‘Block’ Viewing – The New Addiction

‘Block’ viewing. Lets be honest. We’ve all spent a bit too long one lazy day on the couch/armchair/(insert sitting position here).

Now, I would suggest that ‘block’ viewing is to some extent the result of TV’s increased accessibility (online, on demand, cable). In conjunction with this you’ve got writers who are structuring their episodes to make you addicted. Matt mentioned it in the tute with reference to Game of Thrones – people wearing costumes undertake exposition of what is going to happen and for the next hour we switch between most of the key characters and their respective exposition until there is some kind of jaw dropping moment to make you want to watch the next episode. Thanks George R. R. Martin. (Admittedly it might not entirely be his fault)

And we are suckers for it. We treat it like our loyal companion that nourishes our carnal needs. Yet what about when the season finishes? I can’t possibly wait 6 months! Are you bloody joking? What am I going to do with my respective 6 hours every day…?

And this is the bulk of the problem. There is no where near the same satisfaction. When the supply is cut our veins scream for more, alas to no avail. Couple this with a habit of watching things in ‘blocks’ and you have an unhealthy concoction that will must likely result in the respective viewer’s head threatening to explode.

Whereas with film you are more than likely to get a build up over a year, maybe even two in the case of a film like The Dark Knight Rises, TV abuses your system for a short period of time and then staves you off it for even longer. Then, once its back in our hands asks us to abuse it even more. Hardly a platonic relationship.

Film builds our expectations and it either satisfies them or it doesn’t. TV on the other hand is a teasing mistress, forever baiting us and making our balls blue. Yet, who are we to blame? Hand in hand we are the most passive partners around. We need TV just as much as it needs us, yet we’ve given it the upper hand by giving in to its delicious addictiveness. That being said, we’ll still ask nicely – please, sir, I want some more. Oh, Oliver, you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into..


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