Sunday, 17 February 2013
never let me go or be right back?
I was away in hotels for part of the last week. There was that moment in the evening when the television flicked on accompanied by a whistling sound and tumbleweed blowing across the room.
The schedulers don't know what to programme and so we get badly chopped house makeovers, identiformat blue background talentless shows and an old episode of Top Gear. Like at home, there's many channels on offer but frequently nothing I want to watch.
A continuing mushification* of the mainstream. Babblers force feeding D-listers with antipodean bugs, sweary cookery and quizzes asking whether Waterloo is in Belgium or Russia.
They say that the telephone has already been segregated into traditionalist land-line users and everyone else who now uses mobile phones the whole time. It's supposed to be happening to television too, with diminishing watchers of real-time telly.
Because of travelling I've used series link for ages as a way to store a potentially interesting show so that I have something watch when the main channels have surrendered. Nowadays we can add on-demand and Netflix type systems to provide the 'box set' experience.
It's all further fragmenting viewers, and I'm guessing that advertisers and some TV channels must be worrying about income and results.
Watching a particular show can also become a more singular experience. I've been enjoying House of Cards, and there's some quite funny moments like the corny but slyly entertaining "let's throw the Charity party in the entrance area" segment. There can't be the same shared experience around it when everyone will watch it at different times.
Perhaps it will all even out eventually, like popular movies which are later on television. I only watched the last series of Sopranos fairly recently and can also appreciate the dry humour of its last scene.
Contrasting the olden days experience of a few channels that everyone watches we now have many channels that hardly anyone watches.
I still saw the latest Black Mirror "Be Right Back" episode in real time and of course there will be more such moments, but they are getting less, in the same way that music becomes spotified and books go digital.
The Black Mirror was a social commentary around replicant cloning using a beta release of a coin operated boy. Just add electrolyte.
It somehow reminded me of the mannered approach in Ishiguru's Never Let Me Go, although I suppose in a parallel universe the logic of Ishiguru's body part cloning would somehow precede that of the fully formed automaton in Be Right Back?
Both series of Black Mirror have put together some thought provoking 'nearly feasible now' ideas and run the outcomes.
With all the fragmentation, I wonder if these objects in the mirror are closer than they appear?
* mushification is not yet in the OED
Posted by rashbre at 13:50