Television has never been better. There are not enough hours in the day to watch all the TV goodness that’s out there. From Netflix to Stan to SBS On Demand… there are 99 shows I want to watch immediately and this is a problem. Because I’ve always been one of those people who likes to have the TV on in the background, particularly while I’m working.
And the quality of the shows means I just can’t do that anymore. The Handmaid’s Tale is not a show you half-watch while you do your BAS. Orange Is The New Black is not a show you glance up at every few minutes while you write this post. Big Little Lies is not a show you dip in and out of as you reply to an email from Leonie in marketing about the presentation she’s putting together about global synergies.
What you need while you’re doing those things is a Background Show. Not a must-watch-every-moment-because-it’s-so-good show. Not a show that you need to concentrate on ferociously if you want to understand what the hell is going on (see: House of Cards, Game of Thrones).
There’s an art to choosing a good background show. They can’t be too intense. Or move too fast. They have to have a certain samey-ness to them so that you can look up every so often and tune your concentration in and out while you do other things.