I’ve been binge watching the TV series CASTLE. Weirdly, I don’t like it but I can’t stop watching it. It’s that type of show where they place the emphasis on the Mystery of the Week over the never ending, incredibly unfulfilling sexual tension between the two leads. The producers/writers clearly applied the lessons learned from MOONLIGHTING and wanted to throwback to that show and prolong the payout of a relationship for as long as possible. By now, we’ve all learned that once you give up that tension, the show generally dies.
The charisma of the two lead actors, and dangling the possibility that this MIGHT actually resolve at some point keeps me in there, but if it weren’t the binge watching all in a row, I’d never have stuck with this show.
I noticed a lot of names in the credits, both for actors and /writer/producers on this show that carry over from other places. Jose Molina worked on Firefly. René Echevarria worked on Star Trek. There are more sci fi actors that you can shake a stick at crossing over on to this show from Battlestar Galactica to a host of Joss Whedon Buffy-Angel-Dollhouse types. Rob Bowman directed Elektra, Reign of Fire, and The X-Files.
Of course, this also speaks to the pathetic state of my personal life, if those very few hours I have that aren’t working, teaching, or going to the gym can be classified as a “personal life“. Some might say (and even more actually HAVE said) that I spend way too much time with my feline roommates.
Important to note is the shift that a large percentage of people have made in the last 10 years to “binge watching”. Thanks to DVD and streaming services, people can watch entire seasons in a row or even an entire series, sans commercials no less.
Maybe it appeals to my OCD or perhaps it’s just the sensory overload that binge watching affords, but I have loved it since I first started being able to experience shows like this. It all started with BAND OF BROTHERS on DVD. Watched something like 6-7 hours in a row in one night. Could not stop watching it was so compelling.
It’s not always the best way to experience a show. The 2003 remake of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA was actually better going week to week, year to year. You felt like you were slogging through their tribulations WITH them. Watching it all in a row on Blu Ray – some serious breaks in logic and sanity occurred and it detracted from the whole.
The business model of television shows it is failing. The sponsors paying for production aren’t getting enough bang for their buck. The longevity and profitability of shows create new problems. If the rating aren’t there immediately, less shows grow into the hits they MIGHT become. BREAKING BAD, SEINFELD, CHEERS, and several others started in the very bottom of the rating before becoming hits.
“His tears fall and burn the garden green. And so castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually.”
― Jimi Hendrix