I’ve been feeling very out of the cultural loop lately. I blame the Olympics, which I made a concerted effort to avoid. I did watch some of the Opening Ceremony, which was nightmarish. (I saw about 3 minutes of the Closing Ceremony, during which time Kaiser Chiefs sang Pinball Wizard with a load of scooters going around. Music died. It did. They killed it.)
I also watched a few minutes of some sport things, but that was because we had house guests and I’m a nice hostess (sorta) and let them watch it in the hungover morning.
For the unfamiliar, the Roku is a little box that streams things to the regular TV. There are other similar products, and I know that some of the game consoles offer similar services, too. The Roku is small and perfect, though. Hooked up to the TV and our (also much-loved) BT Infinity broadband, it provides our viewing for most nights.
We even cancelled LoveFilm. The other night summed up perfectly why we did… We finished watching all the episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a show I neglected because of all sorts of life-based reasons, but which is now easily in my top ten sitcoms). We needed something new, so went browsing.
We watched an episode of a show, then a few minutes of another show. If this had been DVDs, we’d have been stuck for days. (I know LoveFilm do streaming, but not through any of the devices we own, and we hate watching on the computer when we’re both viewing.) As it was, we could watch as much as we needed to before deciding it wasn’t going to work out.
What we ended up watching was Misfits, which was one that I just ignored and then had missed too much of to really get into. Even though E4 gave me the box set, I hadn’t checked it out. With the Roku and Netflix, we watched all of the first two seasons in about 3 days.
(I’d also like to write, at some point, about the similarities between The 4400, another show we’ve recently watched, and Misfits, and the cultural differences between the two and how Misfits did the concept so much better.)
The up side of all of this is that we’ve watched some great shows, and have been able to have good TV every night. The down side? I have no idea what’s going on with new TV.
This isn’t a massive down side, since it’s summer and with the Olympics, TV has been a bit pointless anyway. But it is strange to have no clue about so many shows that are currently buzzing around in the great internet hive mind. I didn’t know there was a new Top Model (UK) on, and I missed the start of a few other shows I was looking forward to.
I also find myself being much more critical. Instead of being happy with the least bad option, I find that we increasingly demand good shows. We insist on quality, because we know we have that option at all times.
So, as most nights go, tonight we will have dinner, watch a bit of whatever’s on that we like (tonight is Come Dine With Me), and then it’s time to switch to Netflix on the Roku. I’m getting used to that routine.