The Netflix Effect
Nine years vs Nine weeks!
That can be the difference between contentment with the end of something or utter frustration!
So yesterday the last episode of How I Met Your Mother aired. I was busy with work and people so I couldn’t watch it live but I had DVR’d the episode so I watched it this morning since I was off from work today! Now I guess I should mention that until February I had only seen one episode of the show ever! But I decided that I would check it out. Now I was given the same opportunity to start watching this show nine years ago as many of you. Several of my friends were fans and had mentioned the show. I have always been more of a fan of cop shows like CSI and NCIS over your Situation Comedy or Sitcoms any day. To this day I have only seen about half of a season of Friends. But I have seen every episode of CSI that has aired! All this to say that about two months ago or around nine weeks ago I decided to start watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and with current work my schedule I was able to get myself competently caught up in a few weeks. Basically just in time for the series finale.
Now I have heard and seen posts complaining that they feel jipped out of the last nine years of their life. Because well the ending was horrible and no one liked it. I am not going to lie I really liked the Barney & Robin combo and I am kinda mad that they broke that up. But seriously to all those who complained you might want to take a little time and watch the show from a beginning because if you didn’t see this coming it might be because it has been a while since you watched the earlier seasons.
When it comes to a good story line that is written to cover a long period of time there is something that writers do called foreshadowing. It is widely used in books but can also be seen in many TV shows over the years. Now this observation could be coming out of my love of a good mystery. But after my years of cop shows and a more recent love of Sci Fi, foreshadowing has become one of my favorite parts of fiction. More specifically in TV shows.
Well if it has been years since you have watched the show well then you might consider watching it again or at least the pilot episode because although they didn’t know how long they were going to have this show run they were always going to have Ted & Robin end up together! Because “Hello!” we meet them and as they are meeting!
Another example would be LOST. Recently a friend of mine and her husband watched through LOST on Netflix. He had watched it before real-time but she had not seen it before. It was funny to watch her watch through Lost and hear her appreciation of the plot and the new discoveries as the show developed. When it came time for the show to end me and many of my friends that waited those six years asked her what she thought about the ending. Much to my surprise she actually liked it.
SO through all this I have been curious about why these forms of fiction have this effect on us.
Well I don’t know about you but I am not the same person I was one year ago let alone the person I was nine years ago.
I have watched CSI since I was in high school. I still remember what was going on in my life when The Miniature Killer kidnapped Sara. I cried when Warrick Brown was found dead. I have watched as the characters of the show grew up and I have grown with them. The devastation I would feel of an abrupt or bad ending to CSI possibly force me to want to boycott Jerry Bruckheimer for the rest of my life only to realize it is because of the moments that I shared with these characters and that although I don’t personally know them. They have been a constant companion since I was a teenager.
So although I have enjoyed CSI over the years I had never really watched either of the spinoffs of the franchise aside from the occasional crossover episodes. But with the availability of both CSI: NY and CSI: Miami on Netflix I decided that I would give them a chance. I randomly decided to watch through New York first partly because I have always enjoyed Gary Sinise and I really like New York as a city over Miami. Well what I have discovered is that I can still be a shipper even on the short run and that I can’t help but cry my eyes out during ten year the September 11th anniversary episode but over all I will never be as attached to the characters of NY or Miami as I am to those in Vegas.
Now one could venture to say that they could judge the reception of a show by the time invested. But if you really think about it the same amount of time is invested in watching any given Television show. You are still taking an hour out of your day to watch each episode. The real thing to that changes the reception we have for a show is how much patience we invest in watching each episode and how quickly we allow the story to unfold. Are we willing to invest that time of our life over the span of years or over the span of weeks? This is the difference I am referencing.
I guess this isn’t really that big of a revelation but I have just been thinking about it a lot lately and finding out How Ted Met Tracy kinda gave me a bit of a platform to talk about it.