Friday, 4 February 2011

Words on the Page Over Square Eyes.

Sky Atlantic HD.

An awful lot of good TV to watch. But will I be able to?

I used to watch too much TV as a kid. Far too much TV. But then I discovered that watching movies in a cinema was much better than movies or TV in the living room, which is full of distractions. So, thankfully, it seems that the rest of the world has taken over this task for me. And I'm glad. But the temptation to just decompose in front of the box is still there. And now there is a new addition to the weight on the other side of the scales, threatening to draw me away from productivity.

The addictiveness and quality of US TV drama has exploded in the past decade or so but I found myself being particularly choosy about what I watched. Averaging out at about 25 episodes long, one season of a US drama can demand a hell of a lot of one's time and I heard about people having to make time for so many shows. Making time for TV seems an awful lot like letting it have authority over your spare time (My god, I sound like my parents). A counter to that might be that with the advent of DVR, we can watch it whenever we want. But even with it all recorded, there's still too much of the quality stuff to cram in. Consequently, I limited myself to one or two, particularly Battlestar Galactica (one of the best shows ever on US TV, in my humble opinion) and Entourage. I tried Lost, especially after it's stunning opener, but gave up into season 2. And as a result I'm glad I couldn't be arsed to surrender my time to something which turned out to be so unsatisfactory by the end. Or so I hear.

The thing about these shows is that they demand a hell of a lot of attention. They're great and often brilliantly written, but there's just so much of them. Some folks keep telling that I must see The Wire or The West Wing. Well, one day, hopefully.

But now, with this new channel, there's a new plethora of them foisted on us. I'm glad I can watch Entourage again (which I reckon is the equivalent of Sex and the City for men, only a hell of a lot less shallow than Carrie and her fucking shoes) but I'm still going to limit myself to one or two. I just can't justify giving so much of my life over to television, even if it's about following and learning from good writing. Boardwalk Empire was the first to be given over to the "record series" option, as well as Vince, E and Ari. Not sure what else, though.

And so the Sky+ box fills up and things get deleted without being seen to make way for more things I might not find the time to watch.

The danger of trying to be a screenwriter is that the balance between work and "research" can tip over. I've got loads of films still to watch on DVD and in the cinema but finding the time is a bugger. Words on the page over square eyes, I think.


  1. Sons of Anarchy. Reminds me of my youth but without the AK47s. Honestly.

  2. Haven't seen that one yet. Another example of a great show I've not watched due to there being so many of them. Sounds a far cry from The Blind Beggar. ;)


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