We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn

I’m not surprised to see that all of the streaming video services are cutting back on their offerings and downsizing to some extent.

Unlike the narrator in Bruce Springsteen’s song, for a few years now, it’s seemed like there were more than 57 channels, and something was always on. I found it literally impossible to keep up.

Of course, it didn’t help that I kept delving into old TV shows. I’m not a huge “Star Trek” fan, but I subscribed to Paramount+ to see “Picard” with Patrick Stewart — and instead, I found myself watching “Hawaii Five-O.” (The original one. Don’t talk to me about the reboot.) Lately I’ve been re-watching “Cheers” from the beginning.

I’m paying $5.99 per month to watch 40-year-old TV shows that used to run for free? What a world, what a world.

Like I said, I’m not a huge “Star Trek” fan, but as a Gen-X’er, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” hit me right at an impressionable age for a young nerd, so I was looking forward to “Picard.” I was … disappointed. I found the first season … OK, but ponderous. The second season didn’t click with me at all.

I’m told the third season of “Picard” was the best so far, but I haven’t checked it out yet.

You know what two “Star Trek” spinoffs I am liking? “Lower Decks” — the animated cartoon — and “Strange New Worlds.”

I don’t really care about what’s canon in the “Star Trek” universe and I don’t understand the idea of multiple timelines and I don’t want to do a deep-dive into Cardassian politics on the home world or whatever. When I watch “Star Trek,” I want something in the spirit of the 1960s show, or the best seasons of the 1980s show: Give me a little morality play, a little bit of silliness, and some starships going pew-pew at one another. “Lower Decks” and “Strange New Worlds” are both scratching that itch for me.

“Lower Decks” is a cartoon, but it’s set in the same universe as “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and it asks a question that has bothered many viewers of “Star Trek” over the years — who are all of the nameless people running around in the background, and what do they do all day?

“Lower Decks” focuses on a bunch of low-ranking, mostly young crew of a second-rate starship that gets the fleet’s less glamorous jobs. It also enjoys sending up (affectionately) the “Star Trek” cult fandom and poking fun at TV and movie science fiction tropes. It started strong right from the first episode, it’s a little bit “Star Trek” crossed with “Futurama” and “Rick & Morty,” and I’m eagerly awaiting the fourth season.

“Strange New Worlds” is set in the universe of the original “Star Trek,” on-board the U.S.S. Enterprise, but before James T. Kirk became captain.

It took me a little bit of time to get into it. For one thing, in my brain, the original era of “Star Trek” is supposed to have a certain 1960s look — you know, cheap cardboard sets, velour uniforms, analog dials and computer screens simulated with bad back-projection — and the shiny high-tech look of the ship aggravated me. Seeing someone besides Leonard Nimoy play Spock and someone other than Nichelle Nichols play Uhura also rubbed me the wrong way. (I’ve never seen the two recent J.J. Abrams “Star Trek” movies, and I don’t really have an interest in seeing them. Like I said, I’m not a “Star Trek” fanatic.)

But the series grew on me. Especially Anson Mount as Captain Pike and Rebecca Romijn as his first officer. They seem to be enjoying themselves. Actually, everyone on the show seems to be having a good time, including Carol Kane, who joined the cast this season as the ship’s new chief engineer who just happens to be a near-immortal being.

It’s a little bit cheesy — not in a bad way, but it understands the whole 1960s “Star Trek” ethos of being “Wagon Train”-to-the-stars, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

How much do I like it? I just binge-watched the first three episodes of the second season in one sitting, and I never do that with TV shows. And when the third episode ended, and I realized I had to wait for the fourth episode, I was disappointed.

I wish I could say the same about two other streaming TV shows I used to like. Like much of the rest of the world — at least those of us who subscribed to Apple TV — I really enjoyed the first season of “Ted Lasso.”

The premise, of course, is that an American football coach from the Midwest gets hired to coach an English football team, despite the fact that he knows almost nothing about soccer.

I was doubtful that anyone could build an entire TV series around a one-joke premise, which originated in a series of TV commercials. It would be like building a TV series around “What Would You Do For a Klondike Bar?” or “Where’s the Beef?”

But the team behind the show — which includes Bill Lawrence of “Spin City,” “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” — did a great job, I thought. It was funny! Most of the episodes in the first season of “Ted Lasso” had several laugh-out-loud moments, and it was super-quotable. No wonder “Ted Lasso” memes took over the Internet for a few months.

The second season … was a little draggy, in my opinion. It veered more towards a drama than a comedy. I still found it compelling television, but it wasn’t as quotable, and it certainly was more somber than the first season.

The third and final season is a major disappointment. I’m not sure I’m going to get through it, to be honest. It’s had some highlights (minor spoiler — the episode where Lasso turns the team loose in Amsterdam is wonderful) but overall, it’s a slog.

I’m not the only one who noticed. Writing in The Atlantic, David Sims criticized the third season for bloated plots and slack storytelling, and Kyle Phillippi in Collider said “this show as a whole would be better served had it stuck to the shorter episodes … The runtime ultimately doesn’t hurt a show like this, but it’s also not serving much value, either.”

Another show that I’m probably done with is “I Think You Should Leave” on Netflix. This one hurts, because I was a big fan of Tim Robinson’s Comedy Central sitcom, “Detroiters,” and I enjoyed a lot of the first two seasons of “I Think You Should Leave.”

It was uneven, but that’s the nature of sketch comedy shows. It also leaned too much on toilet humor, in my opinion, but heck, Shakespeare liked potty jokes. There are too many memorable sketches to name them all — the guy with the fedora, the focus group, the man in the hot-dog suit, “Coffin Flop,” the lawyer who’s being tortured by his plumbers.

So I was looking forward to the third season of “I Think You Should Leave,” only to be incredibly let down. I watched three of the six episodes and I’m not sure I laughed once. I’m not sure I’ll ever watch the last three.

I’m willing to admit I’m in the minority; on RottenTomatoes.com, season 3 has a 95 percent “fresh” rating from critics and a 75 percent rating from ordinary users.

I guess the bad news is, Season 3 of “Ted Lasso” and “I Think You Should Leave” were disappointments. The good news is, that gives me more time to watch “Cheers” and “Hawaii Five-O.”

Let’s turn it over to you: Have you been watching any of these shows? What do you think of them? And do you want to know whether “Cheers” holds up? (Spoiler alert: Actually, it does, mostly.)

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