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Apple TV

I am an Apple customer (or fan, at least) going back to the early 1980s.

In fourth grade (1983), the teacher had an Apple IIG in the classroom, which I would use to make primitive programs in LOGO and BASIC.

Surely, every kid of that time remembers this program, or a version of it:

10 PRINT "Poop"

20 GOTO 10

In Logo, I figured out how to have the cursor draw a Death Star, which would then explode.

In fifth and sixth grade, we had an Apple IIc, and the teacher (my favorite ever, hello John Budris!) even let me take it home over the summer.

I remember there was a switch on the back that would let you change the keyboard from QWERTY to the little-used “DVORAK” alternate keyboard, which was supposedly faster for typing, but never caught on.

Space Quarks and Lemonade were favorite games, on the yellow floppy “games” disk that came with the computer. Ah, good times.

When Macs were introduced, a friend of mine’s family had one, and I was captivated.

Later, I would stop by EduComp in Vineyard Haven (at their original location on Upper Main Street) and they’d let me play on one with MacPaint.

So I’m a longstanding Apple customer.

But these streaming wars, man...

Like a lot of families, we have Netflix, because you gotta have Netflix. Prime we have because we buy from Amazon anyway. Max we have because I’m a longstanding HBO customer.

That’s three. Like every other geek sucker, I need Disney+ for Star Wars, and Paramount+ for Star Trek.

So it’s hard to justify adding a sixth, let alone a seventh.

When I got a new iPhone a few years ago, it came with six months of free AppleTV, which I tried out. But I let it lapse.

Curious to check out some of their recent productions, I saw that they are doing a “free three months” promotion, so I signed up.

There’s a lot of good-looking stuff. And it’s very clear what their “upscale tastemaker” brand is.

I’m not going to review anything here. I just want to’s weird the way things are “siloed” now (not intending to single out a platform with a show literally called Silo).

You know how in movies there are fake movies that the characters watch?

Oftentimes when I’m on these menus, it feels like a bunch of fake movies. I see huge movie stars in evidently big-budget productions that are already two to three years old—and I swear I have never heard of them. And I’m a fan!

It’s a little strange, and a little sad, that we’re all segregated by platform now. And that there are multiple ecosystems of movies that are just like trees falling in empty forests.

I was never a big believer in mass-market entertainment, but there was something good about a movie or show that came along and everybody watched it and thought it was cool and liked to talk about it.

Maybe the last one was Game of Thrones?

Usually for a film or show to have that wide a reach and deep a hold on a public’s imagination, it had to be really, transcendently great.

That seemed to say something about the power of art, even if it was mass pop art.

Strangely, as much money as the Avatar movies make, it’s as if nobody actually likes them. They are dazzling and seem to lure everybody on a reptilian level to go see them, but it’s like we resent them for it. I dunno.

There are, of course, many worse problems we face!

Although, when you think about it, the only real problem is that we are fundamentally divided into two different “tribes,” and these are reflected in our entertainment.

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Jeff Berkwits
Jeff Berkwits
28 dic 2023

It's so interesting you mention "Game of Thrones" as the last big "everyone had to watch it" event program. My wife and I were talking about that too, in light of a segment on CBS Sunday Morning just this past weekend about a show called "The Chosen" (link to story:

The reporter compared that program, in terms of audience numbers, to GoT. Yet neither of us had ever heard of it. Of course, given that it's about the life of Jesus we're not the target audience. The fact that we don't subscribe to that particular streaming channel also may play a factor.

Still, there's a real sense of loss, at least to a boomer like me, that we all…

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I'm also an Apple/Mac guy from way back but I don't do the streaming thing, due to having to have all the streaming channels.

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