500 new shows
Saw a blurb that 500 new shows were produced this year for tv and streaming. Truly, we're living in a golden age. Even if that count is faulty, and even if we follow Sturgeon's law, that's a lot of good new television being made. Granted, we're watching it very differently now. But think back to the days of just three networks and the thin schedules of shows available then.
It gives me hope that there are more chances than ever to get at least a pilot made.
I'd say the modern golden age of television started with The Sopranos, went through The Wire and Mad Men, and ended with Walt laying on his back in Breaking Bad. Those shows were groundbreaking and important, and changed the way hour long TV dramas were done forever, including how they are today.
And I think the golden age of TV comedy is a whole different discussion from that.
But in regards to this new boom of hundreds of shows on Netflix, drastically varying in quality from each other, I don't know if I'd call that a golden age. Yes, there are good shows. But, oh boy, are there bad shows. Countless bad shows. And even the good ones feel less important because now there's too much to even watch. Before if you asked someone if they'd seen a great show, you could talk easily about it with them. Now, a common response to asking someone if they've seen something is "It's on my list of things to watch, not sure when I'll get to it."
Game of Thrones may be the last giant spectacle "everybody is talking about it" show for a while. And that show is about to end.
Times are changing, and while it's not necessarily a bad thing (who can say?), I also don't think there's going to be any more universally accepted, game-changing shows for a long time.
Just my two cents. Man, I'm a wet blanket.
I'll have a very full viewing schedule in my retirement, eventually.
Which brings up a different point; nowhere is there a guarantee all these shows will be accessible to me then, unless I buy them or copy them off now. On Netflix now, they constantly announce which shows are getting added and which ones get pulled, and that blows my mind because to my way of thinking, a library or collection is something you only ever add to, never subtract from... and my garage, basement and rec rooms all attest to that.
I'm reminded of how huge swaths of the early Doctor Who episodes were wiped, and the tapes re-cycled and re-recorded-over by the BBC, because nobody had the vision to imagine the old shows would ever be popular or relevant again. They considered the shows ephemeral. In our 500-show world, if the show doesn't do exceptionally well, would it get pulled from the Netflix or other streaming company's servers and be forever lost to history? What Island of misfit toys will they be sent to? And who can get them back? I can't imagine them being completely destroyed; ever-cheaper storage would preclude the need for that, and as long as the files represent IP rights and an expenditure of capital, there'd be a reason for the show owners to keep them around... but they'd go into some black hole and maybe never be accessed again? Maybe they stay around as bootlegs, tended to by handfuls of dedicated, crazy fans?
Mark, you raise an interesting point. What happens to shows that are no longer available, and not in syndication? Does is cost Netflix money to keep their original shows available? I suppose there must be royalties to be paid, so perhaps it is a financial decision.
There are some shows I remember watching as a kid that are simply lost to time.
I totally agree with your concern.
In the past, shows I really liked would be purchased on DVD (or Blu-ray), and I *still* pop them in and watch them whenever I want. That's why I've always been a fan of hard copies (even though I've gone crazy with a 1300+ collection purchased over 15 years), because eventually when networks decide to stop providing access to that show (or movie), due to lack of demand or bandwidth or whatever, it will be gone forever. Or at least MUCH harder to access. They'll stop printing the hard disks at some point too, if they haven't already.
In the likely future... maybe that movie you really wanted to watch right now isn't available on Amazon Prime Instant anymore. It's not on Xfinity OnDemand, either. Netflix *only* has their catalogue of 2,000 original movies. Wal-mart just has a bare bones selection of new releases. All of the sudden, you are completely out of options to watch Martin Short and Kurt Russell in Captain Ron. Guess you have to watch something else.
Soon you'll be forced to pay $200 for a DVD set of King of the Hill on Craigslist (substitute any show). And my torrenting days died in my 20s, so I'm not bootlegging a copy of Forrest Gump anytime in the future.
And with Netflix, the potential for heartbreak is even greater, like you said. Do you love their new amazing show about mind reading polar bears? Well, even if you do, it was ranked 112th on their list of new original programming, so they'll throw it in the trash without thought. Maybe two years later, they'll take the one season they provided you off the app as well, to avoid cluttering the recommended lists.
My collection is obscene and crazy, but I'd suggest buying hard copies of any niche, classic movies or shows you'd potentially like to watch 10 years from now. Jeez, now I sound like a doomsday prepper. But hey, when I'm in my apocalypse bunker with my TV and my generator, with the internet long dead, I'll have endless entertainment (until my generator dies).
Scott, I'd be interested to know your least favorite 10 movies from your 1300 DVD collection.
[Mike Cohen] "Scott, I'd be interested to know your least favorite 10 movies from your 1300 DVD collection."
Haha, I'd actually be interested to find that out myself... I've bought a lot of crap over the years (when I was more frivolous with my money) without even seeing it first. I will do this assignment when I have time! There's probably many more than 10 that I don't enjoy in any way.
You could also close your eyes and grab 10 DVDs at random, and make a list of those. Then let everyone comment on the films.
Think about the DVR you have, full of stuff you can't export out to an archive because it's DCMA copy-protected, and there are cases where the provider to that DVR could go in and wipe it. That's happened with some e-books from Amazon, I recall. Do you really "own" your shows at all, unless you've bought hard copies?
I used to have a DVD recorder which would let me burn content from my DVR. Not in HD but better than nothing. To get an HD recording I could point my phone at the tv in a dark room, or just never delete things. I have two recordings at the bottom of my list that have been there for years.
[Mike Cohen] "I have two recordings at the bottom of my list that have been there for years."
I'm not calling this an intervention... But, Mike, it's time to either delete or watch your recording of the 2009 Country Music Awards. It's time to let go.
One is a tv interview with a relative who survived the Japan earthquake.
The other is The Killers live at the Royal Albert Hall.
I had to delete Jeff Beck live at Ronnie Scott's because I was running out of space. It was about 2 hours of Beck with his band playing lots of his best material, and included appearances by Clapton and Joss Stone. At one point you see Jimmy Page in the audience.
There are a few white whales that I am always searching for. One was Logan's Run. I finally was able to record this a few months ago and was quite disappointed at how cheesy it was.
Ah ok those make more sense to keep then!
That just reminded me that I did have a recording of The Price is Right on my DVR for a very long time where my wife and I were in the audience. We didn't even get on contestants row, but were just seen from poor camera angles about 3 times for a total of 7 seconds. But then we moved, and I lost the DVR recording forever. All I have to remember it now is my memories, and the SCOTT name tag which I kept and put in my "why am I keeping this?" box full of stuff that I have no intention of displaying anywhere.
That's a nice memory. Was it Drew Carey or Bob Barker?
Do you have a Plinko game in your basement? I saw one a Sea World last week - it looks easy to make.
It was Drew Carey. Here's a "fun" fact if you've never been in The Price is Right audience... You are literally at that studio for like 6 hours. Waiting outside on the sidewalk to check in, then filling out paperwork, waiting in the processing area, getting interviewed by producers, picture sessions, even more waiting around to get into the actual studio, waiting to *get to* your seat in the studio, waiting *in* your seat for the show to actually start... And then the whole show itself is over in like 40 minutes.
Memorable experience, but I wouldn't do it again. It drained basically one entire day of our five day vacation in California.
Jimmy Kimmel Live, on the other hand (which we did on the same trip), was like an hour of waiting, and then a warm up comedian and then they just drilled through the show and he waved "goodbye" and we were out of there. Wasn't as memorable as Price Is Right, but took much less time.
Both were free though! Guess I can't complain.
[Mike Cohen] "Do you have a Plinko game in your basement? I saw one a Sea World last week - it looks easy to make."
I always thought about making a Plinko board for my kids' chores (when I have kids), because it would be funny to do something fun like that and have it end in misery.
TPIR show also goes on tour during the summer, without Drew, some other person hosts, but it runs like the actual show.... it came to Springfield this year but I didn't go.
But to get back on track a little, I'd like to further explore what might happen down the road regarding access to shows you're only allowed to "rent" access to. The young Millennials I guess don't seem to care about it, because to them this is their "normal", and owning hard copies of things like photos, music, and movies is some kind of throw-back. It's got benefits and problems as well.
Well, there's really only two obvious downsides to owning hard copies of things.
1. They take up physical space.
2. They cost more.
So if you have the money to buy frivolous pieces of art (music, movies, shows), and the space with which to keep them, then that's a great option, because they will be yours forever. ...Or until the devices to play them on become obsolete, which is another problem. Though, you can still buy VCRs at Walmart, so I think you'll still be able to buy disc drives for another 20 years if you want. (and video game systems will still probably use discs for another few generations, and thus have disc drives)
But with the current state of most young people and their lack of money, and their lack of owning houses to store stuff in; the norm of never really owning anything probably doesn't seem that bad. It's trendy to get rid of your stuff, actually! Now if you decide to collect things you're either a nerd or a hoarder.
Photos I think are the one thing that everyone should agree are best as digital copies. Which you can still keep forever, and they don't take up boxes and boxes of space that are nearly impossible to go through. And if you want to physically hang one up, go get it printed at Walgreens.
I lost a good chunk of 3-4 years' worth of digital photos of my family events and the kids growing up in a hardware/software glitch, back when digital photography was new, and only the chemical photos and prints from that time remain, so I'd qualify your statement by adding: "and having them backed-up in multiple, various locations".