Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday TV: on the serialization of television shows and novels

Since we abandoned satellite when we moved into our house, I'm figuring out how to best keep track of what I want to watch. I'm still binge-watching Grey's Anatomy, and I'm already in the middle of season four. We've added Hulu into the mix, mostly because it lets us watch more recent episodes of shows on the television. Although it's incredibly frustrating to have to watch commercials with a paid service. It's even more frustrating that so many shows are only licensed to watch on a computer and not a mobile device (in our case, an Xbox hooked up to the television.)

My Hulu queue works a lot like my DVR used to: as soon as a show I've told it I watch has a new episode online, it's added to my queue. The problem is, I'm so enjoying binge-watching Grey's that I have yet to watch the season finale of one of my favorite shows: Chicago Fire. It has me thinking: my favorite way to read is in large chunks of time, so doesn't it make sense to watch television the same way?

Think about it this way: imagine if we read novels in chapter intervals (or how the genre began--being serialized in magazines.) Can you imagine waiting a week until the next chapter? Can you imagine keeping up with twenty novels at a time at this same pace? I typically read two books at a time: one on audio and one in print or on my Kindle. I try to not have similar books going at the same time (i.e. two historical mysteries), and my brain can usually handle both. 

I've been noticing more and more, however, how many small details from television shows I forget over the course of a season, particularly with the spread out broadcast schedule that stretches 22 episodes over about seven months. Before abandoning my DVR, I was recording close to fifty series (although at least of them were on HGTV and several more were Mr. Nomadreader's favorite cartoons.) It's no wonder I'm savoring the ability to watch one show at a time, just as I enjoy reading one book at a time.

Now tell me: How many tv shows do you watch at a time?

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