I was so into my tedious anecdote in the previous post that I forgot to endorse Breaking Bad as lowish culture. I’m not sure if it’s screened in New Zealand – most US based TV critics named it as the best show of 2010, so I guess TVNZ are avoiding it like the plague. The basic plot is that a chemistry teacher working at a high school in New Mexico finds out he has lung cancer so he becomes a methamphetamine cook to provide for his family after he’s gone, and hilarity ensues. Great stuff – but hey, don’t take my word for it – just ask Phil Collins.
The Onion AV Club has rolling in-depth reviews of the show that I read after watching each episode – apparently this is standard for TV critics writing about popular shows now, and a huge driver of web traffic to entertainment sites. Seems the job(?) of being a TV critic has changed from recommending shows to analysing them post-screening.
Which made me think about TVNZ and their recent Tivo debacle, and the way I watch TV now which is that someone recommends a show to me and I borrow it or buy it or rent it on DVD and Maggie and I watch one episode an evening. I don’t want to watch an episode a week, even if I can automatically record it and live-rewind it etc. I don’t think we’re that unique -I suspect the availability of entire seasons on DVD has changed viewing habits for a lot of consumers – but so far as I know there’s no consumer technology available that lets you do that – ie pick a show from a vast library and download/stream it at will, or at least, none that lets you do this legally and pay a fee.