It's one of the conundrums of our Age: Literally thousands of TV shows, movies, documentaries and instructional videos streaming on every possible platform 24 hours a day, and yet we can't find anything to watch.
Such was our dilemma after we came to the end of the latest Ted Lasso episode -- which is worth watching -- on Apple TV. Searching for something new, we ran across "The Big Door Prize," another Apple TV offering that has high marks on Rotten Tomatoes, which has supplanted the New York Times as the barometer of movie ratings.
We hadn't gotten very far into the first episode when I got that feeling -- haven't I seen this somewhere before?
The show centers around a machine called "Morpho." It asks for your social security number, and your fingerprints, then spits out a card proclaiming your life's purpose. My mind instantly returned to one of my favorite "Twilight Zone" episodes -- "Nick of Time" -- which originally aired over 60 years ago.
Starring William Shatner (Shatner seemed to appear in Rod Sterling's best "Twilight Zone" episodes, like "The Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"), he and his wife are stranded by car trouble in a small Ohio town, where they run across a "Mystic Seer" fortune-telling machine at a local diner. Like the people who become mesmerized by Morpho, Shatner soon can't make a move without asking the Seer first.
While the execution is different, the basic idea is the same. For me, it just reinforces the old adage adopted from the Bible, "there's nothing new under the sun." Since our streaming, on-demand world has an insatiable appetite, that's not a good thing. Is it possible AI (Artificial Intelligence) will come to the rescue?
Let's ask the Mystic Seer.
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."