Oftentimes, people approach me when I am trying to avoid eye contact and say something like, “Hey, Steve, I miss the good old days of simply having three TV channels with high quality network programming, but I really miss the even better old days of climbing a utility pole at the property line and stealing a neighbor’s cable TV signal to watch Cinemax After Dark. Today’s TV choices, with all the streaming services and whatnot, sure can be overwhelming.”

After sternly correcting them on my name, I congratulate these folks for seeking out the expertise of the interim senior media/technology correspondent for this and many other award-winning publications struggling to stay relevant.

Today’s TV choices can be tough ones, especially with the introduction of new services like Apple TV+, HBO Max and Disney+, just to name a few. That’s why I’ve written the following Q&A to help the average consumer who may not be an interim senior media/technology correspondent make the wisest decision when it comes to paying for TV no longer stolen off a utility pole. Here we go.

Q: Hey, Scott. Sorry about calling you Steve the other day. It’s just that you remind me of my second cousin Steve, the one who grew a beard so he could sneak back into Dollar General after being banned from all 127 in the tri-county area. Seems they frown on leaving a store with multiple packs of D batteries and snack cakes stuffed in your underwear four or five times a month. Anyway, do you as an interim senior media/technology correspondent think Disney+ is worth paying extra for? I mean, how much Donald Duck does one fellow need?

Answer: Absolutely it is, and I can tell you why this add-on service is worth it with two amazing titles from Disney’s bygone era: “Charlie the Lonesome Cougar” and “The Barefoot Executive.”

Q: Do what now? What are these lonesome cougars and barefoot executives of which you speak?

Answer: Why, my good sir, they appear in two of the most beloved movies of my childhood. Can I first tell you a little story about a fantastic frisky feline of filmdom?

Q: Do I have choice?

Answer: No, you don’t. When I was but a wee lad, “Charlie the Lonesome Cougar,” a live-action Disney adventure, hit the silver screen with a thunderous roar, billed in TV and print ads from our Disney overlords as “the fabulous tale of a teen-age mountain lion.” Unlike many of your more ornery post-pubescent cougars, Charlie mauled no one. Instead, he palled around with friendly lumberjacks, cavorted with other real animals in breath-taking scenes of cinematic beauty and destroyed not one but two kitchens with his lovable high jinx before (spoiler alert) settling in to live happily ever after on a preserve with a nice lady lion.

This was my absolute favorite live-action animal-related movie at that point in my childhood until another Disney classic came along a few years later. That epic celluloid treasure was called “The Barefoot Executive,” starring a pre-Snake Plissken Kurt Russell as a young mail clerk with a pet chimp named Ruffles that could predict which TV shows will be hits and — in the great tradition of “Citizen Kane” — hilarity ensues. We show it every year at the Monkey Action News Team Christmas party.

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