one less universe, but there are still a whole lot more

I’ve always enjoyed watching things (or listening to them) more than once, so it seems that I don’t want as much new entertainment as some people do. I remember in the early days of the pandemic (remember those days?) there were a lot of articles about people desperate for more things to stream and binge and so on. Of course, I don’t know if that was what regular people were really most concerned about (compared, for example, to the inexplicable need to acquire a lot of toilet paper).

I wasn’t really worried about that (either the lack of a supply of new streaming stuff or the toilet paper, actually), but I did note 1) the pandemic meant that comic book stores mostly closed and new comic books stopped coming out, which was too bad, and 2) as I said back then, the DC Universe app was probably going to go away (for business reasons not connected with the pandemic). So, no more Doom Patrol, or Swamp Thing, or Stargirl, or Harley Quinn (I tried to get into Titans, but no. No siree, sir. Not for me, sir.*).

So, now DC Universe, as predicted, is becoming a “platform” focused on comic books, and all the TV shows will be going to HBO MAX, which is a huge thing with content from Warner Brothers, HBO, and other movie studios and all sorts of other stuff. I’m not subscribing to that — that’s too much content and too much opportunity for wasting time.

For example, as I’ve said before, I’ve been dipping into Game of Thrones (backwards, though I’ve watched the first few episodes as well). If I subscribed to HBO MAX, I’d have instant access to all 73 episodes of the show. That’s too much all at once. One of the things I liked about the DC Universe shows was that you could not binge them — they came out one episode a week (as TV is supposed to do).

Well, DC Universe was fun while it lasted. The second season of Doom Patrol wasn’t that great anyway (as I said before, “Funny and tragic and bonkers in pretty much equal portions — that’s the correct recipe for the Doom Patrol.” — but the second season lost most of the funny). And the second season of Stargirl will be on the CW anyway.

And producing future episodes of any of the shows will depend on the pandemic (except for Harley Quinn — I assume you can produce cartoon shows with social distancing).

But losing DC Universe was one thing. I was more concerned about Big Finish, since audio drama is far more important to me than TV. Big Finish produces their audios far in advance, I know, but if they’re not making new ones, eventually the pipeline will be empty.

So, I was really glad to see that now they are recording their stories remotely. All the actors are in their homes, in homemade sound booths. For example, Louise Jameson (who plays Leela in the Dr. Who stories) was in a stairwell in her house, surrounded by mattresses.

TV and movies need so much more — big budgets and actors in close proximity and special effects and so on — but radio is still the realm of imagination, and listening to another adventure of the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela is as much fun as ever.

Good actors and a good story and the audience’s imagination — that’s still the best.

• “No siree, sir. Not for me, sir.” was an expression used by the character Sade on Vic & Sade — my parents’ favorite radio show, from before television existed. Radio is a tradition in my family.

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