Thursday, August 15, 2013
When summer ends and fall begins, there are certain traditions that people look forward to: football, cooler weather, the holidays being just around the corner. For me, the thing I like best about the arrival of fall is the new TV season.
As I was growing up, I remember looking forward every year to the arrival of the “Fall Preview Issue” of “TV Guide.” It was thicker than the regular issues, and it had all the scoop on the shows premiering that year and what to expect from returning shows. This was back when the magazine only focused on the major networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox – or the “Big Four” as they are commonly known. Every year the magazine would always pick out which show was the one to watch.
For old timers like me, the main source for TV entertainment, news or sports used to be the Big Four. But in the ’80s and ’90s, cable channels started sprouting up that fit a certain niche. Some examples were CNN for 24-hour news, HBO for 24-hour movies, MTV for 24 hours of music videos and ESPN for 24-hour sports. And if that wasn’t enough, we started to have channels devoted to shopping (QVC), cooking (Food Network and the Cooking Channel) and home decorating (HGTV). It was during this time that cable channels started offering their own shows. Some early successes included HBO’s “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City” and MTV’s “The Real World” and “Beavis and Butthead.”
In the 2000s, the way we watch TV started to change again. Now you can watch popular shows on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Netflix has gotten in the game by producing new episodes of “Arrested Development” and their new show “House of Cards” that stream online. The daytime dramas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” have found new life by streaming new episodes on the websites Hulu and iTunes after being cancelled by ABC.
Another thing that has changed the way we watch TV is the release of many TV shows on DVD. Now you can collect your favorite shows and watch them anytime you want and in any order that you want. This is really great when you fall in love with a show and it only lasts one year or two. In the past, such shows usually were never seen again. Today, chances are that these short-lived shows will be released on DVD, like “Firefly,” “My So-Called Life,” “Once and Again” and my personal favorite from the 2011-12 season, “GCB.”
Did you know that you can check out seasons of TV shows at the library? We carry a good selection of shows from each decade from the 1950s on. There are TV classics such as “I Love Lucy,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Star Trek,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Golden Girls,” “Roseanne,” “Friends” and “Seinfeld.” We carry HBO shows such as “The Sopranos,” “Sex and the City,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood.” For fans of British TV, we carry “Downton Abbey” as well as “Midsomer Murders,” “Upstairs Downstairs,” “Absolutely Fabulous” and “Keeping Up Appearances.” For you sci-fi fans, we have “Angel,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Stargate Atlantis.”
Working in the library, I see a lot of requests from patrons wanting TV shows that air on cable, such as AMC’s “Mad Men,” FX’s “American Horror Story,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” and Showtime’s “Homeland.”
If you like what’s currently being broadcast, but you don’t have a DVR, or you don’t have cable, we carry “The Big Bang Theory,” “Desperate Housewives,” “House M.D.” “CSI” and “Bones,” to name a few.
In September, come by the library and check out my TV display. It’s a display I do every year promoting our television DVDs, but also books about TV, such as “Television Shows that Changed Our Lives” edited by Cutler Durkee, “Best of the Britcoms: From ‘Fawlty Towers’ to ‘The Office’” by Garry Berman, and “The Oprah Winfrey Show: Reflections on an American Legacy” by Deborah Davis. If you are wanting to read the novels that spun off into series we carry the “Dexter novels” by Jeffry Lindsay, the “Sookie Stackhouse” series by Charlaine Harris and “Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin.
STAR Therapy Dogs (all ages)
Saturday, Aug. 17 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Make a furry friend, and read a book with your new pal. Certified therapy dogs and their handlers love a good story.
Teen Movie (grades 6-12)
Monday, Aug. 19 at 4 p.m.
“Beautiful Creatures.” Rated PG-13; 124 minutes.
Mount Pleasant Cribbage Club (adults)
Tuesday Aug. 20 from 2-3 p.m.
Learn to play the classic game of Cribbage, or enjoy a challenging match. No experience necessary.
Healthy Back-to-School Lunches (all ages)
Saturday, Aug. 24 at 11 a.m.
Learn how to shop for and prepare back-to-school lunches your whole family will enjoy. Presented by Generation Healthy Kids.
Babygarten (0 – 18 months with adult) *Registration requested; call branch for details.
Tuesdays, Aug. 20 and 27 at 10:30 a.m.
Wednesdays, Aug. 14, 21 and 28 at 10:30 a.m.
Family Storytime (ages 19 months – 6 years)
Thursdays, Aug. 15, 22 and 29 at 10:30 a.m.
If you’d like to receive a monthly email with the Mount Pleasant Regional Library’s program calendar, please email MtpReference@ccpl.org.
Rick Pelletier is a reference librarian at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road and 843-849-6161. He can frequently be found watching “The Golden Girls” on his lunch break.