Binging on Waves

I haven’t written in a while because my muse has left the building.  I have realized that I am approaching 30 years in the work force, because working in the comic book store, while fun, was not a career nor official entrance to the rat race.  I have many stories about the various people I worked with and situations I encountered.  I know there are more than a few black marks on my permanent record.  And know of those belonging to several others.  I’m tempted to write up a few of them.  You might laugh.  You might cringe.  You might even understand me a tad better, but I doubt it.  I’ll probably sound way too snarky, but that is nothing new to you.

Lambchop and I have been binge watching “Breaking Bad.”  We saw season 1 a few years ago.  Our DVR went out during season 2 and it took two tries to get that restarted, but once you really start watchinbg, you need to keep riding that roller coaster.  There is NO getting off.  Last night we got to episode 43 – Salud.  No spoilers as I know a few others are watching it.  Who knew binge watching was a thing? 

This started because I set up a Roku to stream internet video to my TV.  Of course that also required adding a booster to my wi-fi network.  Ultimately this was all possible because I could upgrade my internet connection from 3mb/s (I rarely got over 2.5) to 12mb/s (though we really do not get more than 8.5).  Ostensible I did this so we could finally watch “Downton Abby.”  Nope, we’ve never started.  It’s still “Breaking Bad” in the Stuff and Things Lounge.

But I see how the binge is helpful.  I’ve talked to people who stopped watching “The Wire” after one episode.  As you probably know, I believe “The Wire” is the best TV show in the history of the world, getting better each season, with a bit of mis-step in the final season.   But it takes a commitment.  It is intelligent and uncompromising.  Characters don’t ever say “remember that time…” to clue in the viewer of things they might have forgot.  It rewards repeated viewing. It expects the viewer to be inquisitive and curious.  There are layers and layers.  Black, white and a lot of gray; good guys, bad guys and anti-heroes.  And a stained glass window.  It is not the candy many shows have become.  If you haven’t seen it, go watch the first 4 episodes and tell me you aren’t hooked.

Utilizing Netflicks to its full advantage has been fun.  It wouldn’t be possible without faster speeds to the house.  I know I’m not the first to say this, but I think traditional TV is closer to dead than alive.  Streaming, binge watching and the internet have reduced TVs influence and relevance.  I would guess more people watch Ellen than the national news.  As much as I like Brian Williams, he’s not Walter Cronkite.  We may never see another Edward R. Murrow.  Sadly, Bill O’Reilly is the larger than life news caster, who doesn’t read the news.  Luckily, so is Jon Stewart.

I’m not really an earlier adopter. I’m generally on the front of the bell curve before mass adoption.  As a point of reference, I didn’t see why a PC needed more than two 512k floppy drives. Hard drives?  Pshah.  I see the world changing more clearly than I have in a while, and clearly you realize I am late to the party.  Your cable and satellite providers are still the way to go when you want to watch Honey Boo-Boo, Real Housewives or Ellen.  Broadcast TV is not dead, but it is on life support.

The new models of entertainment and viewing are bringing larger and more potentially satisfying programs to you.  Plots need not be wrapped up in an hour.    If you chose you can watch a season of TV show in a week:   a few hours each night, without commercials.  Or you can grab your movies off the internet or stream them live, with no loss in picture quality.  I’m not a shill, but check out a Roku, it might change the way you think.  There are other similar devices.  Join the wave before you are on the back side of the curve.  Then you can be ready for the next big thing.  Its coming.