“I want to watch that, but who has the time?”
Like the personal injury lawyer ads ask, has this ever happened to you? In the age of Peak TV, it’s hard to imagine that it hasn’t. When there are more scripted TV shows each year than even a professional TV-watcher like myself can get to, what hope do civilians — or even the people responsible for making these shows — have to keep up with it all?
That’s why Rolling Stone has partnered with OBB Sound for a new podcast that hopes to take a sharp blade to the Gordian knot of 21st century television: Too Long; Didn’t Watch.
In each episode, I sit down with a celebrity guest — including Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Scheer, Lena Dunham, Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally — who has identified a famous, culture-shaking television show they just never got around to watching, from the explosive character drama of Breaking Bad to the small-town political satire of Parks and Recreation. We watch the very first episode of the show they’ve never seen before…
… and then we jump straight to the series finale. And they have to figure out what the hell happened in between, with a little help from me. (The trailer embedded above gives you some flavor of how it works.)
We’ve been recording episodes for a while now, and it’s been both fun and illuminating to see these shows through the eyes of people who are watching them for the first time in this extreme way. Some shows make a surprising amount of sense when you put the pilot and the finale right next to each other, while others are utterly baffling. Some of the guests wound up cursing me out for spoiling a show they realized they liked enough to want to watch the normal way. Others thanked me for saving them a whole lot of time.
Too Long; Didn’t Watch will premiere Tuesday, January 12th, with a pair of episodes — Alison Brie trying to make sense of Game of Thrones, and Jon Hamm experiencing Gossip Girl for the first (and probably last) time — with additional episodes dropping weekly after that. You can subscribe now at Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.