Never unintentional: my brain on linear TV vs. Netflix
The internet has fundamentally changed my relationship to content. I won’t go back.
Does ‘Planet of the Apps’ mean that Apple is bad at producing TV?
There is precedent for a streaming service achieving success after mediocre first efforts at original content.
Letterman’s moving to Netflix. Who’s next?
From a Netflix press release: “David Letterman, the longest-serving host in U.S. late night television – the original host of Late Night (NBC) and The Late Show (CBS) – is returning to television for a new series for Netflix. The yet-to-be-named, six-episode series has Letterman combining two interests for which he is renowned: in-depth conversations with extraordinary people, and…
Streaming TV wins—except on Thanksgiving.
Combine extra vacation time with an extended family’s varied tastes, and streaming has some downsides.
Netflix makes it easy to binge. By auto-playing the next episode, and by stripping out the commercial breaks, the streaming service removes the interruptions that typically prompt you to get a snack or go to bed. But there’s still one vestige of broadcast TV that invites you to stop watching: interminable opening credits sequences. Star…
When will home theaters kill the multiplex?
Year by year, the gap between home theaters and the local multiplex narrows. You can buy an impressive big-screen TV and a kick-ass speaker system for less than $2000. Even an entry-level system (i.e. <$1000) compares favorably to your local cinema. Toss in a comfy couch or a few recliners, and you’ve essentially duplicated an…
Why video piracy won’t die.
These days, piracy is king. Anyone with basic Internet skills, a broadband connection, and a low-end PC can watch every TV show and movie ever produced. Hours after a new episode premieres, it’s uploaded to a dozen different services that allow instant playback. Even live sports streams aren’t hard to find. Of course, content producers…
Netflix, our hero!
The telcos are doubly damned. On the one hand, American telecommunications companies continue to hold back TV’s natural evolution. Television service hasn’t improved for decades. To watch your favorite programs, you still have to buy overpriced packages of channels you hate. Even now, when pervasive broadband invites infinite distribution alternatives, the telcos ruthlessly stymie innovation…
How TV’s renewal / cancellation cycle hobbles great shows
TV’s annual, stop-and-start production schedule hobbles its best shows. Because a programs’s creators never know how many seasons they’ll get, they must pace themselves for a race that could end at any moment. Some plot lines get rushed, as the writers scramble to tell it in the current season. Others arcs get stretched to absurdity,…
Parks and Rec: the rewards (and perils) of a fleshed-out sitcom world
NBC’s Parks and Recreation goes out of its way to create a consistent fictional world, with recurring characters and odd local lore. For example, Li’l Sebastian, the beloved mini-horse of Pawnee, Indiana, doesn’t just headline a single funny episode. He comes up again and again, even after his untimely death. He’s the star of the…