The One In Which I Talk About TV Shows
I’ve missed the last couple of weeks as far as posts go. I originally was hoping to post some good news a few weeks back, but things fell through, and then last week was a bit crazy as far as scheduling goes. And now, here we are!
This week is brought to you by the price increase from Netflix. I have opinions about the change in how they handle their plans that are very simliar to many people out there, so I won’t get into that at all, but turn my attention to the one thing I will miss when I give up Netflix streaming at the end of this month: TV shows.
TV shows are a varied bunch. They can be strictly continuous in their plots(Arrested Development, Game of Thrones), repetitive concept design (Law & Order, CSI), one off episodes (almost any cartoon ever), etc., which means that TV shows have the ability that most movies don’t as far being able to either captivate an audience into tuning in the next week because they must know what happens, or so approachable that you could come in halfway through an episode and still enjoy it.
Personally, the drawback of TV shows is exactly what networks love about them: they have set, non-changing, time frames that force people into watching at a particular time. The times of this generation though have begun to change how that formula works. Yes, shows still broadcast during a given time frame every week during their season, but there are increasingly more opportunities to watch episodes online after they initially air either thru the networks’ websites, Hulu, iTunes, or other sites that offer such a service.
During most of my teenage years I didn’t care about TV. I didn’t have the dedication to turn in every week for a certain show, mostly because I didn’t think there was anything worth such a hassle. I would watch with my parents whatever they were watching if I was around (mainly Friends and NCIS), but it wasn’t until How I Met Your Mother came along that I began to anticipate watching a new episode of something every week. This was mostly because my best friend was already watching it every week, and instead of having to listen to him talk about it every Tuesday morning without understanding what was going on, I decided to start watching it myself. The show turned out to be a great combination of something that had a continuous plot, but also provided a lot of one off episodes that meant missing an episode wasn’t the end of the world. Not plot-wise at least.
Nowadays the only show I look forward to every week is Modern Family. I still watch How I Met Your Mother because I want to see it through to the end, and there’s a good block of comedy on CBS on Monday nights, but really I’m not heartbroken if I miss an episode anymore. My favorite TV shows have always been Seinfeld and Family Guy, but that’s thanks mostly to the constant re-runs provided by TBS. Since I’ve had streaming from Netflix I’ve watched a lot of good television shows that I never saw while they aired (Arrested Development, Pushing Daisies, Better Off Ted, Party Down) and having the ability to watch an episode when I want to (30 minutes to kill before work? Sure!) is a tremendous ability as far as entertainment goes.
It comes down to the fact that we all have busy lives. Shows that I watch when they actually air are dictated by what my friends and roommates want to watch (Modern Family is something that everyone agrees on), because it becomes a social event to watch it. Otherwise, there are plenty of other things to do, and when you can watch something seemingly at any other time (within reason), why tune in for it just because it’s having its initial broadcast? A TV show is a great “time for bed” activity, or a “I have 40 minutes in-between classes to eat lunch and maybe watch something” time-killer, but less and less a “what will define my Tuesday evening?” event.
So for that, I will miss you Netflix streaming. Your movie selection was “meh” but your shows were pretty good. I am socially more educated thanks to you.