Thursday, February 23, 2006

Coming to the really small screen

For many years I used to work a swing shift, so prime time episodic televisions was just not my things. Whatever the hot shows were in the early part of this century, I couldn't tell you because I didn't see them because I wasn't home.

Fortunately, that meant I never became part of the whole "Survivor" craze or any of the other plethora of reality TV shows that have become part of our country's pop culture identity. That doesn't mean I haven't seen an episode or two along the way, but I've never seen a whole season.

Thanks to cable and some innovative syndication deals I did become a fan of some shows like "NYPD Blue," "Law & Order" and "West Wing" because they were available at non-prime times on cable networks like A&E and Bravo. I could watch whole batches of seasons in a matter of weeks or months. Of course sometimes I was a season, or two or three behind the curve, but it was all new to me.

Now, I'm working a shift that allows me to be home for prime time viewing, but I my TV viewing habits have not really changed. I still tend to favor cable networks or premium movie channels over broadcast networks. There are some exceptions. I'm still a fan of "West Wing," now in its final season. "Desperate Housewives" has become a favorite. And "Boston Legal" and "Grey's Anatomy" are shows I try not to miss. But I certainly don't plan my week or my life around what's on TV on which days.

So why did I spend part of my evening tonight downloading a TV show to my iPod? I still haven't quite figured that out. When I bought my new iPod just a few short weeks ago I figured I would never use the video feature on the thing. I asked "Why would anyone want to watch a TV show or video on such a tiny screen?" And now here I am downloading a TV show.

But the price was right. It was free. I was tempted to download a few episodes of the classic Saturday morning public service announcements
"Schoolhouse Rock." Remember that series? "Conjunction Junction, what's your function? Hooking up words and phrases and clauses." Or "I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill and I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill." But they wanted money for those and I didn't want to see them badly enough again to pay for them.

But NBC is doing something really interesting. They are releasing the pilot for their new series
"Conviction" before the show even premieres on TV. You can download the episode for free through iTunes now and show doesn't broadcast until next Friday.

So, it remains to be seen if I will actually watch the episode on the really small screen of my iPod before the show debuts, or even if I will watch the show on the somewhat bigger screen of my television. But but the price was right. And my Friday nights are pretty dull these days. So, you never can tell.


GRT said...

Alas, the slippery slope.
When I moved to California in 1975, I didn't own a television set for four years (pre-vcr, remember). My friends finally tired of my cadging free tv shows off them (as well as feeding me noshes)and insisted I get my own tv.

I now have 3 television sets and 4 vcrs and 1 dvd player (not to mention the capability on the 2 computer machines).

Not to mention the $50+ cable bill.

You're doomed, kiddo.


Anonymous said...

Love this post, G-man. If you do watch it, let us know your review, ok?

kat said...

would you believe that i have the schoolhouse rock CD box set? because i do :)

Adam Siewert said...

Nice post, Schoolhouse rock?

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