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January 2019 Retro Gaming Article

January 3, 2019 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

I grew up waiting 7 days for a TV show's next episode and binge-watching occurred long after a season ended

Stranger Things 3
The click-bait headlines about the Stranger Things 3 release date makes me wonder if people no longer want weekly series.
The headlines were relentless. Identical. Irritating. "CLICK HERE" to find out when Netflix will release Stranger Things Season 3. Are people really that desperate for this info? I recently bought the ST2 DVD set and have yet to watch it. I loved the first season and am excited to see where it went in the second season. As for the third season - coming out on July 4th 2019 for those who've yet to CLICK HERE - again it will all be released.

July 4th is not the premiere or first episode of season three. It's all of the episodes comprising the entire third season of Stranger things. This concept still takes me by surprise. Sure, I"ll binge watch a season of X-Files, Miami Vice, Burn Notice, or La Femme Nikita. It's fun to relive the episodes in a consistent stream. But the fun of that comes after watching each week in real time with all the cliffhangers and season-ending mysteries.

Binge watching robs us of the time to enjoy and ponder cliffhangers!
I still watch TV in this manner. I don't time-shift with DVR or apps. I grew up with the 7-day wait for the next installment. Folks at work and friends would discuss plot lines and share theories until the next episode aired. That was fun. It added an element to the show. In today's internet connected world, we seem to want everything right now! Why? We no longer take time to think about things - impulse is the new normal.

Watching shows when they are broadcast forces a bit of discipline. I've been watching Sneaky Pete on Amazon. i missed it when it first aired, so I"m catching up. Sure, I find myself watching a few episodes at a time, but as I do this, I notice I lose the sense of suspense and don't thing as much about all the elements of the show. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, but there's an instant solution as the next ep plays out. That ruins it for me. I want to ingest and ponder my favorite shows.

When you change the viewers experience, you change their perceptions.
I'm all for modern tech and change, but I still get the impression that a lot of the changes we're seeing are "because we can" without any greater good being met. Certainly how one watches TV is immaterial and trivial, but when you look at how a simple change in release strategy effects the product - it's worth more thought.

Don't do things because we can. Do them because it makes sense or adds value. I like to have time to think about things - ramifications and the like - we need more of that and less impulse-driven decisions.

Waiting a week before the next installment of a show isn't "old fashioned" it makes you really think about the story, characters, and motives. Thinking is good even if inspired by a dumb TV show. Regardless how you consume entertainment, make sure books are a large pat of your entertainment menu!

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