Square Eyes

Netflix

Netflix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hi, it’s been a while, how you doing?  While I’ve been away from the blog (it’s been so long I see that WordPress have been in and redecorated the Editor screen) I’ve been watching a lot of tv.

Now I remember when Channel 4 started and Channel Five naturally, then when Freeview digital tv began I wondered whether there would be anything worth watching on. Before digital I used to watch more dramas and things I don’;t watch now because there’s more choice and I can find something more to my taste, the last drama series I think I watched was series two of Lost before Channel 4, er, lost it.

Now thanks to BBC2, BBC4, Dave and Quest I have plenty to watch, unfortunately.  Just in the last six weeks there has been something I’ve wanted to watch on every night from seven to nine and the interesting thing is that they were all episodes of the same programmes every night.

This seems to be pandering to people’s cries of “I want more and I want it now”.  Once, when we had five channels, a tv show was on once a week, except the news and weather of course, there was too much of it for one show and we’d forget whether it was going to rain on Thursday.  Soon though soaps started being shown a couple of times a week, then Channel Five brought in striped programming where the same type of show was on at the same time every day.  Now though channels will show a whole series in one go, often a brand new show, an episode a day, seemingly to avoid forfeiting the viewers’ easily distracted attention – oh, won’t somebody please think of the advertising revenue!

Then there’s the extras – first Big Brother gained a post-show pseudo-analytical, comedic Little Brother, as if an hour of housemates wasn’t enough, the X-factor now takes up two evenings as does Strictly Come Dancing in a show of further ratings rivalry.  A cynic might say that all this also cheaply fills up all those fifty channels of digital bandwidth but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Much of this is related to the modern concept of Binge Watching brought about by online and satellite tv Box Sets – which are now even available for brand-new shows so rather than watching a series over half a year (as in the old days of The West Wing or Frasier for example) you can sit for a whole weekend watching episode after episode only stopping for food and toilet breaks, though with some services you can transfer the show to your tablet and keep watching in the loo too – another argument against buying second-hand tablets.  There is even advice for how to wean yourself off the box sets (spoiler alert:  it’s about watching episodes from half-way through, so avoiding the cliffhanger).

The thing is that satiating peoples’ impatience takes away the appreciation and anticipation of something you have to wait for.  If you’re watching the next episode of a drama straight away you’re missing the excitement of finding out what happens next steadily building.  That was what cliffhangers in tv dramas were invented for so next time you’re watching a drama on Netflix remember that the end credits are there for a reason.

Got to go , the repeat of Salvage Hunters is on.

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Parcel Farce Part Deux: One Camera’s Journey

English: Lagan Viking Irish Sea The Lagan Viki...

English: Lagan Viking Irish Sea The Lagan Viking one hour and forty minutes after leaving Belfast Harbour is photographed passing the Isle of Man heading for Liverpool. Image made from Portavogie Harbour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I often find that I see interesting photos while I don’t have my DSLR with me and while my compact camera does a good job when I saw the chance of an even better compact for half price (£60) on Amazon I decided to treat myself.  I no longer have Amazon Prime so didn’t expect to have to deal with couriers any more but this week I was proved wrong.

My camera was dispatched on Monday from Swansea and was meant to be delivered on Wednesday, some drivers for the courier it was being sent by (Hermes) have a habit of leaving packages outside our building so I was a little apprehensive when I arrived home to find nothing, not even a card to say they hadn’t delivered.  I checked on Amazon and the tracking information said “Possible delay in delivery due to arrival at incorrect carrier facility” – current location of my camera: Belfast.  It had taken the advice to “go west” instead of heading for me over here on the east coast.  Possible delay?  It had crossed the Irish Sea and was on its way to Tipperary for all I knew (which is a long way).

Thursday evening, it still hadn’t arrived.  It was in Warrington, having presumably briefly visited Liverpool.  I know not where it will go next but I am a little annoyed that it’s visiting more cities than I have time to do.

Update:  Saturday morning.  I suddenly thought to check where it was, went to Amazon, the tracking now said it had visited Peteborough and was out for delivery.  At last!  I looked out of my front window a few minutes later and down on the road outside was the Hermes driver just getting my box out of his car.  Perfect timing.