it from the go, or the opposite, that they rave about a show that you never got past the first few episodes.

Here's a short list of shows that TB couldn't get into, for whatever reason:
"Mad Men"
"Game of Thrones"
"The Walking Dead"
"The Wire"
"Friday Night Lights"

The list could go on and on. But hey, those are some of the most popular shows of the last few years, and TB never got past the first episode or two - or even less than one.

And have you ever tried to get into a new show? Netflix and Amazon have become what the video store used to be. Instead of walking around stacks and stacks of movies trying to pick one, it's scrolling through rows and rows of shows, never knowing which one might be a good one to try out.

Then you finally settle on one and it does nothing for you.

The concept of the video store seems like a quaint one now. For a few years, they were everywhere. You'd walk in, walk around the aisles, see all these movies you always meant to watch but never went to and then finally circle back to one. You'd pick up the box, take it to the check out counter, get popcorn, go home - and then immediately wonder why you even considered for a second that this would be a good movie.

Seriously. If you got one good movie in 10 tries, that was a good average. At least these days, you can try out a show, give up in five minutes and try another one - all without ever leaving your couch.

Viewing habits evolve all the time. If TB had to use a word to describe it, he would use "impatient." People want to see what they want to see immediately. That's where the whole "binge-watching" concept originates.

Who wants to watch a show that's on once a week at a set time? Just release the whole season, and people will watch it whenever they want.

Maybe the place this has most exploded, thanks to social media, is in watching sports highlights. Certainly that's how TB thinks.

He watches very little sports on television. He's said this before, but he definitely watches more streamed college sports than he does live professional sports. He would much rather see the highlight of the game-winning shot of an NBA game on social media than he would watch the entire game.

He hasn't watched any of the NBA playoffs. He's watched a little NHL hockey, mostly Ottawa, as he continues to root for Mike Condon to get a Stanley Cup ring. And bring the Stanley Cup to Princeton.

But hey he's getting way ahead of things there.

The NBA playoffs won't end until June. The NHL will probably run that late too, right?

For now, TB will focus on the coming weekend of college sports, especially - but not limited to - Princeton.

This coming weekend features, among other things, the Ivy League men's and women's lacrosse tournaments, Heptagonal track and field and the Ivy League softball championship series. Princeton will be heavily involved in all of those.

The women's lax tournament, as TB said yesterday, is at Cornell. The men are at Yale, as is the track meet. And a forecast of rain.

The softball championships are right here at Princeton.

The matchup will be the champion of the South Division, Princeton, against the North Division champ, Harvard. It's a rematch of last year's series at Harvard, which Princeton won in three games.

For the winner, there will be the Ivy League championship and a spot in the NCAA regionals.

Princeton swept Harvard in Cambridge earlier this season. A year ago, the teams split during the regular season. TB is pretty sure he can go back and find years where a team that swept during the regular season got swept in the championship series.

Princeton sprinted away from the South Division to earn its spot in the series. Harvard did it the hard way, sweeping Dartmouth in the final weekend to win its side.

Princeton has a team batting average of .304, making the Tigers the only team in the league above .300 as a team. Harvard is second in the league in ERA, at .370. Princeton ranks fifth in pitching; Harvard ranks sixth in hitting.

The teams do rank 1-2 in the league in fielding.

What do the stats suggest? Nothing.

Lisa Van Ackeren, in her fifth year as Princeton head coach, has done a great job with the program. The Tigers had not won a South Division since 2008; now the team has won two in two years.

Van Ackeren is one of the easiest coaches here to work with, and one of the easiest to root for. Actually, TB hasn't spent much time around the softball team, but from what he sees, they're a close group, from the coaching staff through the players. They all seem easy to root for.

This weekend, with an Ivy title at stake against a big rival, it's even easier.

No comments: