Yesterday, I almost had a wardrobe malfunction! I mean, I did have one - one of the layers on my tank top ripped free, but luckily it was covered by the top two layers, so I didn't flash boob at anybody on the commute home. (I was wearing a cardigan over it all day at work, and hadn't noticed.) Oh well. I liked that top, too.
When I got home, I heated up the oven and took the tiny roast (1.75 lbs) I'd bought on Sunday out of the fridge to come to room temperature before cooking it. I bought it before I knew I was meeting L. for dinner on Sunday, so I needed to use it quickly. I seasoned it and put it in the oven and set the timer for 35 minutes (20 minutes per pound at 375°F) but then I forgot to start the timer. Oops. So it was a lot of checking the internal temperature after the 30 minute mark. The roast ended up being more medium than medium rare when all was said and done, but it was quite delicious, and there's enough left to make another dinner, so it turned out all right. I just didn't get to eat until almost 8 pm, which is later than I prefer on a work night.
A few weeks ago, I asked serrico
to talk about the difference between watching a show week to week vs. marathoning (the network vs. the Netflix model), and I've been thinking a lot about it myself. I wrote something in her comments that I'm expanding on here, because it came up again – both with my own marathon of Steven Universe
last week, and a discussion with my brother and sister-in-law and their kids regarding their own marathoning of Friday Night Lights
I do think having a show drop all at once makes it harder to grow and sustain a fandom, since unlike something that airs week to week, with hiatuses for people to catch up, everybody's at a different point in viewing so having conversations becomes difficult, especially when it comes to avoiding spoilers, and that has a negative impact on attempts to build community. (In microcosm, it was difficult to talk about FNL with my brother's family, because one of them was finished with it, one had dropped it after season one, one was in season 3, and my brother and his wife were just starting season 5.) Fandoms for these shows start to feel more like summer movie fandoms, or seasonal fandoms (i.e., shows that come on in spring or summer when many of the usual fannish suspects are not airing) - they show up and everybody talks about them, and then they fade away until the next batch of episodes is released.
I think Daredevil
, with its connection to the MCU, its background as a comic, and the promise of three other shows interweaving with it, might be an exception to this? But I feel like Orange Is the New Black
and House of Cards
had a big moment bursting on the scene, and then they fade out until the next time there's new canon. I guess we'll see what fandom does with Sense8
, since it is so much more fandom-ready, I think, than most other shows (on network, cable, or any streaming service). Certainly I think the idea of a cluster of telepathically connected people will migrate out into many fandoms, much the way drift compatibility did from Pacific Rim
Personally, I sometimes find it harder to hold onto a canon that I've marathoned, vs. one that I've watched week to week, in the sense that I can't always remember what happened in what order/in what episode, which makes writing fic more difficult than when you've got a week (or more) to absorb and rewatch each episode. And I do miss the frantic scramble to get a post-ep story posted before it got jossed by the next episode (of course, my main fandom is a movie fandom now, so it's a whole different model of canon).
I also think some shows are more suited to marathon watching than others – personally, I know if I cue up AtLA's "The Library," for example, I'm not stopping until the end of the season (though I might skip "The Serpent's Pass" or "The Drill" or both, if pressed for time). Steven Universe
episodes, at 10 minutes apiece, make for perfect mini-marathons – you can watch 6 in an hour and still have time to watch a full slate of primetime shows or that night's baseball game! Otoh, I can't take more than one or two episodes of something like Friday Night Lights
, because it's emotionally draining. My sister-in-law said she's gone to bed sad every night after watching two FNL episodes every evening for the past couple of weeks. (I commiserated, because I cried at nearly every episode of that show as well.)
She also mentioned the melancholy that sets in when you're done mainlining something that has 60 or 100 episodes (and even more so if it's a closed canon and there's no promise of a new season coming at some point down the line). You spend an hour or two (or three) with these characters every night for a few weeks, and then it's over. It's like the same letdown on returning to reality after finishing a great book. What am I gonna do without this show every night?
I felt it after Sense8
and I'm feeling it right now with Steven Universe
, and I think it's one reason I've rewatched AtLA so often (often enough that I do know what happens in what episode pretty easily). It's not necessarily the same sadness as when a show you've watched for years ends – sometimes we drift away from a show, sometimes we rage-quit, sometimes we still watch but without the passionate intensity we had for earlier seasons, and sometimes a show is canceled too soon and all we have is 12 episodes and a table-read (and some supplementary comics) to get us through.
Doling a show out two episodes a night for a few weeks is still a slower pace than watching it all in one weekend, so you do get some chance to linger and live in a particular universe, without the agita that comes from having to wait a week in between (and then months of mid-season and summer hiatuses), and also without the "wait, did that happen in the second or fifth hour I watched in the middle of the night last weekend?" feeling.
I mean, I am a total marathon reader/watcher. It's one reason I hate reading works in progress, even if the author swears the story is done – I want to read it at my own pace and my own pace is going to be a lot faster than is probably wise. So I'll just wait until it's done. (it's also why I am more of a trade-waiter with comics – I can't remember what happened in 15 pages a month ago, and I'm often disappointed by how little the story moves in one issue. [And by how much it costs for those little slices of story that are over so quickly.])
I don't know what model of television is going to win out in the long run, but I really do like the option of being able to watch shows all at once, even if I might relate differently to them than I do shows I've watched over time.