Thursday, 19 May 2011

TV Land and the DVD revolution

I watch TV - there are times when it's a lot, and others when I hardly watch anything. It's a combination of what is one when I'm free and how busy I am. I've just upgraded to iQ2 (funnily enough, the reason is the new bundle is actually about the same amount I'm paying now, with more features. So it was a no brainer). I can already see potential for the 'series link'  to record all the episodes of a particular series.

Starting tomorrow night on SciFi TV is Sanctuary, season 3.5. I really enjoy this series with Amanda Tapping (SG-1 fame) at the helm. It is one of those shows that improves as time goes on. Fridays is also my busy night, so click, thank you recorder. Not so easy pre-iQ.

One thing I have mentioned before and I'll mention again, is when channels cut shows. Recently I watched the last episode of Stargate Universe (SGU). Sad face.

Again, while I have enjoyed this show from the beginning, it really got into it's stride at the end of season 1 and during season 2. It was a character driven space drama, where the characters didn't have black or white hats. One episode you are agreeing with one character, and the next you are shaking your head at the same character.  I really do think this show had so much more to offer, as was shown in episodes like Twin Destinies, Hope, Common Descent, and Epilogue. And now, we will not know the ending of the story. The last episode was not meant to be the end of the series, but of season 2. I knew it was coming, but I felt cheated. I invested time, grew attached to the characters, followed their journey, and then at the end, 'SyFy' decided to cut it. I just can't understand their reasoning.

Scene from final episode of SGU, Gauntlet.

Well firstly, let me say, I hate 'SyFy' as the name of the station. I'm so glad the Australian station has kept it Sci Fi TV, and that the Australian channel has kept programming of a speculative nature, and hasn't introduced wrestling into the line up.

Yes, you read correctly. Wrestling. On the SCI FI channel. Or I should say, SyFy (shudder) channel. Um...yeah, that is a marketing booboo. I mean whichever way it is spelt, science fiction (and all other speculative fiction) should be the focus of this channel, right? It doesn't look like that. I found a blog post exploring the de-scifi-ing of the SciFi channel. Interestingly enough, in the US, the tag line is 'imagine greater'. I don't relate that to wrestling, but to shows like SGU and Battlestar Galactica (also axed), who asked all sorts of questions, and had the audience thinking.  Basically, like MTV, SyFy has left its roots behind.

So after over 17 years of the franchise, there is no Stargate being made in any of its incarnations. I just find that terribly sad. Each was different, each had a place, and just made the Stargate world all the more richer. So thank you to a franchise that started with RDA as Jack O'Neill (well, technically it stared with the movie, but I'm referring to the TV show). It has been a hell of a ride.

So, it's no wonder, that I am now turning more and more to DVDs. I hate the channel stop-start-change times. Take for example Alias. I lost some of the last season, because of this stopping, changing times. And then the end of the SERIES comes along, and while the first three seasons had this big hoo-ha, the last episode was shown on very late at night, with absolutely not advertising of the fact. At least it was shown, I suppose.


Farscape, had been one of my favourite shows. Channel 9 swapped times all over the place, and then they cut it on a cliffhanger. Sound familiar, SGU fans? Luckily Hallmark stepped in and a two-part mini series was made, with some of the loose ends being tied.

Firefly was another series that was axed. I believed it aired in Australia after this had occured. Dollhouse, another  Joss Whedon show, hit its stride in season 2. I think most good shows do.  I shake my head. Luckily Buffy and Angel kept going. But I think they had almost been cut at certain times, as well.



I know, ratings is the reason. But I wonder if shows are not changed way before anyone gets a chance to actually 'watch' the show. You love an episode, but if you go to the same time-slot the week after, and the show isn't there. Well, most people will not search for it.

Instead, programs are changed to an awful time-slot to make room for 'newer' shows (which doesn't mean they are better). Of course, viewers are going to drop off. And when they change the time slot yet again, more of a drop off. I know that I'm hesitant to start watching a new series, in case it is cut.

Hence DVDs are so attractive.

Recently, I watched Supernatural, season 5, over 3 days. (Yes, I took time out). It was great to see the story arc of the season play out, and to see the adventures of the Winchester boys. I didn't watch any of the episodes on TV. This is the biggest draw card with DVDs, is that I don't miss an episode because of programing change. Even if it's the 'Supernatural will return in two weeks.'


This has been quite a rant, hasn't it. Oh well, I'm just frustrated that loyal viewers are devalued. And having just spent time watching more DVDs than TV, I just wonder where the future of TV is going, especially with the channels offering their programs on internet a - with no commercials.

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