I dont have a telly in the gaff, and y'know what that means: I get a lot more done with my days but when I'm in company I have no idea what anybody's talking about half the time.
Now and then I get to play 'pop-cultural catch-up' via boxed sets. In a way, boxed sets are probably a bit like cheating. These programmes are designed to be consumed with waiting period of a week between episodes and a year between seasons... There is a lot more to be gotten from the classic cliffhanger if the whole thing isn't solved instantly by FF-ing past the end credits and opening credits. Then again the boxed set method does keep ads out of the house. (Nobody should have advertising in their home, remind me to elaborate someday).
The boxed set also lends itself to the video marathon, a show (that's any good) will, of course, leave you feeling 'just one more episode...I know it's half past three in the morning but I have to know what happens'. its so engaging , so convenient, no ads just story and all you need to do is press 'PLAY'
Theirin lieth the probellum- for Boxed sets can eat your soul and destroy your will to live.
Case in point, I have just recently been liberated from the burden of The West Wing, (all seven seasons in a dox beluxe version that came in a bogs dollocks).
Released you say? Burden? Yes. Yes, That's what I say and that's what I think.
It was a welcome burden and by the time my release date came I was well into an advanced stage of Stockholm Syndrome but still I was 'released' and it was a 'burden', and I shall never be able to fully explain what happened to me back there.
man.Now I do get to witness telly occasionally, and some time over the past ten years I must have been somewhere where the West Wing was on, but all I ever seemed to see was people hastily walking around corridors and talking too fast about things I didn't understand so... y'know... why bother trying to play catch-up?
The boxed set is an entirely different proposition. No reason to miss a single part. Watch it and know it and be part of it in its entirety, be the Wing! Well no not quite. Fact is I never got the West Wing first time 'round: I wasn't there, it was just another shared cultural experience I missed out on, (like Italia 90') but this was at least as near to 'being the wing' as a snotty nosed come-lately such as meself could expect.
And what shall I say of the wing?
1. Nobody told me it was a soap. It is y'know, it's a soap opera. A very good soap mind you but a soap nonetheless.
2. I can see why it won awards, it's a very good bit of telly and it does explain things at the same time. It explains things in a very simplistic way but that's what's best for the target audience: myself included.
3. The characters are all ridiculously naive and idealistic, but thank god. You couldn't be looking at disillusioned political hacks week in and week out.
4. It runs for so many episodes that it feels more real than a real presidency. I now have a real and clear concept of the Bartlet administration; one that's far more concrete than my idea of the Reagan era or Bush or any of them.
5. I bet it helped Obama get in.
6. The bombastic title music does not lend itself to boxed set consumption. Snuffy you annoy me.