Now that streaming and pausing live television are second nature to most of us, it might be really simple to forget what life was like before technology revolutionized how we consume our entertainment. Anyone who was raised in the Netflix era of programming has no idea of the hardships the rest of us faced growing up. (And don’t even get me started on life before remote controls…)
Recently some good people took to Twitter to reminisce about the days when you had to catch your favorite show at the time that it aired (or somehow figure out how to set your VCR to record) in order to watch it at all. There was no DVR, there was no streaming, and there absolutely was no pausing — which, as we will see, often caused a boatload of problems.
Yep, there was a time when you had approximately 90 seconds in which to get things done in order to not miss a moment:
I feel sorry for Netflix era kids. They will never know the high stakes adrenaline of running to the bathroom/fridge/bedroom in a single ad break, with the beckoning call of a sibling screaming “It’s ONNNNNN” to send you hurdling over furniture to get back in time.
— Felicity (@FlossAus) October 14, 2018
"YOU MISSIN IT!!"
"I'm not peeing till the commercial!"
Bonus for when you would leave and someone would steal your seat or take the remote
— Burger Magic (@HamburgerJack) October 15, 2018
Now we can binge watch just about anything. You want to know what happens next? Click on the next episode. But back in the day? Nope.
The most-dreaded: "TO BE CONTINUED"
or even worse
"TUNE IN NEXT SEASON"
— horsd’oeuvresofthecourt (@tripphelms) October 15, 2018
Even worse is when the show gets cancelled so you never will get the conclusion to the cliffhanger.
— Stefan Anundi (@Starman1976) October 15, 2018
If you happened to be an unlucky viewer during a storm, you risked missing a key moment due to a blackout. And then guess what? You didn’t get to see what happened until the network decided to air that episode at some point in the future!
Or the power goes out right in the middle of the season finale 😬
— Sara W. (@minisara37) October 15, 2018
Similarly, you couldn’t risk skipping a week:
Or if you missed ONE episode; you were so screwed.
— Brooke (@brookecanary) October 15, 2018
Anyone ever host a viewing party for a season or series finale? How about for an important Ross and Rachel episode of Friends?
Because the next day you would be either talking about the same show with friends at School or FF at work. Lets not forget having parties to mark a mile stone event for a show at someone's home. Believe it or not TV was more social then, less channels.
— 𝓝𝓲𝓬𝓴𝔂 𝓓. (@myendlessejami) October 15, 2018
Or having friends on a 3 way call so you could all watch the episode together as it aired.
— Herrera (@MrsHerrera717) October 15, 2018
Life back then was dangerous:
I literally broke my toe in 2002 when my husband yelled "IT'S ONNNNNN" about Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I went running from the bedroom of our apartment to the living room and accidentally kicked the couch. #buffythevampireslayer
— Stephanie Alison Walker (@Littof) October 15, 2018
Those were the good old days, right? Actually, they don’t seem so great after all… I’ll binge watch my favorite content, thank you very much.