Over the last few years, there has been a new phenomena in the method of watching television called “binge watching”, where one tunes into a specific TV series to look at a number of episodes in one sitting. This is when one will scan at installments of a single TV show, viewing every episode one after another. Roughly speaking, it’s when one goes through an personal orgy of a favorite TV show and can’t wait for the next week (or next month, or even the next day) to find out what’s in store following! It’s very much like trying to eat a Thanksgiving dinner all at once, except there’s no calorie intake involved!
Thanks to program production companies releasing (or rereleasing) a TV series on DVD or through on-line streaming via Netflix or from other related services, one can watch back to back episodes of a single title for hours upon hours at one time. If one wanted to, one can watch the entire run for days, seeing how the show developed over time where one would once had to wait until the next week (or next season) to find out what’s going to happen! For many folks, this is the only way to watch a TV show. For others, it’s a method to get everything over with from the very start to its final finish!
This way to see one’s favorite show in one place isn’t as new as one may imagine. When VCRs came to place in the latter part of the 1970’s, the few folks that were willing to shell out a little over a grand for a machine that can record over the air TV signals to view much later used these devices to record episode upon episode of the same TV series. Within a few week’s time, (assuming that what was being recorded aired in weekly installments) one would have a number of episodes fitted on a single video cassette within reach. Then if they so desired, that person can view these shows all at one time. Many of these shows that were recorded ranged from current programming airing on prime time network TV, to reruns of a older show, usually airing on a daily basis on a local station. The show that appeared to be recorded in this fashion were reruns to Star Trek. (This writer has a collection of VHS videotapes of this marathon of Star Treks recorded in the early-middle 1980’s from local stations in Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, and Toledo, Ohio!) Other shows in the sci-fi category (Twilight Zone, Dr. Who, etc.) were also part of this form of serial recording.
Starting in the 1980’s and continuing in the 90’s, many local stations were offing marathons of a special TV show, usually airing over a holiday weekend. (Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Independence Day, etc.) Since these holidays were meant for “relaxation”, one can sit in front of the tube to see all of the episodes one could stand. Later, when digital video disks (DVDs) were replacing videotapes as the way to collect media for playback on a TV screen, many of the production companies were releasing entire runs of a special title. So if one were spending their time taping Star Trek or its many spinoffs, now one can grab the entire run in these boxed sets, complete with mini booklets enclosed that featured articles about the show, along with pictorials spreads featuring the cast and crew with other bits of information for fans to absorb and admire. (And don’t forget the “bonus” video material embedded within the disk set!) Of course, it was just the show featured on the disks, not the commercials that the local stations would place within the breaks. Nobody really cared much for those local TV spots in the first place, mostly consisting of ads from regional auto dealers hawking their used car selections!
Then Nexflix started its streaming services, where one can watch an episode or episodes of a show offered without the hassle of loading disks through a DVD player. And to add to the pot, Netflix started to get into the TV program business, offering new episodes of Arrested Development, House Of Cards, and other titles that are going to be released through time. Now anyone with an internet connected electronic device that has a screen can watch these shows no matter where they may be! As long as the WiFi connection is stable, one can catch up on a program no matter how or where that person is. Sure, an iPhone’s screen may be only three inches in size, but will that stop anyone in viewing?
The notion of TV being everywhere playing the same program over and over was once part of darker science fiction stories and tales. Now that method makes up part of the post modern domestic landscape. And judging from where that is coming from, it’s not going to go away! But at least everything that’s been discussed within this very article is there for the taking and to be implied for what it’s worth. So go ahead and don’t be concerned to watch every single episode of Friends for hours at a time! It’s there if one wants it! Of course, there must be a reason why anyone would want to complete that task, but this writer just reports just what he sees and will leave it at that!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Troubadour Theatre Company a.k.a. “The Troubies”, are back in action with their latest mash-up, A MIDSUMMER’S SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER’S DREAM, currently making mayhem at the Falcon Theatre in Tolucia Lake.
Very loosely based on The Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Matt Walker plays Puck, the fairy (or “faerie” using olde English) that does his thing within the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta among the wooded area called Fairyland, under the light of the moon.
Of course, although the basic theme to AMND is there, it’s really more of a farce, and this theater company implies a merry blend of slapstick, improv, commedia dell’arte, and more comedy into a piece that is even funnier that the play that Willy S. supposedly wrote back in the 90’s (1590’s that is!) And yes, this is a musical–sort of–taking songs from Saturday Night Fever, and adding a bit of disco to it all that brings one back to the 70’s! (1970’s that is!!) Head Troubie Matt Walker directs this piece that is funny to say the most! Many of the regular Troubies appear in this production that features (listed in their alphabetical order), Rick Batalla, Liz Beebe, Joseph Leo Bwarie (returning back with the Troubies after a brief leave of absence), Joseph Keane, Beth Kennedy, Tyler King, Katherine Malak, Matt Merchant, Rob Nagle, Suzanne Jolie Narbonne, Morgan Rusler, Monica Schneider, Mike Sulprizio, Lisa Valenzuela, and Walker himself! They can sing, they can dance (thanks to Molly Aslvarez’s choreography), and the band that features Dana Decker on bass, Kevin McCourt on keyboards, Linda Taylor on guitar, and Eric Heinly on drums–also serving as musical director, performs the hits as How Deep Is Your Love, Boogie Shoes, Night Fever, and a host of other hits that makes one forget that Shakespeare–even for his comedies–is suppose to be serious!
There are many ways to experience such classics that were penned (supposedly written) by ol’ Willy back in the day. However, the Troubies rewrote that book that developed as this riotous show! The did their rewriting because they can (and did), and all of the Shakespeare plays are in the public domain! Whatever the case and whatever the legal aspect are, this is a show that shouldn’t be missed! And that ain’t no Jive Talkin!!
A MIDSUMMER’S SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER’S DREAM, present by The Troubadour Theatre Company and performs at The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank (Tolucia Lake area), until July 7th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4:00 PM. For ticket reservations and/or for more information, call (818) 955-8101, or online at http://www.FalconTheatre.com
Visit the Troubie’s official site at http://www.Troubie.com
MAN OF STEEL (Warner Bros.) is a retelling/reboot/remake of comic bookdom’s first and perhaps, greatest super hero ever to see print: The saga of Superman.
Told in somewhat of a slightly non linear fashion, the legion begins on the planet Krypton, a place set far among the galaxies. Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his spouse become the parents of a boy to be called Kal-El (Henry Cavill), during a time where their planet stripped from its energy sources, is close for destruction. One of the leaders of their world, General Zod (Michael Shannon) attempted to take the planet against its people for his own ways. For his part in this takeover, he is charged for treason by its leaders and sentenced, along with his army, to be placed in the Phantom Zone. While Krypton’s days are numbered, Jor-El places his young son on a ship to escape this world’s doom and to perhaps live on another cosmos. Jor-El travels to Earth where he lands on a farm in Smallville, Kansas adapted by Martha and Jonathan Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner). Then there’s ace reporter Lois Lane (Amy Adams), working for The Daily Planet in the city of Metropolis who discovers the notion of a young man who has extraordinary powers. But this man, also known are Clark Kent, is taught by his earth father to use his powers for good. That is, until General Zod and his army broke free from the Phantom Zone, heads for Earth to receive their revenge for Kal-El.
For those that know their comic book history, this flick follows the classic Superman story faithfully for a post modern audience. The screenplay by David S. Goyer (with story by Christopher Nolan and Goyer), presents the tale of this original super hero told slightly stagnant, never drifting off too far from its basic plot lineage. The movie watching audience learns about Clark’s past and how he became a hero, only to have his earth father Jonathan tell him the humble sides between good and evil. (Good always win as that’s part of the truth, justice, and the American way!!) But getting back to the film itself: Unlike the features starring the late Christopher Reeves released in the late 1970’s and throughout the 1980’s that played like a rather campy comic book, this film is more of a graphic novel, offering slight hints to what this character has gone through its 75 years of existence in various forms of media! It does offer action (and lots of it), special effects (ditto), and even a bit of romance! After a exciting and rather amusing fight scene between Kan-El and the evil General Zod, Lois turns to this hero as the pair do engage in a passionate kiss! (And this isn’t a “spoiler alert!”) Zack Snyder directs this feature that is indeed entertaining (something that movies should be), and has enough to keep the pace going for its 120+ minute running time!
Summertime movies usually means lots of gunfire, explosions, animation, and the for noted action heroes lifted off the pages of a comic book! MAN OF STEEL offers the action, explosions, not much gunfire, and if one counts tons of visual effects as “animation”, this will fit the bill of a standard “tent pole” summer flick! And if the trend continues with super hero titles, this feature will fill Warner Bros.’ coffers quite well! DC Comics, owned by the studio since the late 1970’s, will keep on printing the tale of this man o’ steel (along with The Dark Knight a.k.a. Badman) for quite a while. In comic book terms, there’s DC, Marvel (owned by The Walt Disney Company), and everyone else. These kind of movies may not hold a lot of high intellect, but at least they are quire amusing for what they are!
Oh, yes! This film is also released in 3D. According to the press kit this writer used to keep everyone mentioned within this review in order, this feature was shot on film in 2-D, only to have its 3D visual effects added in post. If possible, see it in 2D as the 3D effects may become headache inducing for some folks. Besides, you can see it in 2D sans those slightly annoying glasses! (And it’s cheaper too, as theaters charge more admission for a 3D feature verses a 2D version!)
This movie is rated “PG-13” for comic book violence and object destruction. Opening on June 14th at multiplexes nationwide!
TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Gratitude list for the week:
1. Family time in a beautiful setting with all 3 kiddos, their lovely spouses, the grandbaby, my mama, and the best friends on the planet.
2. Time to enjoy the new boat.
3. Sharing simple pleasures like throwing rocks in the creek and sharing PB& J sandwiches with Jordan.
4. Hearing multiple times, “Hey Grandma…I really, really love you!”
5.And last but certainly not least, celebrating 30 days of sobriety with my beautiful daughter Kaitlyn this week!
My cup runneth over- —
Watching Bringing Up Baby with my husband and 12 y.o. … “I can’t give you anything but love, baby … ”
In my groggy state of mind this morning I put the coffee grounds directly into the cup instead of the French Press. Perhaps I should just EAT the raw grounds to wake up…
Favorite romantic comedy.Go. (I need movies to watch!)
I’m not dating so I decided to buy a 70 inch tv w surround sound. I have a feeling this relationship will work out.
As of June 10th, Tiffi has 1,759 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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