Tuesday, 28 April 2015

How I TV

So I had a great big blog post written up about how I've kind of changed the way I watch TV.  It was long, and rambly, and overly complicated - much like myself.  I find it really interesting how much technology has changed and how we have adapted along with it.  However, I realize that not everyone enjoys waxing philosophical about media consumption quite like I do.  That's okay though, guys.  You're still cool.

So instead I'm going to try and break it down into some bullet points of how I've changed my TV consumption for my other TV fiend friends.

  • Basically around Christmas I realized my TV watching was out of control.  Instead of trying to keep up with everything week to week I just started stockpiling my hour-long dramas.  At this point, I have about 150 hours of TV stored on my PVR and external hard drive to burn through.  That will probably be a project for the summer.
  • While I was foregoing my weekly dramas, I kept up with the half hour comedies.  Half hour comedies are totally comfort food - I love just throwing them on when I only have 22 minutes before bed or something.
  • With all that time freed up, I started burning through whole series instead.  I've been downloading a lot of stuff (shhh) and streaming it from sites like Netflix and Popcorn Time.  I also have Crave TV now, which I've really been enjoying.  They have a great variety of stuff from Comedy Central, Showtime, and HBO and it updates really frequently.
  • Because Crave TV is only available for me as an app on my phone, I got a Chromecast so I can stream it from my laptop.  You guys, the Chromecast is awesome.  I can start watching something on my phone or laptop on something like YouTube or Netflix or CraveTV or even off of my external hard drive and then just "cast" it onto the TV over the wifi.  This is perfect for my basement TV since I don't currently have a wifi Blu-Ray player or any other device attached to it.  They're only like $40 and I strongly recommend them!
  • I did drop my cable package down to basic, and I really didn't miss all the extra channels.  I was quite happy to wait a day or so to download or stream things, and Vivian didn't notice a difference either.  I did come crawling back for Mad Men and Game of Thrones though.  For those shows it wasn't even about watching it when it actually airs, but the fact that I really enjoy watching it while texting other people for their reactions.  It's my ritual.  So for the summer, I'm bumped back up to having a billion channels that I don't watch.  I intend on dropping it back down though - probably after the new run of True Detective.
  • I have also cut back on a lot of the more mediocre shows.  There is just so much quality programming out there that I haven't yet seen, I felt like I was wasting my time on mid-level cable shows.  Once I trimmed things down on my PVR it was easier to cut even more shows once I saw them pile up.  If I felt dread about muddling my way through the next 12 episodes of something, I would just delete it.  I can always go back and catch up later if I need to.  Some shows that got the cut like that?  Revenge, Reign, How to Get Away With Murder,Grey's Anatomy, Scorpion and a bunch of others that I can't even think of right now.  
  • On the whole, I've realized that I have serious problems with the traditional 22 episode cable season.  It's just too much.  It waters down storylines and just seems like it's there to make the most money possible instead of being about the storytelling.  Give me a quick paced 8-13 episode season any day of the week.  Because of this, I've become a lot more likely to take a chance on anything that's presented as "Event TV" or "Limited Run".  The new series Wayward Pines is starting in a couple of weeks and is being billed as a 10 episode limited series and I'm really excited about it.  Knowing that a show is working towards an end goal makes a huge difference for me.  It feels like the creators care about my time, so I am more happy to invest it.  If that makes any sense at all.  
So yeah, this still ended up kind of long and rambly, but that's where I'm at with TV these days.  There's been a lot of days where I haven't watched any of the new stuff on my PVR and end up just Netflixing in bed instead.  There's just so much good stuff out there, and more and more being released every day.  It's hard to keep up with it all, but I'm up for the challenge!

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