Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Netflix, the Joy of the Marathon

I hate cable. I hate the commercials, the self-referential cross promotions, the constant changes in scheduling, the interminable stretches between seasons.

So Netflix is my saving grace. Not only do I get avoid the commercials and reality television, I also get to watch a season worth of episodes at once. Maybe I'm badly behind the game and everyone else has been watching tv this way for years, but I hadn't really thought about how much this transforms how much I enjoy a show.

This month's addiction is How I Met Your Mother, last month was White Collar.

I seem to remember growing up that television seasons ran more or less in swing with the school year. Programing seems more disjointed now- this may have begun with the Sopranos splitting one of their seasons in half to feed Sweeps Week. I can't think of a television show I would have enjoyed watching that way.

Part of the trouble is my short memory, and the other part is how easily I'm distracted. I couldn't have kept characters and story arcs straight in a show like Dexter or White Collar. But with the magic of the marathon, I can watch a season in a week. I'd like to think that television writers have this in mind as well, and are drawing up more elaborate, more involved plots to keep us marathoners hooked.

It also gives me the freedom to watch shows that have established their quality over a season or two. This way, I don't waste time with duds.

1 comment:

  1. I echo your thoughts about television! I don't watch much of anything now (mostly because our home computer died and we haven't gotten around to getting the right cable to hook the laptop up to the television), but when we did, it was much better to be able to go from episode to episode on netflix or on DVDs instead of waiting weeks on end for the next installment via television.

    That being said, I dislike television.* A lot. I'm immensely grateful that we've never hooked up our cable. It's expensive, wastes time, and neither of us find ourselves glued to the couch anymore.

    I do, however, enjoy movies. Especially in the theatre. It's about the experience, and the creation and resolution of a story in 120 minutes.

    *Doctor Who doesn't count. It's not television, it's a lifestyle.