Tag Archives: Netflix

TV dramas losing favor with busy television viewers


Television: TV dramas are losing favor with busy television viewers

Ah, the dilemma of the multitasking viewer.

Interesting story (by Joe Flint) above in the Los Angeles Times about how difficult it is to keep viewers interested in any but the most simplistic plotlines. One executive says “most viewers are watching television with a laptop on their legs,” which is an obvious exaggeration, but according to other research cited, about 20% of the audience is using a computer, an Ipad or a smartphone while trying to keep up with a network drama plot.

The result isn’t good for anyone involved with drama from the creatives involved to the execs to the companies buying ads that no one is watching. From where I sit, this means fewer jobs than ever for writers in Hollywood. Also from where I sit as a fan and TV viewer, it means more inane reality series. Please, please, don’t foist more real housewives upon us, I think we get it!

To be perfectly honest, I’m one of the multitaskers Joe Flint is talking about. Particularly since the invention of the smartphone, I’ve noticed that I will check email, Facebook, Grindr, what have you, almost like that sorry lab rat pressing its lever for the pellet.

In public, where I used to occupy my hands with something like smoking (quit 20 years ago) now to combat nervousness or boredom I do the same thing, play with Iphone.Tap, tap, tap, slide.

I can’t tell you how long it takes me to get through a 43 minute episode of a standard TV drama on Hulu or Netflix. Because I constantly pause, check other things, get up and go to the kitchen, the bathroom, the mailbox, the whatever. I will say I always return, and rarely if ever do I bail on an episode once I’ve started. If you’d told me years ago I’d develop this kind of technology-inspired adult ADD I’d have said you were nuts.

But here I am. So, ‘fess up, who else multitasks while watching TV?

Entertainment spending fell in 2010 – is that a shocker?


Entertainment spending fell in 2010 – latimes.com.


Interesting piece in the Times on how tech is affecting Hollywood. Every time in the past – whether it was the invention of talkies, the threat of television, VHS, DVD, whatever – the studios have always figured out a way to surmount the obstacle and came out on top.

Who knows about this time. The recording industry is but a shadow of its former self, not being able to adapt to digital sharing. It’s pretty clear that folks are getting used to watching video content on computers and mobile phones – or on that interactive set in a more comfortable setting – the living room, the great room, the bedroom…

I’m glad the situation with the economy was part of the story – I know first-hand, if you’re presently job-challenged, it’s a big stretch to pay that $105 Iphone bill as well as an $80 cable bill every month.

I finally pulled the plug myself on cable when I moved back out to the desert last April. I bought rabbit ears and a converter box and I get the local stations over the air (not that I ever watch… but I did see some of the Rose Parade…) Between Netflix online and Hulu.com, I could pretty much see whatever it was I wanted online at any time. Granted, I’m not a live sports fan and I get my news from reading – so clearly, that would not work for everyone.

Still, I think it’s a trend, and we’ll see more and more people disconnecting their cable and the cable companies reacting, by offering more and more deals. Have you cut back or cut it off? Would you consider life without cable television?

More customers drop cable TV; is Internet or cost to blame? – USATODAY.com


Link to: More customers drop cable TV; is Internet or cost to blame? – USATODAY.com.

I think it’s both internet AND cost. Nice to see that I’m part of a trend – or not. I haven’t had television since I moved – I watch DVDs on the set, but no broadcast reception as I never got the converter box for digital. When I had cable – I usually just watched a couple of things – like Project Runway, certain HBO and Showtime series, some HGTV – but really, not much. Most of the time the set was off.

I don’t miss it, usually. Actually, I missed not having CNN or MSNBC on Tuesday for the election returns. But you know, between Huffington Post, the LA Times, the MSNBC website, and probably a few others, I was kept up-to-date without those annoying video loops.

I also do watch Hulu, though it can be irritating when there are delays between airing of shows you want to watch and when they become available online. Fewer commercials, though, and generally the quality is very good.

I also watch Netflix online, more and more as they make more and more of their content available. Who can resist immediate gratification? Once you’ve started doing it that way, the whole deal of the little red mailers and sleeves seems so cumbersome and inelegant.

Oh – and the other thing the story touches on – landlines vs. cell – gave up my landline years ago. If I need to fax something that can’t go straight through the computer, I just take it over to a local printshop.