We Already Have Cable

Today’s Lesson: Sometimes not knowing is better.


I dropped cable television long before it was popular and I have not looked back since… until Marvel decided to change media forever. The comic book giant has created a strategy (that is already being copied by its competitors) that ingeniously ties its films (the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” or “MCU”) with its television shows and comic books. Even better (or worse, depending on your perspective), the movies and shows are often timed together.

The “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” television show was essentially prelude and prologue to the Captain America and Avengers movies. The Daredevil show on Netflix ties to the movies as well. Marvel is doing something never tried at such scale and is executing it brilliantly–nearly every show and movie has been a hit so far. I can’t imagine the walls of sticky notes in board rooms somewhere, tying everything together.

Anyway, a surprising result of this is, for the first time since I left the clutches of Comcast, I am considering going back to cable. Netflix is slow to release shows (a season a year after it has run is typical, which means losing the unifying parts of the shows and movies and seeing things out-of-order). Hulu has not lived up to its promise yet, and the networks such as HBO have not figured out how to create great streaming apps and access to rival Netflix.

The point of all this is to share a conversation I had with Nicole. “I have been thinking about buying a small TV and going back to cable just so we can watch our shows as they come out,” I said.

“Promise you won’t get mad,” she replied (which, of course, means you are about to get mad). “Remember when we moved in here and you said you wanted the fastest internet possible and absolutely didn’t want cable because we would never use it, no matter what the sales rep tries to pitch me? Well… it was still cheaper for me to get the fastest possible internet packaged with cable than by itself… so I did. We have had cable all along.”

Ironically, even if I had a television set right then, I didn’t have a coaxial cord to plug it into the wall, so… for the last several months, I have not been doing a great job sticking it to the Man. Whoops.

On the plus side, the next time I want to catch a current show on television, all I have to do is buy everything except the cable service.

I’ll probably still stick with Netflix on my laptop, though. I still can’t stomach the idea of paying to watch bad commercials, even if I am already paying.