Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-14-2019, 02:04 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078

Netflix dumping entire new seasons at once kills the communal viewing experience


It was too long for the title, but I specifically mean the way that they dump a new season of their new, original shows a season at a time, available for anyone to binge through at their own pace.

There's something appealing or sort of romantic about the way there used to be only 3 networks. TV watching was a communal experience - there is a very high likelihood that a significant fraction of the population was watching the same show last night. You'd be on the same page and could discuss it at the water cooler. Now, I'm not saying that's better than what we have now, because it's not, but we have largely lost the communal feeling of sharing TV.

After that, we developed hundreds of channels. On-demand. TiVos and DVRs. That all fragmented the previously fairly unified TV market. And generally, that's way better, because everyone has way more options to suit what they want, and because different networks are willing to try different things, some of the greatest shows ever made probably wouldn't have been made on the traditional broadcast model.

But viewership became fragmented. Only for the most popular shows was there a lot of water cooler (or here in cafe society) discussion of episodes as they aired. Things like Lost (piece of crap that it was) or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones ended up being able to unite us in our watching habits as we were hooked on them and all watched new episodes as soon as they were available, and it generated that shared experience and a lot of discussion. So even though the average TV show wasn't a communal experience like it used to be, some really compelling ones still were.

Netflix breaks even this model. At least with the previous stage I referred to, we were all watching the same episode of the same time. Only a few iconic shows got us all on the same page, but we were all on the same page.

But Netflix decided to differentiate themselves from traditional broadcast, that they'd drop the entire season of a new original show at once. So even if we were all watching the same show - I think Black Mirror would be an iconic show just like Lost/Breaking Bad/Game of Thrones - now we're not watching episodes together anymore.

Some people would binge the whole new season in a night. Some people would space out their viewing to build some anticipation between episodes and not overload on it. You couldn't know where other people were at, so it became hard to have discussions. We have seasonal discussion for black mirror threads, but they're a mess. People are cross-talking to each other about episodes that some people in the thread watched, and some people haven't. If you weren't a binge watcher, finishing the new season on day 1, and you didn't want to see discussion for the other episodes, you basically had to stay out of the thread until you finished the whole season.

I like to not watch an episode more than once every few days. I feel like the time between episodes benefits the watching experience, because if you just blast right through it you miss something. Which means that when I was done with each episode, and wanted to go discuss it somewhere, I couldn't, because I'd just get caught up in that thread where people were talking about all the episodes at once, most of which I haven't seen. So I had to wait a couple of weeks to participate, and by then the discussion had died down.

I, personally, think this model is a failure for that reason. It strips TV shows of the communal experience they sometimes still have. Other major streaming services seem to agree, because only Netflix does the season drop. Other streaming services still air new episodes to original content once a week.

There's also something in it for them - people will tend to subscribe longer for the new episodes if they want to see them as they come out. Of course you can bypass this by waiting until the whole new season has aired and then watching it all in the span of one month's subscription.

Even so, I strongly prefer the weekly episode format for new, original streaming shows, because the last vestiges of that sense of community that we sometimes see have value.

In fact, if it doesn't run afoul of any sort of Cafe Society rules, I'm going to try to make 6 episode threads for Black Mirror when season 5 airs. I know that's a lot of threads at once, but it solves the problems I mentioned with cross-discussion between episodes and people who watch the show more slowly being unable to discuss it. The episode discussion will be cleaner (just about that episode) and people can take them at their own pace without risk of spoilers for other episodes.
  #2  
Old 04-14-2019, 02:30 PM
alphaboi867 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: the Keystone State
Posts: 14,331
Agreed; I much prefer Hulu's model of releasing episodes weekly.
__________________
No Gods, No Masters
  #3  
Old 04-14-2019, 02:33 PM
DigitalC is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obamatopia
Posts: 10,991
I don't care one tiny iota about "communal viewing experience", having entire seasons to watch at my own pace is vastly superior to any other format that i cannot imagine going back to weekly shows. The only thing that would be better is having the entire show released at once.
  #4  
Old 04-14-2019, 02:35 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
2018 Midterm Prediction Winner
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 21,714
http://southpark.cc.com/clips/6cwuu5/savethelivingroom
__________________
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to sparkle motion
  #5  
Old 04-14-2019, 03:28 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,048
I'm with the OP; it was fun to watch a show and be able to talk about it with others at work (or even earlier, at school) the next day.

The OP mentioned Lost, and yes, the ending was disappointing. But we had a lot of fun here talking about it and wondering what it all meant. (Was that a polar bear? What was that smoke monster thing?) That people binge shows is one reason that's no longer possible. But another reason is the extreme fragmentation of the TV marketplace. The Big Bang Theory gets something like 20 million viewers, which puts it at the top of the ratings. Even as recently as twenty years ago, that wouldn't have put it in the top ten. Lots of shows have only a couple of million viewers. Part of the issue is that there's so much to watch; over 500 shows across all platforms.
  #6  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:05 PM
aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 25,490
I prefer weekly viewing for the initial run. I can discuss the episode at work or on message boards.

It's why I still watch network tv shows.

Later, I may binge watch an old show. Usually 4 episodes at a time. 4 hours is my limit per day.
  #7  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:16 PM
Snarky_Kong is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,186
The communal viewing experience has been a positive for me twice: GOT and Breaking Bad. Every other show I prefer the ability to watch at my own pace. So Netflix dropping seasons at a time doesn't bother me at all.
  #8  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:33 PM
BigT's Avatar
BigT is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 36,096
I don't agree. By letting people watch the show when they want to, more people see it, and thus there are more people you can discuss it with. Sure, you now you have to ask if they've seen it before you talk about it, but you're more likely to find someone who watched it than you were when people might've watched something else.

It's also easier than ever to find groups of people who are fans of the show and get together and talk with them, thanks to the Internet. I get into much more in depth conversations about the things I watched than I ever did before. It isn't just the small talk it was before, where you only talk about it to have an excuse to talk about something.

I will agree that having separate threads in a forum for different episodes makes a lot more sense, especially for an anthology show where the ideas are completely separate.The reason we don't do that so much here has more to do with space considerations, in my opinion. And, yes, releasing everything at once does make that less workable, as you can't segregate the single thread by time.

But that's not the communal experience. That's just a posting style on a single non-specialized message board. Any forum actually about the show will have separate threads, and a rule that you can't talk about future stuff in past episode threads.

I'm all for separate threads for different episodes, though. It seems silly to do it any other way for an anthology show. Heck, I've only watched certain episodes--the ones with a premise I like.

Last edited by BigT; 04-14-2019 at 04:33 PM.
  #9  
Old 04-14-2019, 04:47 PM
RealityChuck's Avatar
RealityChuck is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Schenectady, NY, USA
Posts: 42,376
There are plenty of shows that only air weekly -- just not on streaming. We talk here about The Good Place every week and will certainly continue to do so when it comes back. I've discussed Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and I know people discuss the CW superhero shows.

And it's ultimately trivial. Take Lucifer. When it was on the air, people would discuss it each week. Now we have a thread discussing it after the person saw it on Netflix and speculating on what might be happening. When Netflix releases it, there will be another thread. Some people will binge and jump right in; others, like me, will take some time to appreciate it (You can enjoy a show more if you wait a day or more to see another episode -- it gives you time to consider what happened and think about implications instead of getting force fed them).

People are also discussing The Orville here.

So what you're saying is simply that people won't discuss episodes of streaming shows. Network shows won't have any difference, and the networks are putting some very good stuff on the air.
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #10  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:43 PM
diggerwam is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: far NW chicago
Posts: 872
I didn't like the idea at first, but I've warmed up to it. I don't want to binge a whole ten episodes in one weekend, but I do like being able to see the whole season in a reasonable 2-3 weeks. I don't want to wait around 10 weeks for the end of Killing Eve, Veep or Barry.
  #11  
Old 04-14-2019, 08:48 PM
Corry El is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,596
If a show comes out weekly it's more likely there will be better discussions of it, internet and real life both. But I much prefer the personal viewing experience at one to two episodes per night. I guess the second outweighs the first for me though and I find it annoying now to have wait a week between episodes of a show.
  #12  
Old 04-14-2019, 09:18 PM
Grrr!'s Avatar
Grrr! is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 16,121
The CS issue could be dealt with easily if people would just state what episode they are on at the beginning of every post.

That way, other readers that are behind know not to read it.
  #13  
Old 04-14-2019, 09:51 PM
Yookeroo's Avatar
Yookeroo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: San Clemente, California
Posts: 5,049
We lost a little something. Discussions of individual episodes on discussion boards definitely suffered. But that's the price you pay for progress. I wouldn't go back to the old days.
__________________
Paul
  #14  
Old 04-14-2019, 10:18 PM
Loach's Avatar
Loach is offline
The Central Scrutinizer
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Pork Roll/Taylor Ham
Posts: 25,227
That genie is long out of the bottle. The technology has change the landscape and it will never go back. Although I do understand what you mean I do like being able to see a show and discuss it But the downside is just too great. I donít have time to watch all the shows I want when they come on. I donít know how many shows I had to abandon because I fell too far behind. Now I never have to fall behind.

Itís kind of like how with current technology has destroyed consuming albums. My daughter will never know the pleasure of getting a new album and listening to every song and finding those hidden gems that you will never hear on the radio. People just donít consume music that way anymore.
  #15  
Old 04-14-2019, 11:42 PM
Hilarity N. Suze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Denver
Posts: 7,863
I love that I can watch things whenever I want to, including a whole season at once. But I do know what you mean. I think of my daughter-in-law and I kind of dancing around the issue of which episode we'd got to, without giving out an actual spoiler (Oh, have you made it to the episode where this character does this thing?)

But I have seen some discussion groups (hm, I don't know what to call them, I guess this works) online where they do, in fact, take the show episode by episode.
  #16  
Old 04-15-2019, 12:58 AM
GuanoLad's Avatar
GuanoLad is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 24,708
It's hardest for me not being able to join in with the conversations here if I am only up to episode three and everyone else is talking about episode seventeen, and the discussion for where I'm up to is lost back on page five someplace, which was only yesterday but is already well hashed out. There's no way around it, it's certainly not the SDMB's fault, separate threads per episode is too complicated. I just stay out until I'm done, which is usually three weeks after the thread has died.
  #17  
Old 04-15-2019, 02:07 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 28,160
My schedule is so variable there's no way in hell I could commit to being in front of the TV on X day at Y time - which is why over the years I have missed a LOT of TV shows and the "communal experience" that goes with them. Half the shows I own on DVD is because I wasn't home to watch then when they were broadcast.

I probably have more "communal experience" discussing shows now because, with streaming, I can actually watch all of something.

There's nothing stopping people from watching just one show a night, or one show a week. On the other hand, I range from "no time at all" some days/nights to "hey, I'm off today, it's raining/snowing/whatever so I'm going to binge for half a day" so I like being able to watch when it's convenient for me.
  #18  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:35 AM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,490
Everyone talking about the same TV show at the water cooler was probably much less a heart-warming experience than the OP imagines, considering how crappy most TV was. It probably was friggin' annoying, more than anything. But then maybe it was all the same, because everyone's mental capacity had been diminished so much by all the imbecilic commercials they had to sit through during this communal experience.
  #19  
Old 04-15-2019, 03:41 AM
GuanoLad's Avatar
GuanoLad is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Where the wild roses grow
Posts: 24,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
Everyone talking about the same TV show at the water cooler was probably much less a heart-warming experience than the OP imagines, considering how crappy most TV was. It probably was friggin' annoying, more than anything.
They're talking about quality episodic shows like Star Trek TNG, or Twin Peaks, or The Sopranos, not forgettable pabulum like Space Above and Beyond or Full House.
  #20  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:15 AM
Jophiel's Avatar
Jophiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 19,021
I enjoyed watching Mad Men and then having the weekly Monday morning chew over the meaning and what next week might hold and little details people caught. I think that was the last show I made of catching as it aired, largely because the threads added to the experience and helped me fully appreciate each episode before jumping into the next.

I agree that it's probably "too late now", etc but that doesn't mean I can't miss it. I don't fully agree with the "At my own pace" people since the show will be out there for ages to watch. If you want to watch all of it in one weekend, just wait until all the episodes are released and watch them a zillion times in a row if you want. That said, you probably already won the 'debate' so I'm just grumbling.
  #21  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:20 AM
Jasmine's Avatar
Jasmine is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
I don't care one tiny iota about "communal viewing experience", having entire seasons to watch at my own pace is vastly superior to any other format that i cannot imagine going back to weekly shows.
I agree, but I do see the value of anticipation and discussion among the members of a fan base. The thing is, we can have both if people are careful to warn of "spoilers" and fans who want to pace their viewing are disciplined enough not to access them.
  #22  
Old 04-15-2019, 09:41 AM
Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 7,233
The quality of office banter has certainly improved. Maybe next they'll figure out how to squeeze an entire sports season into a weekend.
  #23  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:09 AM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 21,810
SenorBeef the point, contained within your op, is that television shows had already ceased to be the experienced at the same time communal experience for Americans. Dropping seasons of shows at once wasn't even the nail in the coffin, the damn thing was already buried. There was a day when we all gathered round to watch the special annual presentation of The Wizard of Oz but they are long gone.

The exceptions exist but are few.
  #24  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:29 AM
Just Asking Questions is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 6,750
On the one hand, I made the same comment in the Saturday Morning Cartoon thread. Having everything available all the time is a good thing for viewing, but takes away the community aspect.

On the other hand, I don't have any friends or acquaintances that watch the same shows I do, so I don't have anyone to talk to about them anyway,
  #25  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:37 AM
krondys's Avatar
krondys is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Gillette, Wyoming
Posts: 1,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
I don't care one tiny iota about "communal viewing experience", having entire seasons to watch at my own pace is vastly superior to any other format that i cannot imagine going back to weekly shows. The only thing that would be better is having the entire show released at once.
Agree with this viewpoint.

Having to set aside specific times to view something sounds too much like work, to me. I prefer to binge watch when I have the extra time, and waiting annoys me.

I also find that I am far more invested in the show when I get to take large doses when I can fit it in- I started The Blacklist after the 5th season was available on Netflix, and was hooked... but now waiting for each episode to drop for season 6, I find my interest flagging.
  #26  
Old 04-15-2019, 12:04 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yookeroo View Post
We lost a little something. Discussions of individual episodes on discussion boards definitely suffered. But that's the price you pay for progress. I wouldn't go back to the old days.
I wouldn't call it progress; more like a lateral shift.

I guess my thinking is that while shows like Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones are all events in their own right- both the beginning of new seasons, but each episode itself, nobody gets so wound up over the new episodes of GLOW or Orange is the New Black. Fine shows, both of them, but hard to discuss with people outside of your spouse/SO/buddy you watch it with, because you're watching it at your own pace, and it's hard for someone who watched all 6 seasons of OitNB a year ago in a set of extended weekend binges to recall what happened, if you're halfway through season 4 and you're watching it in 2 episode per weekend sets.

It's great for watching the shows, but terrible for discussing them with others... so I guess I agree with the OP, even though I do like watching shows at my own pace.
  #27  
Old 04-15-2019, 12:10 PM
Jophiel's Avatar
Jophiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 19,021
I remember one of the seasons of OitNB had a thread that quickly went off the rails because there was a mid-season spoiler posted early on and I think it died from there.
  #28  
Old 04-15-2019, 02:10 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078
Some of you are misunderstanding me and creating a false dichotomy. I'm not saying that we have to choose between broadcast, appointment television or streaming on demand television. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be able to binge watch an old show, or binge watch a current show to catch up to where it is now. The online streaming services having all shows available is fine and great, except for the one, specific instance of new original shows.

No show that Netflix (or as I think about it, Amazon prime also dumps whole seasons at once, right?) will become a sensation like Lost or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. We will not all be united to watch it together, or discuss it at the same time. I proposed an example - Black Mirror is fantastic, and I think while it would never be as much of a huge experience as the previous three shows I mentioned (because it's an anthology, and not telling an ongoing story, which is a critical part of creating a big communal experience these days), I think it would generate much more discussion and be more in the public consciousness if new episodes were aired one week at a time, when we were all discussing last week's episode and speculating about next week's episode together. Or Amazon's upcoming Lord of the Rings show may have had a chance to become a big thing that we were all watching together, but I suspect that if they just drop entire seasons of it at once, it will minimize its presence in the public consciousness, and scatter it's public viewership, and inhibit a community from forming around it. Sure, we'll have some discussion of it, but it's not going to be anything like how we treated Lost or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, even if it's as good as those shows.

Hulu (IIRC) and CBS all-access have decided on a more traditional model with weekly releases for their new original shows. There's nothing that keeps you from binging on the previous episodes to catch up, and in fact, the fact that you can do that will allow the audience to grow during a show's run rather than become even more fragmented. And if you hate the idea of waiting a week for new episodes, there's nothing to stop you from just waiting for them all to come out and binge watching them then. And there's no reason you have to watch it live, exactly when it releases either. But it allows the possibility for shows to organically become communal again, when they gain the interest of the TV watching public, to be something that we're all watching together.

So I'm not saying streaming is bad. I'm saying what Hulu/CBS all access are doing is better than what Netflix/Amazon are doing. I understand that the former two I mentioned are basically internet extensions of the cable/broadcast companies trying to modernize, and the latter two are two new entries into the market. And that's probably why things as they are - Netflix and Amazon want to demonstrate that they're a new thing and they don't work like the old networks, whereas Hulu is basically the cable industry trying to modernize itself. And I'm not saying the new players don't do it better - they generally do, and the old players are trying to copy them and adapt or die.

While Netflix is better than broadcast television in 98% of ways, there's this one, specific way in which traditional broadcast television is better, and that I think the new players should resist "improving" on that particular thing by changing it. I think we'd be better off if Netflix and Amazon dropped new episodes one at a time for the original programming they create.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 04-15-2019 at 02:12 PM.
  #29  
Old 04-15-2019, 04:15 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
No show that Netflix (or as I think about it, Amazon prime also dumps whole seasons at once, right?) will become a sensation like Lost or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. We will not all be united to watch it together, or discuss it at the same time.
I agree (as I've said), and the issue is that by dumping entire seasons at once, the streaming services allow people to go at their own pace.

So if say.. the third season of a show drops on May 1st, some people may have watched it all by May 2nd, and some may take longer than the equivalent broadcast season would have taken.

Which is all fine and good for one's personal watching, but that wide spectrum of viewing speeds is a hindrance to discussing the show- what happens on say... August 14th? Some people will have binged the whole thing. Some may not have started yet. Some may have watched the first 4 and got side-tracked. Others may have watched 2/3 of the show. Or 1/3, or all but one episode.

There's not that expectation that you're caught up like there is with a weekly show, and that's what acts against the whole shared experience phenomenon.
  #30  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:01 PM
Typo Negative's Avatar
Typo Negative is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: 7th Level of Hell, Ca
Posts: 17,464
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
SenorBeef the point, contained within your op, is that television shows had already ceased to be the experienced at the same time communal experience for Americans. Dropping seasons of shows at once wasn't even the nail in the coffin, the damn thing was already buried. There was a day when we all gathered round to watch the special annual presentation of The Wizard of Oz but they are long gone.

The exceptions exist but are few.
This.

My first thought was, and I mean no offense, but 'that's a nice story, Grandpa'.

The communal experience was mortally wounded the day Fox started broadcasting. It limped along but kept getting hit by new and frankly more interesting choices. Once the public had more choices, the community adapted and splintered. Then TV adapted further. For the better, IMO. For many of us were kept out of the community due that once a week format. If you had to work a different shift or had other responsibilities or couldn't get clear reception.

Later, you could 'almost' be a member of the community if you had a VCR and the skills to program it, but the handwriting was on the wall. The nail in the coffin was cable.
__________________
"God hates Facts"

- seen on a bumper sticker in Sacramento Ca
  #31  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:09 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078
How many millions of people all watched Game of Thrones last night? How many are discussing it now?

Yes, there are far fewer off these shows that brought everyone together like they used to, but there are a few.

But I think it's unlikely that there will be a show released in the Netflix/Amazon style to reach this status. Their format is the actual nail in that coffin.
  #32  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:22 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,048
Entertainment Weekly said that the episode last night got 17.4 million viewers. That's just in the US. They say that it had tens of millions more viewers worldwide. Netflix doesn't really share its ratings, but I agree that it's not getting that kind of numbers.
  #33  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:30 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078
Even if they achieve those numbers in total, they'll never have many people on the same episode at the same time, which I think is a key ingredient in becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Otherwise you get a lot of "hey man, did you see that Amazon LOTR series last night?"

"Yeah I binge watched 5 episodes. Wasn't it amazing when..."

"Hold on, don't tell me, I only watched the first episode"
  #34  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:37 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 15,989
House of Cards did well with the new format. It wasnít GoT but then few things ever were.

Breaking Bad would never have become nearly so huge if people who started watching late couldnít binge watch earlier seasons to catch up.

I much prefer the new way. I want to watch when I want to watch.
  #35  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:38 PM
DigitalC is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obamatopia
Posts: 10,991
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
How many millions of people all watched Game of Thrones last night? How many are discussing it now?

Yes, there are far fewer off these shows that brought everyone together like they used to, but there are a few.

But I think it's unlikely that there will be a show released in the Netflix/Amazon style to reach this status. Their format is the actual nail in that coffin.
I like watching game of thrones, i like discussing game of thrones with like minded people, but the one and only reason i don't wait until its over and then binge it is because there is a 100% chance it will be spoiled long before that. Ditto for Walking Dead when i still watched that.
  #36  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:45 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario View Post

Breaking Bad would never have become nearly so huge if people who started watching late couldnít binge watch earlier seasons to catch up.

I much prefer the new way. I want to watch when I want to watch.
I'm not sure if you're just not reading my posts or what, but I've specifically said that being able to catch up with streaming old episodes actually increases the chance of the communal experience. I'm not against bingeing or streaming. I very specifically addressed this a few posts ago.
  #37  
Old 04-15-2019, 05:47 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario View Post
House of Cards did well with the new format. It wasnít GoT but then few things ever were.

Breaking Bad would never have become nearly so huge if people who started watching late couldnít binge watch earlier seasons to catch up.

I much prefer the new way. I want to watch when I want to watch.
I read somewhere that How I Met Your Mother got big in part from new viewers going back to binge from the beginning. (That program is a bit unusual in that it's a serialized sitcom.) And I think I've heard the same thing about other series.
  #38  
Old 04-15-2019, 07:26 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 15,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
I'm not sure if you're just not reading my posts or what, but I've specifically said that being able to catch up with streaming old episodes actually increases the chance of the communal experience. I'm not against bingeing or streaming. I very specifically addressed this a few posts ago.
Sorry. I obviously missed that.
  #39  
Old 04-15-2019, 07:38 PM
SenorBeef is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,078
No problem. Didn't mean to sound bitchy if I did. It just seems like some people seemed to be responding to a "Netflix is bad" argument when I made a much more specific one.
  #40  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:26 PM
Garak is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 46
I think this is another one of those nostalgiac "things were better in the old days" kind of ideas

Yeah there is less communal viewing now, but overall things are a lot better what with more variety of shows available, not having to schedule your life around TV, and etc.
  #41  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:42 PM
vislor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
I'm with the OP; it was fun to watch a show and be able to talk about it with others at work (or even earlier, at school) the next day.

The OP mentioned Lost, and yes, the ending was disappointing. But we had a lot of fun here talking about it and wondering what it all meant. (Was that a polar bear? What was that smoke monster thing?) That people binge shows is one reason that's no longer possible. But another reason is the extreme fragmentation of the TV marketplace. The Big Bang Theory gets something like 20 million viewers, which puts it at the top of the ratings. Even as recently as twenty years ago, that wouldn't have put it in the top ten. Lots of shows have only a couple of million viewers. Part of the issue is that there's so much to watch; over 500 shows across all platforms.
20 million viewers would put it in the top ten going back to the '87-'88 season.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-ra...rams_by_season

Dallas and the Cosby Show are the only shows that got higher than 30 million in the 80s.

However, your point is taken. And this was more because I thought I had looked it up and the numbers they were getting were huge compared to recent. Top 10, including BBT in #1 spot, in '17-'18 was 11.1.

To the OP. I'm torn.

One of the things I like about seeing all of the shows at once is that I remember more of the details. Sure, I took part in the Lost discussion from time to time but I had to look up details about what happened in the beginning by the end of season one. Except the numbers, I don't remember the details.

When my wife and I watched Russian Doll, it felt like a long movie that was meant to be binged because every reset, the details of the differences were important. Not all shows do that, sure, but this one did. Waiting a week between episodes would have taken away from the experience, imo. Now, maybe that show, and others, are writing with that in mind. I don't know.

Having said that, I do rush here for my communal talking about it and share it with my wife. Orville, BBT, SNL, and other weekly shows that I watch, I do like discussing it.

Maybe it's good that there is choice?

Thanks for the interesting discussion!
  #42  
Old 04-15-2019, 08:54 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,048
Quote:
Originally Posted by vislor View Post
20 million viewers would put it in the top ten going back to the '87-'88 season.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top-ra...rams_by_season

Dallas and the Cosby Show are the only shows that got higher than 30 million in the 80s.
It's a little confusing, but I think the "ratings" shown in that Wikipedia page are percentages of the total number of viewers watching TV at the same time. That's different from total numbers of viewers.
  #43  
Old 04-15-2019, 10:30 PM
Locrian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Valley Village, CA
Posts: 4,145
One thing I don't think I saw mentioned here was after we got FOX we soon got Summer seasons on major traditional networks. I had to work on two CBS shows that aired May through August. It was actually mind blowing to co workers. "It's not RERUNS?? In the Summer??!?"

That was right around the time Netflix and Hulu began original programming. So the communal time I grew up with and loved was gone then. I remember calling friends on the phone right after a new episode aired, series finales discussed on the phone, etc.

But traditional networks started in with summer programming to sell some ads and promote new competition to the new streaming networks, who were already re-airing everyone's favorite old shows.

On the positive side, VOD was my fave. Because I'd forget to tape something, so I'd just watch it at midnight.

But I WILL AGREE with OP on new streaming shows. It takes away memories from a season. I binged the new season of Santa Clarita Diet in three days. I remember MOST of it, but when a friend asks me, Oh, what about that??" I think, when was that? Who did that? Was that episode 3 or episode 8? Or the finale? And what a finale, with that thing... oh, shit I already forgot the ending. Guess what I'm streaming again later?

Last edited by Locrian; 04-15-2019 at 10:31 PM.
  #44  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:10 AM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 12,686
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
No show that Netflix (or as I think about it, Amazon prime also dumps whole seasons at once, right?) will become a sensation like Lost or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.
I guess you've never heard of Stranger Things.
  #45  
Old 04-16-2019, 11:19 AM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 12,686
Just for the record, the Dukes of Hazzard regularly had 40 million weekly viewers in the early 80's as the #2 show behind Dallas. Whereas Game of Thrones averages about 13 million weekly viewers now.
  #46  
Old 04-16-2019, 01:10 PM
bump is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 17,576
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
I guess you've never heard of Stranger Things.
Even there, its hype has been somewhat diffuse- a whole lot of noise around the impending drop of the new season, and then... not much.

Why? Because everyone watched/is watching the new season at their own pace. Releasing episodes weekly is a pain in the ass sometimes, but it does allow producers to maintain a certain amount of interest/hype over time, and things like cliffhangers, etc... are actually valid.

In the season-at-once mode, it's basically one big 10 (or however many) part episode. I'm actually a little surprised they don't give the option to just view an entire season as a single large uninterrupted block that can be stopped and restarted without having to deal with credits and what not- it's not like individual episodes count for much anymore if people are watching them 2-5 at a time (or more).
  #47  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:18 PM
ISiddiqui is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,600
I want to point out, btw, that Breaking Bad which has been used as an example of water cooler show, never really had great ratings until it's final season and even then Season 5, Part 1, never hit over 3mil viewers for an episode. Part 2 of Season 5 had around 5mil viewers an episode until it's final 3, which even then were 6.37mil, 6.58mil, and then 10.28mil.

It's not in the Top 30 shows of the 2013-14 TV year (Part 2's season). Shows like Elementary, The Good Wife, The Blacklist, and Big Bang Theory had far higher viewership numbers.

So the question arises how much of that communal experience really existed for most shows? The only ones I can think of current running shows are Game of Thrones, Westworld, and This is Us (and, at least, Season 1 of Handmaid's Tale - Season 2 didn't have the same communal discussion experience, IMO). Sure one can find threads on message boards here or reddit to discuss various shows every week, but sometimes you really have to search in case you want that communal experience.
  #48  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:25 PM
ISiddiqui is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA
Posts: 6,600
The other thing is that DVRs have already somewhat killed off the communal viewing experience, even without Netflix's one at a time drops. My friend and I both watch SyFy's The Magicians, but invariably, we have to wait to discuss it because one or the other of us are "not fully caught up yet".
  #49  
Old 04-16-2019, 03:27 PM
KneadToKnow is offline
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 25,936
Given my history, you'd think I'd have more to say on this subject, wouldn't you? Weird.

Knead
Founder, 24 Club
  #50  
Old 04-16-2019, 06:38 PM
vislor is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 505
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
It's a little confusing, but I think the "ratings" shown in that Wikipedia page are percentages of the total number of viewers watching TV at the same time. That's different from total numbers of viewers.
I agree that the wiki page wasn't clear. I do apologize about that. I couldn't find a good summary with number of viewers. I did have to click through to see the numbers.

I can at least say I was ratings to ratings, so they are comparable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Just for the record, the Dukes of Hazzard regularly had 40 million weekly viewers in the early 80's as the #2 show behind Dallas. Whereas Game of Thrones averages about 13 million weekly viewers now.
This is not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dukes_of_Hazzard

That page has millions of viewers and tops out at 21.81 for its #2 in '80-'81. Further Games of Thrones only got 10.26 million viewers average for last season. The opener was listed at 11.76.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_Thrones

Please note, looking at the page for viewers, it started at less than three and overall is at a 6.14 for seven seasons.

I know in EW they used to delay ratings of TV shows to account for TiVo/DVR ratings, which were counted if viewed within a week of airing. I don't know if they do that now or not.

Thanks for the discussion!

Last edited by vislor; 04-16-2019 at 06:40 PM. Reason: missed decimal and ratings
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017