Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Migration of the Couch Potato

Lately, and I blame this for the lack of quality television programming, (not counting Thursday nights, of course,) I have been spending a good time of time on the computer, and specifically, the Internet. I have found a crossroads between today's interactive and/or psuedo-social, high-tech, web-based, time-wasting entertainment options, and those commercial, “Boob-Tube” comfort programs that I grew up watching on T.V., (watching, mind you,  with the unblinking stare of post-traumatic housecat in the corner of a room full of sugar-addled children!) The location of this crossroads;, for those unaware of it, is a website that allows the visitor to view television shows at their own convenience, whenever they have the time for it, and not have to commit to the networks’ schedules.  You may have seen the Alec Baldwin commercial where he admits to his alien-hood:

Commercial interuptions are still present, (which I am assuming is responsible for 'free-ness' of the site,) but considerably shorter than most networks breaks for “Station identification” lasting only a single advertisement per interruption.

Televison episodes of shows as current as this week’s ‘The Office,’ or ‘30 Rock,’ to shows as, uh, “classic” as the 1970’s ‘Starsky & Hutch,’‘Battlestar Galactica,’ or that pinnacle of education-based television, ‘Welcome Back Kotter.’ (Webisodes of ‘Net-based shows are also offered, providing a forum for programs outside of the commercial television format, either  in content or episode length.) Movies are also available on the site, and the selection, though limited, is not too shabby. 

On a perculiar note, as I was signing up for, I came to the part  where I was to enter the year I was born. The site provides a drop-down selection and I was to click on my year of birth. The perculiar part was that  I had my choice from the years 1870 to 2009.  Now, I am having a difficult time believing that there are enough 139 year olds signing up for this stuff to warrant the inclusion of these years. And frankly, (and I hope this isn’t viewed as ageism,) I believe that anyone over the age of 100 should safely fall into the same age demographic, (Although I am sure that there are just as many people born in the 1870s signing up for Hulu as there are people born in 2009.) 

So, in the end, I applaud for, (among many things, frankly!) their generosity of age spectrum selection, but I fear it may not be necesary for an equally accurate demographics portrayal.

For those unfamiliar with, you may want to check it out, not only because it gets a big thumbs up from your humble author, but because I believe it may well be the future of television!

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