Tuesday, May 24, 2011

TV revolution...

What do you like to watch on telly?

Television viewing is not what it used to, with families gathering in the evening to catch up on the latest episode of their favourite show as distributed by television broadcasters. No, these days - at least amongst my friends - the viewer is in the control seat of what they watch and when they watch it.

Years ago, I watched an episode of Oprah where she raved about a new gizmo she had just acquired where she could program her device to seek out and tape shows of interest to her while she was out of the house doing other stuff, and then when she was home she could watch the shows of her choosing at a time that suited her. She could even save up a few episodes of a drama and watch them consecutively. She was, of course, talking about a TiVo, and I decided there and then that as soon as this virtuous device was available in Australia I would buy one! A couple of years later, I did just that, and I haven't regretted the purchase for a moment. More than ever before, we are in control of when we watch our favourite shows on free to air television - no more having to be home at a certain time to watch that show, or staying up until 1am when a broadcaster shows contempt for their customers.

However, most of my friends have gone a step further in their television viewing, and now directly download whole seasons of shows they like - many of which are not even broadcast on free to air television - directly onto their computers and watch whole seasons in the span of a week or two. The other day my son asked me why we don't do this, and the only answer I had for him is that I haven't learned how yet. Certainly, I believe it would help overcome some of the lack of quality viewing offered on free to air television, and I can see it becoming the primary nature of television viewing in the near future for those with the means to access this mode.

What I've discovered in the past year or so of my friends really getting into downloading viewing content off the net is how different people's tastes are - well, certainly mine in relation to theirs anyway. Most of my friends love dramas. I find myself far more attracted to sci-fi and fantasy mystery.

I have, in the past, be a huge fan of the various Star Trek series (old and new, though moreso new), Babylon 5, X  Files, Millenium, Flash Forward (such a shame this only lasted one season) and, of course, Doctor Who. I love a good meta-narrative (in this context, I'm using the term to refer to an overarching narrative that refers to itself), especially a mystery. Doctor Who has been extremely engaging since it took on this facet to its narrative - I love theorising with others about "what is actually going on"!

So, what kinds of shows would you watch if you had ultimate control over your television viewing - or if you already are into downloading directly from the web, what do you watch and why?


Leah said...

I like long running series, I guess they'd be classed as dramas, some of my favourites across time are queer as folk, six feet under, big love, united states of tara. I also like more silly ones like true blood, gilmore girls, and gossip girl :) I mean gossip girl is utter rubbish to be frank, but it's so bad it's good. really dig some UK ones too, especially skins and gavin and stacey.

On demand tv really hits the sweet spot, short enough eps to watch only one, more depth than a movie because the characters have time to fill out. I really hate watching one ep a week tho.

I also "acquire" some utter total disposable tv like extreme couponing and sister wives. This is the kind of crap I'd watch if I had cable tv. I no longer watch junk food tv like dr phil or oprah on fta, I hear of junk like that and dl it instead LOL

Sif Dal said...

LOL, did you hear United States of Tara has been cancelled? I never got into it, but liked what I did see of it - I can enjoy shows and still not feel compelled to watch them, LOL - I felt the same way about Gossip Girl (I like see the chattels of the rich( and Queer as Folk (I also liked the L Word just for balance).

Jayne said...

On "real tv" (ie on an actual television lol) I watch Q and A religiously-partly I have to say because joining in the tweeting is so much fun! ;) Also loving Angry Boys lately, and will always watch anything The Chaser do;) I like Australian satire. Also enjoy Rockwiz & Spicks &Specs. Really want to get into Dr Who but finding it confusing-going to go the dl & see how I go. I like Insight too and sometimes Lateline. Adore USO Tara (omg it hasn't really been cancelled has it?! :() Not to be a total ABC/SBS snob I also watch Glee a bit ;) In terms of series, my fave ATM has to be Mad Men. I fin LOVE that show! Also enjoy
Big Love. I tried Gossip girl but found it boring. Admittedly only saw 1ep lol. I liked True Blood but lost interest by end of S 1.Might try and go back though. In the past faces have been X Files, American Gothic, Millenium, Twin Peaks, Six Feet Under, The Young Ones, Kath & Kim, BlackAdder, Black Books... Basically satire, black comedy, gothic edged drama/fantasy, or clever social commentary.

Good Job!