Oh the days, when prepping your VCR to record a favorite show you would have otherwise missed during swim practice, was victory. Fast forward, rewind, the churning sound of the SD tape not so quickly whizzing through commercials: we thought control was at our fingertips then. Now that we are well beyond broadband with seemingly every sibling of Roku known to man and Netflix dubbed the streaming king, entertainment is more limitless than ever. With exclusive online series, oldies but goodies re-emerging for epic rerun web marathons, and the new must-sees we can barely keep up with, it’s no longer that easy to choose how to spend our couch time.
Whatever shows you may follow, we all have lives, lives without enough time in a day maybe to forget the rest and get lost in a hearty seven-season dose of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or the reborn ‘Arrested Development’ or the blood-thirsty ‘Dexter.’ Raise your hand if you’ve already binged through ‘Orange Is The New Black’ or ‘House of Cards?’ As HBO Go lovers catch up on ‘Girls,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ the final season of ‘True Blood’ or the new rapture-mystery ‘The Leftovers,’ others are eagerly awaiting the next season of Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ to air or the entire fall schedule of this show and that, from NBC’s ‘Parks and Recreation’ comedy-types to ABC’s ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ medical dramas, from the more genuine family pleasers like NBC’s ‘Parenthood’ to AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ zombie culture, we are both overwhelmed and giddy. And there’s more of a chance now than ever that your favorite shows are on at the same time, weekends also, and the last resort is whipping out the laptop or Roku remote. What would you binge watch or eagerly follow? What is worth the little time left in a day?
And it’s of course not limited to television series. Films as far as the eye can watch are just resting in the Netflix queue, battling who gets to be watched first. On Demand has become less of a privilege and more of a need. If Time Warner or Fios died tomorrow, the world would have no trouble replacing them, and we’d fight for our alternatives. The benefit of Hulu and his pals is clear: we have access to some sure winning content (and also the not very winning), and I myself can’t complain about a ‘Buffy’ marathon, but the line that says there should be a limit is currently a bit blurred with the real world standing back a step. The social engagement aspect is less and less. Frankly, I miss Blockbuster. Anyone else? So perhaps here’s a final thought to leave with: entertainment would be seriously lacking its purpose and success without the real world to draw from. Just make sure to take part in both.