ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Entertainment and Media»
  • Television & TV Shows

Isn't Binging Bad For You?

Updated on October 1, 2014
Eric Seidel profile image

I use to write reviews for Squidoo and some other website whose name escapes me. Once those sites went defuncked I copy/pasted them here.

Not to rain on anybody's parade but it basically does look like THIS.
Not to rain on anybody's parade but it basically does look like THIS.

Your Brain Could Get A Tummy Ache

In the last few years, many production companies have been focusing on television as a new ground for making money. For the same amount of money it costs to make a movie, a studio can churn out a season or two of episodes. Producers also seem to give writers more creative freedom, more so than the old play-it-safe dogs that run Hollywood. Oh what? Hollywood gives film makers creative freedom too you say? That would probably explain the influx in remakes, sequels, and comicbook movies...

However let's not completely rule out Tinsel Town, their lack of effort might be why TV is kicking their ass harder than it was back in the 1950s, but it's not entirely too late for them to turn their misfortune around. Afterall it's happened before, and an entire decade was better for it, but monetarily they learned the hard way before they did so.

Writers Are Working Harder Than Ever, Or At Least Trying To

There are a lot of TV shows on these days. And by a lot I mean the networks and channels have a continuous assortment of them. Even lesser known, newer networks like Own and Robert Rodriguez's El Ray cable stations are churning out original programming. Now when I say original I mean something that was actually written by human beings, not "reality" where the "stars" and the creators sit around and figure out ways to make it interesting. No original as in a writer or writers thought out an actual storyline.

The problem with the influx in TV shows is twofold. Creative strain and limitations for the writers and barely any time to watch all of it for viewers. As far as time is concerned technology now allows us to watch all of our past and present favorites anywhere. Provided there is wifi and/or good cell phone reception. Comcast, Direct TV, and Verizon delivers slows live and pre-recorded via built in DVR's. The technology makes it possible to watch whatever, but isn't it all a bit much? How can we really enjoy all of these shows when there's so damn many to focus on?

These poor writers have to come up with more challenging storylines, most of which are competing against other shows. Everything's kind of a blur and we have to rely on fractured memories to catch us up on previous events. Remember when shows use to do a "previously on" montage at the beginning? Some shows still do that, at least the ones that are serialized thankfully.

Binging Turns TV Shows Into Background Noise

The more I think about it, the more I start to wonder if I should have been a better listener. Sam is a user, and is in no way independent, but she is someone who has not lived an easy life. I myself did not make it any easier on her. We use to argue a lot and the communication most of the time was very muddled. I should have cut ties with her a very long time ago and I should have listened when people told me to do so.

I don't think there was anyway I could help her that didn't involve money.

Technology Was So Much Simpler

I don't want to throw rocks into anyone's pond. If a person wants to retain hours of hard work and production value, into your brain, within a day's time then go ahead. If you were in an all-you-can-eat buffet and you saw some guy gorging himself, you wouldn't go over and say "you're going to have a heart attack, please stop!"? No. Or at least I wouldn't. It's none of our business if a fat guy wants to kill himself, but at the same time we should at least think about saying something right? Show some consideration for our fellow human beings? When you binge on TV you might not get a heart attack (then again you might but that depends on how excitable you are about decapitation) but it's still not healthy.

I like to catch up on missed shows using Comcast's On Demand. Sometimes two weeks worth, but not entire seasons. Took me five months to watch House of Cards. Why? Because I watched one episode a week like a TV show should be watched. The build up is what makes the whole thing worth it. Doing it this way works out since Season 3 is right around the corner. Watching shows the natural way passes the time until the next season.

The way I use to "binge" on TV was by recording a night's lineup on a VHS tape, then fast forwarding through all of the clutter. I use to catch up on my Saturday morning cartoons that way, except by the time I was old enough to figure out the timer function on the VCR I was too old for a lot of the crap they put on. Does anyone remember Batman The Animated Series, Rocko's Modern Life, unedited Looney Toons? WTF happened!? Does anyone remember when you COULD fast forward through commercials with VHS? Most shows on On Demand disable the fast forward feature. Yes it was a pain having to fast forward, but it was the experience of it. Having to actually get up off your ass and swap tapes, the possibility of messing up and not recording your favorite show. THAT was the experience.

Some Shows Would Make Better Movies

It has got to the point where writers and creators have to try harder every year to keep people tuning in. I mean it won't be too much of an issue I get the sense that this is the decade of the television when it comes to entertainment. Every decade things change. 1990s was the decade for movies, 2000s was the decade where video games grew their legs, and now the 2010s will probably go down as the TV decade. It just kinda goes around in a cycle or you might have a different opinion on that. The problem is that some of these shows would make better movies.

It goes without saying that television is more ambitious now than it's ever been, but with ambition comes crazier production values and ways to cut corners episode-by-episode. For example there is this new series on TNT called The Last Ship. I thought the concept was cool; a US Naval vessel sails around looking for the cure to a virus that wiped out most of Earth's population. Yeah I know right? It would make a good movie but now picture that idea as a TV show... I watched about ten minutes of it before I shook my head and changed the channel. The quality made me think Steven Segal would show up with a poorly dubbed voice and "fight" some Russian dudes. Ok maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but still seemed rushed and low rent.

A couple years ago a show with a similar premise... well not post apocalyptic but the story may have gone that way if the main character didn't keep his cool. Anyway the show was called Last Resort and certainly had better production values than The Last Ship. Unfortunately it got cancelled after 13 episodes. It's a damn shame because it had potential. My point is either show could have made a better movie or at the very least a mini series.

I'm sure some of you emember what a miniseries is. Centenial, Roots, The Thornbirds, Rich Man/Poor Man; all before my time but grand television events that didn't require stretching them into five seasons. Remember when there were only two or three days of the week when worth while shows came on, and the rest of the nights were filled in with TV movies or other things? One time there was a four part miniseries called The Last Don, I remember it came on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and the following Sunday on CBS back in the day. These days reality TV takes up most of the slots. Of course lately they have been embracing the concept of the "limited series". Six to ten episodes and it's over; all loose ends tied up in a neat little single season bow. At least this way they can pour more money into the production and are not forced to stretch a premise throughout multiple seasons.

Why invest in a series that might get cancelled anyway when you can split it up into four or five two hour installments? I suppose the limitations of current TV lineups are what make the "limited series" a more viable option for both broadcasters and creators alike. A two hour movie is harder to schedule than a 60 minute episode but it's grandeur is what should make it worth the trouble. Also the summer time would be the best time to do this since the slots are all clear anyway. Instead of airing s***** reality shows take the opportunity to dominate the summer ratings with a mini series or two. In that case be ambitious, but not paint the writers into a corner by coming up with a series involving Naval equipment if it's not going to go anywhere.

My Advice For Hollywood

The more I think about it, the more I start to wonder if I should have been a better listener. Sam is a user, and is in no way independent, but she is someone who has not lived an easy life. I myself did not make it any easier on her. We use to argue a lot and the communication most of the time was very muddled. I should have cut ties with her a very long time ago and I should have listened when people told me to do so.

I don't think there was anyway I could help her that didn't involve money.

How Often Do You Binge TV?

See results

What Do You Think? Am I Just Crazy?

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.