Same Time, Same Station
A familiar phrase popped into my head recently and it got me thinking…
Do you remember hearing “Same Time, Same Station?” I heard it often as a kid when one of my favorite TV shows, like Superman or Carol Burnett or Andy Griffith signed off for the week. My parents heard the same phrase as Fibber McGee and Molly or The Lone Ranger or Mystery Theater signed off on the radio a generation earlier. My kids have never heard Same Time, Same Station.
What’s changed? For one, everything now is On Demand—Netflix, Hulu, Disney, all the streaming services. But what’s lost? That sweet anticipation and expectation of having to wait a week to see if Superman would die from the kryptonite or if Roy Rogers really succumbed to that gunshot wound. Part of the thrill of stories whether you read, watch, or listen to them is the need to know, the burning desire to find out What Happens Next?
What Happens Next?
First, the VCR and then streaming took that away. I can binge-watch the next episode of Stranger Things and I’ll find out what happens next. I don’t have to wait. But half the fun is not knowing, guessing with your friends on the next fateful fall or the will-they or won’t they of romance. Will Richard Castle finally kiss Detective Kate Beckett? Will Lorelai Gilmore ever find true love?
This change in viewing and listening and even reading habits has me worried. The joys of anticipation in modern life are giving way to the relentless desire for instant gratification. But isn’t the anticipation of an event in a story even more engaging and suspenseful than the consummation; the build-up more of a joy than the climax; the journey and struggles of life more satisfying than the accomplishments?
Then there was the stability and reliability of knowing yes, Clark Kent, Big Hoss, and the Smothers Brothers will be back next week. And guess what? I can’t wait.
Do you remember Same Time, Same Station? If you do, please share in the COMMENTS below what you were watching or listening to when you heard it.
And read for FREE some of Charles Levin’s short stories:
P.S. My original fast-paced thriller NOT SO DEAD and the Sam Sunborn Series are also available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com
If you like short reads you can really finish, grab a copy of my short story collections: The Last Appointment: 30 Collected Short Stories