More entertainment in my life

About a month ago, I signed up for Hulu, one of the online television services. I used to watch stuff on Hulu for free, but it became a paid subscription. Thus ended my time with the service.

But a holiday offer pulled me back in — if I signed up, I would get Hulu for $5.99 a month for a year (plus the first month free, woo!). So I went to Hy-Vee and bought one of those Hulu gift cards for $25. It’s how I pay for my Netflix, so why not?

One of the most recent shows added to Hulu was all 15 seasons of “ER.” I didn’t start watching “ER” until three or so seasons in. I remember being huddled by the television, watching the likes of Anthony Edwards, Noah Wylie and George Clooney playing doctors at a Chicago hospital. It was fun at first, but eventually I lost interest (I mean, c’mon, 15 seasons). It started to drag for me. Now that I see that I can watch the seasons I’ve missed, I’m thinking, “hmm…should I give ‘ER’ another go?”

But there’s so many other shows on Hulu that have piqued my interest. All seven seasons of “The Golden Girls”? Oooo, fun. There’s “Taxi,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show, “WKRP in Cincinnati,” “MacGyver,” and “Gumby.” And that’s just a few in the “Classics” section. There’s episodes of new/current season shows available as well. But I haven’t started watching anything that has come out in the last, oh, five or so years (or more). But, if I want to watch all of “Perfect Strangers” (you all remember Balki, right?), I can tune in. Oh it’s so tempting to get sucked into a marathon of sorts.

Watching TV shows and movies online has sure become more the norm. I remember waiting until the next week until I could catch the next episode of a favorite show. And if I wanted to see a movie, we’d go to the movie theater. I remember going to see “E.T.” and “Return of the Jedi” with my dad (which I think are the last couple of movies he saw in a theater). Then came the day in 1983 when my dad brought home a VCR. Now that was a big deal. It was a big, silver, kinda clunky top-loader of a VCR. And it cost around $400. I even remember the first two rental movies he brought home to christen the VCR — “An Officer and a Gentleman” for him and Mom to watch, and “Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown” for me and my brother.

Over the years, we made use of that clunky VCR. I remember recovering from wisdom tooth removal and vaguely paying attention to “JFK.” There were the favorite shows we taped. I even took that VCR to college with me. It was a good, sturdy piece that lasted a long time.

I miss those days. But I have to admit I love the convenience of digital and streaming.