My latest topic o’uselessness on twitter was being late to parties. Not real parties, of course, but the proverbial ones. You know what I mean. As I was watching the last two episodes of Season 4 of The Wire today, I was thinking to myself how incredibly good this show is…and then I thought of how people were saying that seven years ago.
The more I thought about it, I realized I can’t think of a single TV show (with multiple seasons under its belt, still broadcasting or cancelled) that I love and have watched from day one. I think the closest I’ve come is 30 Rock, but even then I missed a good chunk of the first season. I was busy thinking Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was the good “behind the comedy sketch show scene” show*. Hm. But really, let’s examine this: Sports Night. LOST. How I Met Your Mother. Arrested Development. Family Guy. The Office. Flight of the Conchords. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. West Wing. Big Love. Some of these I jumped on a season or two in, some of them not even until they were over. For several years.
I make the specification of multiple seasons just because we don’t know how things will play out, and (*)clearly I have television judgement issues. Shows may start out great but then they start sucking: Desperate Housewives. Or shows that I loved only made it through one season, if that: Justice. Or a combination of both: The Nine. Six. Perhaps other numbered shows.
I don’t fare much better with music. I’m a huge fan of Ray Lamontagne, but didn’t discover him until right before his second album came out. I love Jimmy Eat World but I didn’t catch on to them until, geez, their fourth album, I think? Anyway I can think of very few bands that I have found without recommendation from others, or seeing them in a public forum considered to book successful artists. Though if Coconut Records (Jason Schwartzman) becomes more commercially successful, we can forget this whole paragraph. Or at least I’ll have one example to the contrary of the general theme I’m portraying here.
Though I guess it’s a little more difficult to say “you knew them when” for bands/musical acts. With TV shows, they are either made or they aren’t. You can’t have varying levels of “underground” with TV shows. I guess the closest you would come to such a thing is what they call a cult following? With music, you can argue you saw an act live before an album ever came out, or an independently produced album or record only had like 30 sales or some such craziness, or hell, you saw them on VH1’s “You Outta Know”. I don’t know.
I’ve only mentioned TV and music, but certainly there are books* and movies* too.
What I’m trying to find out is, am I the only one that is late to any and seemingly all pop culture parties? Or have you been the first and only guest to arrive at a party that sunk harder than the Titanic?
*Didn’t start reading Harry Potter until Book 4 had come out. *Didn’t see Shawshank Redemption until maybe three years ago.