A #MeToo Television?

Woody Allen doesn’t appear to have been relegated to the “never again” category of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and a few others, but he’s been considered pervy enough for long enough that at least some people are giving him the Edgar Allan Poe “Nevermore” treatment.  One of those people, it turns out, is Mrs. Curmudgeon, so when her husband suggested that they watch together the Woody Allen mini-series Crisis in Six Scenes on Amazon Prime, she gave her husband a quick eye roll that made it clear he’d be watching alone.

Kind of creepy before it really became a thing

The series was…okay.  Not great, not as bad as many of the reviews, but certainly no regrets over less than three hours of viewing.  It had a few, but not enough, of those wonderful Woody Allen observations, non sequiturs, and wisecracks that make you smile, and watching Elaine May play his wife and pretty much steal every scene she was in was fun – if nothing else, Allen has always been generous to his co-stars – but it wasn’t great television.

And there was never a second season because, well, you know.

But that’s not why The Curmudgeon is writing about this.

The Curmudgeon watched Crisis in Six Scenes through the Amazon Prime channel on his Apple TV. (Serious point:  when The Curmudgeon first read about Apple TV he didn’t understand what it actually was and just shook his head, unable to understand why Apple would get into the business of manufacturing televisions. That’s his second worst of such observations:  in the mid-1970s someone asked him what he thought of the new Hondas and he replied that he didn’t like motorcycles.)  Apple TV is one of several devices now available to stream web content onto your television:  there’s also Google Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire, and surely many others The Curmudgeon has heard of but doesn’t realize fall into the same category.  If you’re familiar with these devices, you know the drill:  you turn your television to a certain setting, you pick up a different remote – remember when you could watch television with just one gizmo in your hand? – and seconds later you have a whole different pool of channels about which you can eventually declare “There’s nothing to watch.”

Crisis in Six Scenes consists of six 23-minute episodes, set in the late 1960s or early 1970s, when the war in Vietnam was still being fought, in which the home of Woody Allen and Elaine May, playing a married couple – he’s a writer (surprise!) and she’s a psychologist or marriage counselor – is invaded by a young woman Elaine May’s character knows, played by Miley Cyrus, who is being hunted by police after shooting a prison guard.

So why does The Curmudgeon call this “#MeToo Television”?

Because every time The Curmudgeon started to watch an episode his television, which otherwise works perfectly well, turned itself off.


Just – on one minute and then a blank screen the next.

This doesn’t happen when he watches Phillies games.

Doesn’t happen when he and Mrs. Curmudgeon watch John Oliver or The West Wing or The Newsroom or New Girl or Grace and Frankie or Rachel Maddow or Homeland or Bunheads.

Doesn’t happen when Mrs. Curmudgeon watches The Affair, Bloodlines, Better Call Saul, Succession,Silicon Valley, or anything else.

Doesn’t happen when Mr. and Mrs. Curmudgeon watch other programs on Amazon, such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Goliath.

Doesn’t even happen when The Curmudgeon watches Fox News or Fox & Friends, just to see what the bad guys are saying.

But every time – every single time – The Curmudgeon watched Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes the television just turned itself off.

As if it was sending some kind of #MeToo message.

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