Whacha watching?

When I draw and paint I often have my trusty iPad on and stream movies and TV shows. Depending on how focused I need to be effects what I watch. If I’m writing I usually just have music on if anything. But if I’m painting a book I like to have shows on.

I’ve become a devotee of British and/or European police shows. We cut cable years ago and get by with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO sometimes, but even with Hulu I haven’t watched American Prime Time TV is years. I know about what’s on american TV from reading Deadline Hollywood and some trades. But I have seen little to none of it. My dislike of the sitcom format started my turn away from prime time American TV and I’ve had little desire to return

But I’ve become an expert on the dozens of BBC detective shows. They are appealing not just as drama but little insights into a culture that is different but not wholly foreign. Broadchurch, River, Happy Valley…the list is long. I’ve taken to calling them ‘my stories’ which is how soap operas were referred to in my house growing up. And they play a similar part in my life. I look forward to visiting this alternate world each day that is compelling but not overwhelming.

It’s fascinating that we are flooded with entertainment options from around the world now. There are so many shows, there’s no way to watch them all. As a kid we were lucky to get reception on 3 TV stations. I’m old enough to remember the Wizard of Oz being broadcast on Thanksgiving and it was an event.  Talk about must-see-TV. So yeah, that’s a thing…

TV now has the same problem that publishing has been dealing with – there’s just so much of it. How many picture books can anyone read in a given year?

I pick and choose what to watch in a very unconventional way, it’s like shopping when you don;;t NEED anything, but like to look. I have no idea if what I’m seeing is considered good, if it was a success in the market place originally or was so bad it ended after 8 episodes because no one watched it. Or are there only 7 episodes because of the weird ‘seasons’ on British TV?  I’m sure I am often not the target demographic of what I watch, but it’s all here. A smorgasbord of media that I watch while creating more media. Something seems scary about that.



About mfearing

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3 Responses to Whacha watching?

  1. I was just talking about this to some friends the other day. They were stunned by how little TV I watched and by the fact I had not even heard of dozens of show titles they were rattling off. Of course, part of it is that I have not grown up with American TV so have not been habituated into watching certain programmes. There were certainly shows back in Britain that I watched more out of habit or out of peer pressure than anything else. Streaming is absolutely ideal for me as it means I can watch the shows I want to watch when I actually have time to do so and wish to do so. I actually tend to watch a lot of movies and then there are dramas that I enjoy watching. Like you, I like British crime dramas like Broadchurch, Happy Valley and Hinterland but I have also just glut watched Rectify so it’s not about me missing British accents. I also like to watch good quality documentaries. I just find that nowadays the only thing I ever watch live is the news and even then I am watching the BBC. I do think it is wrapped up in that thing you mentioned of having grown up with very little choice in the way of TV (we had three channels and they did not broadcast all day) and feeling both overwhelmed by choice and by the sense that so much that fills 24 hour broadcasting is just filler I don’t wish to waste my precious time on.

    • mfearing says:

      Oh yeah, Hinterland was what started me down the Detective path! Overall we watch little TV in the house, my wife hardly any. My daughter prefers her ‘screen time’ to be games or You Tube. It’s funny to think about the time when there were millions of hours of things to watch on demand all the time. I clearly remember we often turned the TV off because there was literally nothing we could stand on. Imagine that! Now if I am bored or ready for couch time there is ALWAYS something on.

  2. Arp Laszlo says:

    We cut the cord years ago too, getting by on Netflix/Hulu – and mostly without commercials – is fine. One thīng I’ve noticed is how after a trip involving a hotel how many requests to buy new toys we get…

    Have you seen Stranger Things? That’s the best thing to be made in America in years.

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