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Archive for the ‘Viewing Habits’ Category

Ditching Live TV

In Streaming, TV, Viewing Habits on February 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Phoebe B.

When I ditched cable–just a short six months ago–I was nervous. After all, I study TV. What would I miss? How would I keep up with conversations about contemporary TV? What if I couldn’t get access to my favorite shows? What would life be like without Tuesday night Pretty Little Liars dates or Monday nights with Castle? Sure, maybe this all sounds overly dramatic, but I was seriously anxious.

Nonetheless, after a big cross-country drive and a move from Portland to Atlanta, it felt like a good time to give streaming television a shot. After all, cable was and is super expensive and we were aiming to save money. Moving cross-country is by no means cheap and I have a deep and abiding love for British murder mysteries like Midsomer Murders and Inspector Lewis and the fantastic Canadian Murdoch Mysteries, so streaming seemed liked a win-win. I mean, I already had a Netflix subscription and Amazon Prime and I could get Hulu Plus. Surely, I figured, I wouldn’t miss too much.

After six months without cable or any live television, it is safe to say there is something lost in watching certain television shows the day, or sometimes week, after they air. However, there are very few shows that meet this criteria for me: ScandalPretty Little Liars, and perhaps Drop Dead Diva are truly the only shows I watch that fall into this category. When I had cable, I made appointments with these shows each week, sometimes with friends and wine and sometimes with just me, myself, and I (and usually wine).

I miss the sense of real-time community that unfolds as viewers discuss the latest twists and turns via Facebook and Twitter. Plus, the knowledge that people across the country (or at least in my time zone) are all tuning in at the same time to do the same thing has long intrigued me. Even if I couldn’t see them, I knew they were there, and there is something comforting about that sensibility. Read the rest of this entry »

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