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.
The crowd is his domain, just as the air is the bird’s, and water that of the fish. His passion and his profession is to merge with the crowd. For the perfect idler, for the passionate observer it becomes an immense source of enjoyment to establish his dwelling in the throng, in the ebb and flow, the bustle, the fleeting and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel at home anywhere; to see the world, to be at the very centre of the world, and yet to be unseen of the world, such are some of the minor pleasures of those independent, intense and impartial spirits, who do not lend themselves easily to linguistic definitions. The observer is a prince enjoying his incognito wherever he goes. The lover of life makes the whole world into his family, just as the lover of the fair sex creates his from all the lovely women he has found, from those that could be found, and those who are impossible to find, just as the picture-lover lives in an enchanted world of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life moves into the crowd as though into an enormous reservoir of electricity. He, the lover of life, may also be compared to a mirror as vast as this crowd; to a kaleidoscope endowed with consciousness, which with every one of its movements presents a pattern of life, in all the multiplicity, and the flowing grace of all the elements that go to compose life. It is an ego athirst for the non-ego, and reflecting it at every moment in energies more vivd than life itself always inconstant and fleeting. ‘Any man,’ M.G. once said, in one of those talks he rendered memorable by the intensity of his gaze, and by his eloquence of gesture, ‘any man who is not weighed down with a sorrow so searching as to touch all his faculties, and who is bored in the midst of the crowd, is a fool! A fool! and I despise him!