A New Golden Age of Television
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]id you know we are living in a Golden Age for television watching? Well, at least I think we are. Think back, before the internet had a real strong hold on our lives, if you were watching your favorite television show, and it was a two part episode, you may have had to wait up to a week to see the outcome of the cliffhanger. It was rough sometimes. Would the hero save the day, or would the dastardly villain escape his clutches? Would she say yes to his proposal, or would he be left on one knee looking like a fool as she turned him down and ran away?
Don’t get me wrong, cliffhangers still exist today, and they are very good. Look at the season finale of Scandal and you’ll agree. But, for some, we don’t have that problem. Take me for example; I got into AMC’s hit show Breaking Bad really late. Really, only a few months ago. So, I wanted to catch up on everything that had happened until that point. Here is where the Golden Age part comes in. I went on Netflix and watched the first four seasons. I was able to watch them one after another, back to back. There was no having to wait a week, or even another night, unless I was tired and went to bed, I could just move on to the next episode.
Then, when I was through with the first four seasons, I caught the current season on my cable provider up to the mid-season finale (which is honestly a trend that bugs me a bit). Now, when the show returns in two weeks, I’m ready to roll. The point I’m making is in some way appointment television had faded for a while. By that I mean, on Thursday’s everyone knew The Cosby Show came on at 8 p.m. on NBC. And much of America was there to watch it. On Monday nights on Fox, you had Jack Bauer and 24 racing against the clock. But, for a while, there wasn’t really anything good to draw folks. Yes, that may not have applied for everyone, but for me, due to life and whatever else came along, the only thing I ever really made time for was football on Sundays.
For a lot of people life, work, family, or whatever has/had made it very hard to catch your favorite programs when and how you wanted to. Now though, on demand video services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, cable providers giving you several recent episodes of your favorite shows at once (or on occasion entire seasons or more), and the shows themselves on the internet giving you episodes as well, you can freely watch what you want, how you want, when you can. And in some ways, that is better than watching a show week after week after week at the same time, or even having to deal with mid-season finales for several weeks and waiting for the show to come back. Or, having a whole season at your disposal, the way that Netflix has done shows like House of Cards or Hemlock Grove. It appears on Netflix and the whole season is right there for you. The hard part comes when you have completely caught up with a show, and have to wait for it to come back. My solution for that, look around, and find a new show to get into in the meantime.