Tuesday, June 15, 2010
One Long Post
On another note, I was very excited Sunday night when I was up late working on this blog I discovered Lost repeats are on the CW at midnight. Many would roll their eyes at me and say, "Oh, Chelsea just get the DVDs!" I would like to argue for watching television as broadcast and not DVD or DVR or Hulu. Not because I am a luddite, though I am often accused of that because I don't have a cell phone. I don't have expanded cable so if a show is on a cable station like Party Down (which we have been watching this week) or Mad Men then I have no choice to get the DVD. I'm not going to get cable for a couple of television shows. Plus, a good friend of mine gave me a DVD collection of Law and Order (another fave), but I rarely watch it. While it was a wonderful gift I miss the thrill of discovering that Law and Order is on and trying to remember if I've see the episode or not as I watch.
Here is my argument for broadcast shows; to begin with if a show starts at 8:00 pm then I need to be there at 8:00 to watch it. If I miss it, oh well, my life is not over. Maybe, I'll catch it in repeats over the summer. Commercials give me a chance to get a drink, use the bathroom, check my email and actually having commercials makes the commercial break cliffhangers that much more exciting. This is extremely pertinent when watching Lost. Again, if I miss the first minute or so because I stepped away for too long, it's ok, it's television, I'll still understand what's going on. Or, in the case of Lost, maybe not understand what is going on, but enjoying that which I don't understand and languishing that which I believe I do understand. People argue that broadcast television rules your life because you have to be there at 8:00, while I think that DVDs, DVR, and Hulu control you in a more meaningful manner. With these outlets you have to watch the show in its entirety, if someone calls you pause it, and you have to watch every show that even remotely interests you. If at 8:00 ABC, NBC, and CBS have good shows on, I have to pick one to watch, but others will record all three shows and watch them all! That's crazy to me.
So here is the end of my late night rant. I know that television is changing, but I think it is unfortunate. It makes me think of the changes that happened in the movie theater after television established itself in the 1950s. Before television movie theaters played short films, news reels, and b-films along with the featured film. People could pay their nickel and walk into the theater as they pleased. There wasn't really a starting time. Films had to make sense even if a customer walked into it in the middle. Alfred Hitchcock worked hard to change people's mindset with Psycho in 1960. If viewers missed the beginning they would miss the star, Janet Leigh, so there was an advertising campaign telling the public that they had to, "see it from the beginning." Theatre workers were told not to let anyone into the movie late. It was an entirely new way of thinking about going to the movies. While I think it is important to watch a film in its entirety I also think it would be nice to just sit in a theatre as long as I want watching shorts, newsreels, and all that jazz. Sort of like when you sit down to veg in front of the television in the middle of the night and realize there is a repeat on of a show you really like.