I haven't owned an operating television in almost a decade now. I do occassionally watch TV outside my home, but only if its prerecorded and the commercials are skippable. People think TV is free, but it isn't. You pay with brain cells full of commercial jingles, catch-phrases, and sound bytes. It's a unidirectional medium; nonetheless I find myself unable to resist talking back to it when its on. This, I maintain, is a healthy reaction, no matter how much it annoys people. It is easy to demonstrate that the producers of television's content are all interested in frightening us, in one way or another, to one end or another, and the social effects of this collective anxiety were way out of control forty years ago. Now we're so far gone it almost seems normal to exist in a state of perpetually vibrating anxiety about the world and our individual places in it.

In spite of all that's bad about television, occassionally an auteur or group of auteurs manages to get it right and say something meaningful over the din of newscasters and life insurance ads. Fortunately, today, these great shows are almost always available in digital format, without commercials or with commercials that can be easily bypassed, and can be appreciated more or less as film. So this is the place where I write about movies that were unlucky enough to be born as TV shows.