How many times have you been part of a conversation that goes a little something like this?
Q: “Have you watched Mad Men yet?”
A: “I watched all of seasons one and two last weekend!”
That’s right, folks, two seasons in three days. We’ve all been there. Though 26 hours of Don Draper isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is time that could be spent socializing or starting that assignment due later in the week. Although a day’s worth of TV sounds like a lot, the majority of us are guilty. With streaming options such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, we have quite an impressive line-up of television series available at our fingertips. But what does this mean for the future of television? Are we still consuming TV shows episode by episode, or are we really just watching a 12-hour movie? More importantly, do we prefer spending hours, days and weeks binging on television programs so that we can confidently answer ‘yes!’ when someone asks us if we’ve seen _____? Today, we have programs being released directly to Netflix and Hulu, skipping air time all together. Are we nearing the end of television? What about movies? With so many people living by the mantra, “I’ll just wait until it comes to Netflix,” will a classic night at the movies be the next thing we say goodbye to as it joins the forgotten world of VCRs and flip phones? All of these uncertainties are running through my head as I settle in to begin “Orange is the New Black.”
That was a lot of questioning. Here are my predictions. Fortunately, I do not think that TV will join the OTG – Obsolete Technology Graveyard. But, I do think that more television programs will skip traditional air time and be available one season at a time on streaming websites. In my opinion, that is a good thing. The shows that have been available only on Netflix or Hulu have seen success, and a subscription to Hulu Plus is much, much cheaper than a traditional cable plan. Not to mention, if you pay for HBO and ShowTime, the bill can add up fast. I also think that movie theatres are here to stay. I actually feel as if movies are becoming more popular. I mean, look at how excited everyone gets once award show season rolls around. Who’s to say, though? Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m not. What do you think?