It was a feast. A fiesta. A good time was had by all. Right up until the time when you caught up, and then suddenly you were finding excuses to pop into the store every few days on the off chance they had the next tape.
There’s a word for that. Rhymes with pladdiction.
Now, of course, we engage with TV series this way as a matter of course. They build up on our Foxtel until our hard drives groan with their weight. I recently bought my wife series 1 and 2 of Orphan Black. The actual heart of the gift was not the DVDs themselves, rather it was the sensation of relief she felt when she was able to delete all those episodes from our IQ hard drive and get our “percentage free” figure up into double figures.
And then you find yourself tearing through a season, watching a couple of episodes each evening, having debates about whether you should head off to bed at 10:45 or whether you could fit just one more slice of Walking Dead action in. And it is excellent, consumerism at its best. A constant sugar rush high.
But – and I grant you this may be old age setting in – but…. do you remember any of it?
I enjoy watching series that way. I know I do. I remember enjoying myself. But the episodes all blur together and 6 months later I’ll catch 5 minutes of something while I’m channel surfing, and be struggling to remember whether I’ve seen it before or not.
Recently, I’ve been watching a few shows where I’m seeing the episodes week to week. And, while the shows haven’t necessarily been the highest quality in and of themselves, I’m finding my recall of them is much better. I spend a small amount of time each week wondering what’s going to happen next, testing out particular scenarios in my mind. I’m engaging with them better.
So, culture vultures I’m wondering – is your experience of a TV series changed by the manner in which you consume it? And do you think this will have an impact on future fandom? Will the next generation of fans be as across the detail (“No, I didn’t spend a week obsessing over what happened to the bump on the eye of the lead actress in Continuum. I just pressed play on the next episode”)? Or will they engage utterly differently with the material?
Go on. Be honest. This is a safe space.