TV is Like a Cookie

Last week, Tara accused me of being a music snob.

“What do you mean, a music snob?!” I demanded, incensed by this allegation of music snobbery. I pass no judgment, whether you listen to Neil Young or Neil Diamond. Or even Neil Sedaka, for crying out loud (but you’re way cooler if you listen to Neil Young).

Oh, shit. Maybe I am a music snob…

Tara, who enjoys two of the three Neils, then accused me of having an affinity for “the deep tracks.” In other words, album cuts – songs that have not been played to death on the radio. And I have to admit, she’s right about that. No matter how great a song is, it begins to wear out its welcome by about the 30th listen. Look, I love “Another Brick in the Wall,” but for god’s sake I wish that teacher would just leave those damn kids alone already. It doesn’t stop there. We’ve all heard the tale of Billie Jean, claiming she got knocked up despite our protagonist’s insistence that the kid is not his son. A simple paternity test could have resolved this issue thirty years ago! The longer the song, the more excruciatingly painful and drawn out it seems, too. Three minutes would have been plenty of time for Jude to take a sad song and make it better, but we have to put up with seven minutes and about a hundred “na na na na”s first. By then I’m kinda wishing the rumors of Paul’s demise hadn’t been mere rumor.


Maybe that explains why I’m drawn to those lesser-known songs. I’ll take “Lost in the Flood” over “Born in the USA,” “Sister Morphine” over “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” over “Smells Like Teen Spirit” any day of the week.

I even went so far as to say that should my favorite obscure local band, The Moondoggies, ever get one of their songs played on the radio I’d have to stop listening to them. Admittedly, that declaration veered a bit too close to blasphemy, so I added a quick

Oh, I’d still listen to them. I’d just skip over the popular song.

OK, fine. Tara was right. I am a music snob. Destroying any last shred of doubt, I came across an article titled “11 Signs You’re a Music Snob” and didn’t even make it past #1 (“You hate everything on the radio”). Yes, I think live shows are better. Yes, I like Pitchfork. Yes, I judge artists by how they look. Yes, I regularly use vinyl. Yes, I’m a music snob. musicsnob2

Yes. Yes. Yes.

And yes, I think Yes is pretentious.

Fortunately, I’m much less of a television snob. I have about twenty episodes combined of Shark Tank and Naked And Afraid on the DVR, stacked up like planes on the tarmac waiting to be cleared for takeoff. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy quote/unquote “quality” television. We just finished watching all five seasons of The Wire, a show that came highly recommended by – well, everybody – and yeah, it lived up to the hype. And we just started the third season of Orange is the New Black, only we don’t binge watch like so many other people. To be frank, I don’t get the appeal. Sure, it satisfies your craving for Instant Gratification, but wouldn’t you prefer to savor something, drawing it out and enjoying it slowly? If somebody handed me a chocolate chip cookie I wouldn’t shove the whole thing in my mouth – I’d take little bites and chew them slowly in order to make the whole thing last longer. TV is like a cookie.

I’m not saying binge watching is wrong. Hey, if that’s what floats your boat, go for it! I just personally think if you knock out a whole season of something – anything – in one fell swoop, you are preventing suspense from building. I like to let the details of something I have been watching sink in slowly so I can reflect upon tiny plot intricacies and maybe better understand a character’s motivations. Hard to do so when resolution is just a remote control click away. I looked at my Netflix queue to see when we started The Wire and had to laugh. The first disc of Season 1 arrived November 16. 2013. We are the very antithesis of binge-watchers.


So, I’m curious. If given the opportunity, would you binge watch a favorite television show, or would you rather take a break between each episode? There are no right or wrong answers here. I could very well be in the minority. Hell, I probably am. And while I’m askin’, do you consider yourself a music snob, or are you okay hearing “Stairway to Heaven” for the millionth time? Oh, and if you are a music snob, tell me about a band I should be listening to.

18 thoughts on “TV is Like a Cookie

  1. Re: Binge Watching – we do both actually. I have sat and binge-watched shows on Netflix when I work at home (Generally M*A*S*H* or the Tudors – dont judge) but I don’t have to pay too much attention to them. Shawn and I are currently in the middle of Dr Who and The Blacklist – and we tend to pick them up and put them down, but the Blacklist is excellent and we’ve done 6 + episodes a time there. Dr Who drives me a bit nuts (its a bit weird for my taste) but I still like it. So, it could go either way I suppose.

    And as far as music goes, we’ve talked about my tastes multiple times so I think we’re good there (Although I like both – indie stuff not on the radio and current pop stuff)


    1. I actually did binge watch Lost back in 2007…the first two seasons, anyway. I got into it late and was trying to get caught up before Season 3 began so I would know everything that was going on with the show.

      HA HA HA HA HA…

      I still don’t know what that damn finale was all about.


  2. I’m a musician. I listen to everything and like most of it, as long as it’s not the rendition of some production formula. My radio listening is sporadic. I buy new releases from artists I trust, which kinda puts me at a disadvantage for discovering new (to me) people. But I stumble along and find young new artists as I go.

    And I love the PDX background.


  3. The closest thing to binge watching was last summer when we watched all seasons of Breaking Bad in about two months.

    I may be the opposite of a music snob because I rarely like a song or album on first listen. But I’m sort of snobby about styles as I really only like alternative and some classic rock. My son only listens to bands that would never get airplay. He likes Foxygen and Of Montreal. I can’t stand either, so I guess the generation gap is real!


    1. Ha. I think I’d get along with your son…I not only like Of Montreal, but also some of their offshoots (Panda Bear, Kishi Bashi). But once Kishi Bashi’s song was used in that Apple commercial, I kind of lost interest. See? Total snob!

      My daughter binge watched Breaking Bad last summer, and I will admit to getting drawn into the story all over again, even though I’d seen the whole series at least once.


  4. I’ve done the binge watching thing, but that’s usually because I am so far behind the rest of the world on what’s in that I have to binge to catch up. And I still do, with my favorite shows that are over, if I need an infusion of True Blood or Firefly or Breaking Bad.
    I’m about as far away from a music snob as you can get, since I’m both a Fanilow, and a Monkees fan. Of course, I adore Paul Simon, Bette Midler & James Taylor, as well as Queen Latifah, too, so I have varied tastes. I enjoy what I enjoy and let others do the same. Just don’t make me listen to electronica, okay?


      1. Ugh, still sucks. Although there are some thrash metal & punk versions of that song that are much better than the original!
        You do know that the Monkees really weren’t the musical idiots you seem to think they were, right? If you aren’t aware, perhaps I should write a post and do some educating! Unsnob you a bit….


  5. I am a total binge watcher. And I fail to see how your identity as a music snob is a surprise. For someone who writes so passionately about the live music scene and equates all pivotal moments of his life to a song or a band… Really Mark? LOL I’m with Tara.


    1. Can’t argue with you there, Jess. Guilty as charged – on all counts! FWIW, I really dug you and your hubby’s version of ES&TMZ’s “Home” during your wedding reception.


  6. My binge watching is more akin to enjoying the occasional 3-course meal than binging. I can’t watch more than three episodes of anything in a row (not even for House of Cards, Breaking Bad, or Orange is the New Black). It makes the hubby crazy during football season. I don’t care if the teams are different – it’s the same game!

    I am definitely not the music snob. Sure hearing the same music over and over again on the radio is awful which is why I still flip to the college station on occasion – yes, they can play a ton of junk at times, but at least it is junk I’ve never heard. Sometimes though they help me discover a brand new gem.


    1. I have discovered more new bands through KEXP’s (Seattle college radio station) free download of the day than I can count…including my beloved Moondoggies!

      “House of Cards” may be up next for us. Which means we should be all caught up by February 2018…


  7. ” If given the opportunity, would you binge watch a favorite television show, or would you rather take a break between each episode?”

    I would definitely bing watch without a break. I did that with several shows on DVD (Sex and the City, Project Runway, Will and Grace, Six Feet Under).

    I wouldn’t call myself a music snob because I don’t mind hearing certain popular songs repeatedly. And I also have such an eclectic taste in music that I enjoy many different genres.


    1. I have always wanted to check out “Six Feet Under” because of Michael C. Hall. Guess we’ll have to add that one to our queue and plan on devoting three or four years to catching up!


  8. My kid and I were just talking to a musician we know last week before a Neko Case concert–the tech guy had tunes playing before sound check, and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Wagon Wheel came on. Our musician friend said, “I really hate this band,” to which I took exception because Old Crow can play, and put on one hell of an energetic show. He shook his head and said, “Oh, I know they’re good, maybe even great, but I hate them because Darius Rucker’s cover of that song sold a million copies. If it weren’t for that song, I’d love them, but I hate them.”

    And this is a guy who is working towards a recording contract. I’m still trying to figure out what he’s thinking, or how it makes sense. I’ve known him since he was 7 or 8–should I prepare to hate him if his band takes off?


    1. I don’t think I’m quite that bad…I might hate Darius Rucker in that case because he sold a million copies of a song that was not his, but I wouldn’t fault Old Crow Medicine Show for that. Guess I’m not quite as snobby as I could be. Whew!


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