I’m a series junkie. Here’s why I love internet TV.
Tvplus editor Lucia Swart-Walters talks about the ever-evolving television landscape.
Watching television today is very different from way-back-when, when we used to walk barefoot through the snow to school. That’s thanks to the ever-evolving television landscape and technology like internet TV, also known as streaming-video-on-demand (SVOD), where episodes are available immediately and at the touch of a button.
But while that applies to millennials (if you want the truest explanation of the term, check out Younger), TV in the regular sense is still (for now) alive and well. How else do you explain soapies like Generations – The Legacy and Uzalo pulling in over 10 million viewers every night?
But – and this is a big “but” – should more viewers discover that soaps are also on SVOD, like The River and Binnelanders, the tipping point for change may come sooner than we think, if data costs play along. And there’s another huge factor pulling viewers towards SVOD…
Flip the switch
It’s only a matter of time before viewers start noticing a trend that’s captured my attention over the past three or four years – and it’s not the obvious movie-stars-doing-TV thing … that’s a topic for another time.
It’s the fact that current series across genres are reflecting real life, and that helps viewers make sense of the chaos in the world.
Yes, Sex & The City purported to do that with the dating scene for thirtysomethings – but really, how could Carrie Bradshaw afford her wardrobe or her shoe fetish on a journalist’s salary? And yes, Friends explored relationships, work issues and the transition from trying to stay young while establishing a career and finding love during “breaks”, but how did Chandler, Monica, Joey and Rachel afford those New York apartments?
Real TV, real life
If you peek between the special effects, amazing advancements in technology and even sometimes the blood and gore in shows like Vikings, today’s television landscape is a mirror of the world we live in. Jude Law in the brilliant Young Pope, for example, reminded me so much of the preacher Angus Buchan that I had to watch some of the scenes twice or three times. Of course there are differences between the two religious figures, but in the end it’s about their power, isn’t it?
Younger may seem farfetched (because how many forty-year-olds do you know who are as lithe and fresh-faced as Sutton Foster, who plays Liza Miller?), but have you ever been “the older fart” in your office or friendship circle who’s trying to keep up with all the technology changes going on? I actually learned a lot from Younger, especially about composure and how to fake it ’til you feel it.
It’s impossible to watch all of these shows on regular TV – ask me, I’ve tried and nearly died! With SVOD, it’s easy. It’s educational. And it helps you make sense of what’s going on around you. To realise that your life isn’t crazy and that it’s the same for everyone around the world is comforting. Because TV these days is real. More real than any reality show you’ve tuned in for!