Joss Whedon (Writer – Director – Producer – Actor) makes some interesting observations in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Two things that stuck out for me were Whedon’s thoughts on reboots/reunions and binge-watching tv episodes.
Whedon on reboots/reunions…
“I see a little bit of what I call monkey’s paw in these reboots. You bring something back, and even if it’s exactly as good as it was, the experience can’t be. You’ve already experienced it, and part of what was great was going through it for the first time.”
Whedon is on point. As much as we want to bring back favorite favorites, it is so difficult. There has to be some growth or we’re getting more of the same and we’ve seen that. And Whedon is so right — part of what was great was experiencing it for the first time.
Whedon on binge-watching tv episodes…
“…the more it (television watching) becomes lifestyle instead of experience. It becomes ambient. It loses its power, and we lose something with it…I would not want to do it. I would want people to come back every week and have the experience of watching something at the same time… I loved event television.”
Technology has made movie and television watching less of an event. I love the convenience of being able to record and watch what I want when I want, but when was the last time watching something became an event (not counting live broadcasts)? When I was a kid, The Wizard of Oz was shown once a year and you’d better be in front of the tube when it was broadcast. I can still remember the thrill of being allowed to stay up late to watch it, or Hitchcock’s The Birds. The series finale of The Fugitive was another tv event that was huge. So was the murder of JR, a new episode of All in the Family.
Binge-watching takes away the event feel. Not only that, because the series is available ANY time you want, there is less of a pull to watch it. My wife and I tuned in every week for Longmire. When it switched to Netflix, we followed but now we could watch it whenever. We have a full season yet to be watched. Same with Daredevil. I’ve yet to watch a single episode of House of Cards or Luke Cage. What’s the rush? They’ll be there when I’m ready.