A few weeks back, we received a news story that came from one of those so-called “news” sources that concentrates on reporting a cross between human interest stories and celebrity/entertainment fodder. Whatever the case, we found it as a bit amusing.

It appears that the record for binge watching virtual reality video content has been broken by not one, but by two individuals, clocking in some fifty hours of watching video content as this new method of TV viewing
According to the report, Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso, and Alex Christison, of New York City successfully completed the feat by watching VR video content staring on a Saturday at around 8:45 AM through the next Monday at 10:45 AM (EST) with a five-minute break per hour.

AJ and Alex completed this feat through a sponsorship from CyberLink, which has a VR-playback feature on its Power DVD17 software. The report continues to state that this pair used Oculus Rift headsets connected to VR-capable laptops.
The report also noted that Aj still holds the record of binge watching standard video content that he completed this feat last year through a ninety-four hour marathon.

And for what its worth, both champs are of the Millennium demographic. AJ is 26 and Alex is 37.

So what does the above news story mean? Not too much really! It’s just another tale on how folks consume their television, no matter what medium is used to view all of these wonderful programs.
It’s no real secret that television and its viewing elements has drastically changed since the turn of the 21st century. Back in 2001 the first year of the new millennium, television was viewed through over the air broadcasts, cable TV, and through a satellite dish that mimics what one would normally see through a CATV hook up. There was the trusty ol’ VCR where one can watch videotapes either as pre-recorded titles such as movies, or stuff recorded off the air for later viewing. DVDs did exist as well. However, one really couldn’t recorded on a DVD, so videotape was more of a preferred method. The picture quality as a whole wasn’t as good as what a DVD could generate, but if one recorded that week’s installment of Friends to view later, then the image quality was acceptable for what it was. Even if the person wanted to keep the show for their own library, the programs as recorded was still acceptable. After all, one can build up a nice collection of programs recorded off the air for very cheap; Mainly, for the price of a blank videocassette. (Blank tapes were going around $5.00 or so, and a lot less if one purchased in bulk.)

Today, videotapes as a whole (pre-recorded or off-air recordings), are so out of demand, people tend to dump their tapes at garage sales for “make offer” prices, or toss them in the trash! Second hand shops such as the Goodwill won’t even take VHS tapes anymore as they no longer sell! And when it comes to the TV machines that were used back on ’01? Unless the set was something rather unique or special, one can’t even give those old tube sets away anymore! This writer would observe a tube set (usually a 1990’s-era set around 24” inches in screen size), sitting along a curb ready for anyone to take it away! At one time, one can find an average of two TV sets abandon on a curb every week!

Now this binge watching stuff! Leave it to the folks at Netflix to start this habit of consuming television. Although this video service do offer a selection of feature films and catalog television programs, they have their line up of original TV programs. Unlike how the networks would present a program by offing a new episode per week, Netflix, as well as their competitors (Hulu, Amazon, etc.) would premier their shows as a whole, not as one episode at a time! So when, let’s say Hulu, introduces a new program (not necessarily in some given part of the calendar year compared to the traditional fall season in September), one can see the entire season in one sitting. Granted, one isn’t obligated to see every episode all at once, but depending how one finds the program interesting, one can do that! It all depends on how one can ether find the time or effort to take every bit of a specific show. Call this method as “all in the timing”!

A few years ago, the folks as 20th Century Fox TV held a contest that involved the animated series The Simpsons. The contest involved a marathon watching event where a large tent was placed (in this case, within the Hollywood and Highland shopping complex) that was set up auditorium style. A large 80” TV monitor was placed at the end of the tent. In front of that monitor was a series of folding chairs lined in rows. The object of the contest was to watch every episode of The Simpsons projected while seated in the tent, and the person that remained in the tent watching for the longest period of time would be declared as “the winner”. This writer didn’t get the details on the contest rules, such as allowing for breaks or anything like that, let alone who was the winning contestant, how many hours (days?) they remained, or even what the prize was! However, one can do their ever lovin’ Google search to find those answers.

So as TV sets become bigger and smarter, and TV program providers become more creative in how their shows are viewed, we can assume that this method of TV consumption is here to stay. This is supposed to be television’s second coming. (Again!)

It just can’t get any better that that!

Pasadena’s Theatre @ Boston Court presents the world premier of Dan O’Brian’s THE HOUSE IN SCARSDALE: A MEMOIR FOR THE STAGE, a performance about a playwright’s quest to write about his family for artistic purposes, only to discover there’s more to his cause.

Brian Henderson is Dan, a writer living in Los Angeles that has a desire to compose a stage play (instead of a screenplay) that uses his family as its basis. Originally from the New York area (Scarsdale), he begin his personal journey attempting to contact various people in finding out about his roots and the reasons behind his removal from the family domain. Tim Cummings portrays these diverse virtual citizens that dwell within Dan’s practical junket (including “Dan” himself) that informs him about siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and those not necessarily related through blood, marriage, or existence. The farther Dan travels, the more he becomes aware about these beings, while not knowing about who they are and what they are not. Dan’s memoir develops into a plateau that isn’t part of a physical theatre, but more of a theatre of one’s mind.

This single act play created by Dan O’Brien takes on a theme of sorts that focuses upon the standard and accepted practice of being part of a so-called dysfunctional family, a basis that was once an unspoken taboo and is presently viewed in this age’s post-modern domestic society as sitcom fodder! In this production, the play’s concepts begins as the for noted progressive sitcom where much of the humor is expressed. As the plot thickens (so to speak), the tone becomes more sobering as the protagonist finds out hidden secrets about his linage–true or otherwise!

The two performers seen in this program, Brian Henderson as Dan, and Tim Cummings as Dan (and others), communicate through a myriad of settings and personalities that ranges from comical to solemn. The words and emoting that Dan et. al. speaks holds more wit than traditional comedy, while at the same moments, are more dramatic in words than dramatic through physical action. Michael Michetti’s stage direction keeps these two players in step, never giving the opportunity to have its pacing falter.

In terms of visual elements, Sara Ryung Clement’s scenic design shows a pair of metallic chairs on stage left-center as its only physical props, Its backdrop are two walls angled at its center that are used to hold projected moving imagery as designed by Tom Ontiveron. These images displays Dan within his journey until he discovers the family he knows of or not.

It’s not quite known if playwright Dan O’Brian used his actual family as the setting to this work, even if this is indeed a “memoir for the stage” as this play’s subtitle suggests. That question doesn’t have to contain an answer as to what is depicted on the stage can speak for itself. One question may remain. Does Dan, the play’s main character, complete his odyssey to create a stage piece that serves as his memoir? Perhaps that is for another stage play or as a “reboot” as it’s known in movie speak!

THE HOUSE IN SCARSDALE: A MEMOIR FOR THE STAGE, presented by and performs at The Theatre @ Boston Court, 70 North Mentor Avenue (off Lake Street and Colorado Blvd.) Pasadena, until June 4th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Additional performance takes place on Monday, May 22nd at 8:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (626) 683-6801, or via online at http://www.BostonCourt.com
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!


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