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How to watch television

Posted July 6 into Telly by John Birmingham

Watched the season finale of Game of Thrones yesterday. A most satisfying series, particularly when taken with Ms Girlclumsy's world-class recaps. I'm pestering her to send me all of her files so that I might publish them as an e-book. Because I am a publisher now. I live off the hard work of others.


It was a little aggravating having her recaps running here at the Burger, seeing the volumes of traffic flowing into them every Tuesday, watching the comment count get higher and higher, all while being unable to take part. That's the price I paid for sticking to a principal. I wasn't willing to pay a Foxtel subscription, or hit the bit torrents, so I had to wait.
I missed out on the weekly water cooler conversation, but in return I gained something which was just as valuable, at least for me. I could enjoy the story at my own pace. So I took in this latest series of Thrones like a novel, watching it over the course of the week, an episode or two every night. What I gave up in community I took back in the singular pleasure of being able to immerse myself in the story world of my own terms. There is something to be said for that.
By way of contrast, I'm now stuck like a schmuck waiting for Stan to drop the latest episode of The Last Ship every Monday night. Having watched the first two series on my own terms, usually in two or three episode mini-binges, it was a grinding gear change having to wait for that one little sip every week. I still love the show, but I don't enjoy being drip fed the eps.
Can we ever be happy? I love the Netflix model of dropping an entire series all at once. Even though I never binge a show from start to finish in just one or two sittings, I do like to consume them like novels. Having done that, however, there is always the sadness that comes with knowing you have reached the last page, or in this case the last scene.
We were put on this earth to suffer, my friends.

11 Responses to ‘How to watch television’

Therbs has opinions thus...

Posted July 6
The way I deal with shows like Last Ship, if I'm really, truly addicted is to go cold turkey until I get the DVD or can download the whole series.
What happens is that I then need to get back into the story by watching the old ones, or the best bits of them and then ripping into the new batch. And there are some series worth buying on dvd/blue-ray instead of storing in bytes.
Its sort of like when you wait for authors to drop the next book of a trilogy or universe series. When it finally appears you then reconnect with the characters and story arcs by skimming through or re-reading the previous books and that's kinda fun.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted July 6
Yeah, I've found myself going back and re-watching the first two series of TLS as I wait for the latest ep to drop. Chances are I'll buy the blu ray too.

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Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted July 6
I prefer episodic consumption, because I like the cycle of anticipation, excitement, post-screening discussion with everyone else who has also watched it at the same time; repeat.

Unfortunately the world has moved on quite a lot, so "post-screening discussion with everyone else who has also watched it at the same time" has become a bit of a Robinson Crusoe-ish experience.

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Surtac mumbles...

Posted July 6
Picked up the first series of TLS on dvd yesterday while shopping for an HDMI cable for Eldest Daughter's new Apple TV. Will probably start on it tonight.

Watched Tarantino's The Hateful Eight on the weekend and found myself back in Justified mind-mode when Walton Goggins character turned up. Chris Mannix is not a million miles away from Boyd Crowder.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon reckons...

Posted July 6
We were forced to go cold turkey from free to air and decent internet due to a location move to fresh country air. So we were only watching dvds. Now that the internet problem is fixed (fixed wireless NBN) we haven't really got into series at point of showing. I've gotten over the water cooler effect/syndrome which i must admit i kinda missed. It was great chatting to friends who were watching stuff at the same time. But I find now that some shows benefited from that shared experience. Watching them down the track after the general population excitement has worn off you find the episode not as good as first raved about or it has aged a bit too much within two years or so. (Madmen kinda fits that bill. Seemed to have the same formula each episode IMO). Now it is more recommendations to friends "have you watched X? it is brilliant" or "no i haven't watched Y i'll get onto it"

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Barnesm has opinions thus...

Posted July 6
This is how I consume series now, in fact it is how I watched this season of Game of Thrones after swearing off it last season. Still haven't seen the last few episodes of that season.

I was able to participate in the community discussion with out having seen it thanks to the excellent recapping of those like Ms Clumsy.

I will certainly wait until season 3 of TLS finished before I begin, especially after they shot my favourite character in the finale. I worry she won't be there when I start watching.

Therbs mumbles...

Posted July 6
Yeah, that was arse. Hopefully it wasn't a killing shot.

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DarrenBloomfield would have you know...

Posted July 6
I did the same thing with 22.11.63 recently. And the very excellent Jessica Jones.

I refuse to watch TV any other way now. I even recorded all the GoT onto my IQ2 and watched them in batches. Watched last 2 episodes on Monday.

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 6
Great series.

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slippy ducks in to say...

Posted July 6
I'm going to have to slow down on the second season of TLS so I don't get stuck waiting for Mondays. I might pause and read the book instead, which only entered my consciousness while looking at the wiki to figure out a sub-plot. I am enjoying something produced by Michael Bay. Who would have thought?

John Birmingham asserts...

Posted July 6
I hear the book is great, but different.

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