I'd been meaning to write something for a while about the way I watch TV now, arrogantly assuming its the way everyone watches TV now. Of course.
But I kept getting caught up on this idea that in the age of streaming I watch series like I read novels. Usually one at a time and sequentially.
Otherwise the content tsunami just overwhelms you.
And I think that was true while the Netflix binge model was the dominant form. But it's not anymore. Most viewers who stream probably subscribe to a couple of services and some of them, like Disney+ and Apple have reverted to the older way of telling stories on screen. One episode a week.
I don't mind it.
I sort of appreciate it, because it takes away that sense that you absolutely have to finish something before you move onto the next thing. And it sets up certain times of the week as 'expectation zones'. When I knew that For All Mankind was dropping on a Friday afternoon on Apple, I'd get a little excited for the new ep, even if I couldn't watch it until Saturday.
It has kinda ruined my TV-series-as-the-new-novel thesis however.
Not to worry, though. I have another thesis, fresh from the polemic microwave!
With effectively unlimited choice, but very limited viewing time, I find myself choosing what to watch by my emotional schedule. There are times I'm in need of some very light, pick-me-up viewing. In that case, at the moment, I'll usually default to Parks and Rec, Son of Zorn, or The Simpsons.
If I feel like really exploring a dark mood, I'll queue up Deep State or Apple's really bleak aerobics dramady.
Sometimes I just want the splodey, so for now that'll mean Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
And sometimes I might have the time and inclination to watch a movie, but that's not so often.
So I guess, I dunno, maybe I could unify the theories. I still tend to restrict myself to a small number of series, so I dont lose track of them and forget to complete the arc.
But increasingly, with time scarcity being a real thing, I tend to pick within that limited selection based on mood.
I did it.
I'm like Einstein but for pop culture.
I have the problem of if i sit my arse on a lounge i will go to sleep. Most of my viewing is done standing up watching what the kids want - which is not as bad as it sounds. Kids stuff is quality these days, they are getting older and i can influence what they like, and the stuff the kids (and the wife) arent quite ready for . . .well i have been doing landscaping outside and the main hangout areas are all within a respectable distance of the house wifi (think: firepits, stars, fighting off wombats and possums for the best seats). I'm like the person with seven bookmarked books on the bedside table though. There's the partner's shows, the kid's shows, my shows. Some we all watch as they are released, some are watched by only three of us when we are in the same room, some are only two of us. So timing matters . . . . and i must admit i remember i am watching something and have to pick it up after a long hiatus.
Afraid I am still in the first mode, watch the whole thing in sequence and move on. However I have modified this for Netflix after hearing about how it decides if it will renew a series. Apparently the eyeballs in the first few days are more important than if everyone eventually goes on to watch it. So if a new series drops on netflix that I am interested I try and watch the first couple of episodes and if I like it binge the series as soon as possible. A pity I discovered this when I learned that vampires in revolutionary France are the blue bloods 'La Révolution' series wasn't getting a second season.
I’m more free to air, traditional style, with a bent towards ABC and SBS…although this month thenTour demFrance has thrown any other tv viewing out the window. That, and new Rick and Morty, or Letterkenny!
I usually watch TV shows about European dictators , my wife watched murder shows.... so many murder shows. She asked me why I don't like them like she does. Well its this. I prefer my murder mass not one on one.
Like you I tend to focus on one series at a time, but there'll be certain evenings that are reserved for the once a week drops, like at the moment Wednesdays are Loki nights, and I've made Friday The Good Fight night, but in between I'm burning through 3 seasons of Yellowstone. I'm coming to the end of Yellowstone and I'm trying to work out what my next show will be, and I find that while my selections do depend on my mood, sometimes my mood is determined by the show I'm watching? Like I couldn't contemplate switching to a comedy after 30 odd episodes of Kevin Costner playing a cowboy Ned Stark (to be honest Yellowstone is more Sons of Anarchy with cowboys than GoT) so i'm going to have to move on to something equally serious when this is done. Probably Dr Death on Stan because I'm at the tail end of Gen X and Christian Slater is imprinted on my psyche...
The way we watch TV is: (1) she falls asleep on the sofa early in the evening, (2) I start watching something, (3) she wakes up towards the end of said something, (4) she complains about how dumb and unbelievable my choices are, (5) we watch something she has chosen, and possibly (6) I go to bed.
How does that fit into the thesis?
You're lucky JB. I have to watch whatever my wife's mood dictates. And it's quite eclectic, one could even say chaotic. "Ooohhh, hot flush, lets watch a docco about polar bears."