Thursday, March 6, 2014

How the Computer is replacing TV

With Netflix and other streaming view sites, watching TV is more like watching Computer.

One reason? Well, at Hulu you can go back to the late 50s and early 60s to watch multiple episodes of Bonanza or Rawhide on your computer. I’ve wanted to re-watch the 1981 German sub war movie “Das Boot” for years---but not until I joined Hulu this week at $7.99 a month did I find a way to do that---same with the “I Claudius” BBC series of the late 70s.

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in House of Cards
I don’t have a TV and that’s no bother. It insulates me from an overload of news. Yet with Netflix and Hulu, I indulge for the sake of enjoyment, and keep up with news by selecting online articles to read that fall into areas of personal interest.

The web is replete with news and differing opinion about “binge watching.” People talk about the phenomena and the dramatic series that spin the phenomena into life. I wondered if chat forums exist geared to discuss specific shows---yes, at AMC for the “Breaking Bad” series. Comments and insight about that slam dunk compelling show would most likely interest the assiduous viewer.  At Television without Pity, before it ended, viewers could discuss a variety of series shows on Netflix including “Game of Thrones,” “Mad Men,” “How I met you’re Mother” and “Orange is the New Black.”

The word “Binge” has an unhealthy connotation---a binge ipso facto harms. It doesn't have an antidote called setting limits. I know watching “Breaking Bad” from 8 pm until 6 am will screw with my sleep pattern. But when I'm hooked on a show, I'll do it anyway.

What makes it hard to detach from a good episodic Netflix series?  The suspense! Meanwhile, the high quality of the program itself---the attention to detail magnetizes you into intent watching. You want to know what’s going to happen next but you don’t.

The "Walking Dead" series is graphic and uncannily realistic seeming…each character displays personal substance. You know how they act and enjoy watching them develop. At the end of an episode, you’re amped to watch more---the “cliffhanger” affect. The end of an episode is an end with a hook of curiosity that reels you into watching the next. All it takes is a click on the continue button.

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