What happens when you dispose of the classic structures for television viewing, production, and dissemination?
“Television producers have turned bingeing, hoarding and overeating into successful prime-time shows for years, but now they are having to turn their attention to another example of overindulgence — TV watching.
Binge-viewing, empowered by DVD box sets and Netflix subscriptions, has become such a popular way for Americans to watch TV that it is beginning to influence the ways the stories are told — particularly one-hour dramas — and how they are distributed.
….In some corners of Hollywood there is deep skepticism about Netflix’s all-at-once release of “House of Cards.” Mr. Willimon acknowledged the advantages to stretching out a season — it’s a format viewers are used to, there’s more time for marketing — but said that as a storyteller (he’s best known for the play “Farragut North,” which inspired the film “The Ides of March”) he prefers the “House of Cards” approach.
As television becomes less beholden to the schedule and more acclimated to the Web, he said, “it might even dispense with episodes altogether. You might just get eight straight hours or 10 straight hours, and you decide where to pause.”
This naturally reminds me of a very funny Portlandia sketch/episode
GQ: …There’s a sketch in the new season about Battlestar Galactica that really captures what happens when a TV show takes over your life. Was that born from an experience you both had watching that show.
Armisen: Definitely. We are huge Battlestar Galactica fans. And with couples particularly, we were talking to our director Jonathan Krisel about him and his wife, where you just get into this thing where you have to finish watching all of the episodes. And that’s certainly happened to me. Whenever I like a show like that, my eyes get very salty, you know what I mean? They start stinging because it’s three in the morning. It’s that feeling. And also, Battlestar Galactica is just the greatest.
Brownstein: Yeah, I remember when Six Feet Under ended, actually missing characters as if they were my friends. Like, I miss Nate. And that’s such an unnatural feeling, but it’s relatable. People binge on these shows and they become all-encompassing and obsessive about it. I’m a little jetlagged right now because I just came over from England and I’m watching that show Homeland right now. I got up at 3:30 this morning and watched four episodes of Homeland. I feel like I am a CIA agent now.