TV shows are a great way to connect over the water-cooler at work, or to unify communities of passionate fans. TV shows are the new independent movies, and have been for a while. Networks and platforms like HBO, Showtime, Netflix, FX and Amazon have created a new range of cultural and artistically satisfying shows. Some might say this golden age of television is currently outshining movies. Here are a few reasons why that may be.
High-octane TV shows are major talking points. I have kick-started many conversations by talking about The Americans, for example – people are hooked on shows like these, and love to discuss them. And why not – TV has never been this good.
Equipment to create moving images has gotten exponentially better and more cost effective. From camera quality and mobility due to smaller sizes, to drones replacing expensive helicopter shots, to slicker digital editing software.
Now you don’t need $237 million (3.5 billion rand) to make Avatar. Okay you probably do, but you now get better quality for lower production costs.
That said, the budget for each episode of Game of Thrones is currently $10 million per episode – so not too shabby.
One episode of Thrones costs roughly the same as 10 Leon Schuster movies, or you could make around 700 local SA films for the whole season of Thrones.
TV is getting better crews to create cinematic looks and sourcing better casts who are attracted to more challenging material. Coupled together with incredible pools of writers given freedom to experiment and surprise.
An example of all of these elements is Season 1 of True Detective.
Season 2, not so much, even though they tried hard.
We have better home viewing equipment, meaning less time required to travel to the cinema and sit in a sticky seat while someone alongside you Whatsapps and talks throughout the entire movie.
Distribution tools are better: faster bandwidth, Apple TV, Roku players and cheaper storage means viewers watch what they want, when they want.
Instead of going to a local cinema with ten movies on offer, they have the whole Internet, on demand and streaming services to choose from.
No matter how much whiskey you’ve had, you can still Fish. You don’t have to hide your Fishing magazines.
It is perfectly acceptable to pay a professional to Fish with you once in a while. The Ten Commandments don’t say anything against Fishing.
If your partner takes pictures or videotapes of you Fishing, you don’t have to worry about them showing up on the Internet if you become famous.
Your Fishing partner doesn’t get upset about people you fished with long ago. It’s perfectly respectable to Fish with a total stranger.
When you see a really good Fishing person, you don’t have to feel guilty about imagining the two of you Fishing together.
If your regular Fishing partner isn’t available, he/she won’t object if you Fish with someone else.
Nobody will ever tell you that you will go blind if you Fish by yourself.
When dealing with a Fishing pro, you never have to wonder if he’s really an undercover cop. You don’t have to go to a sleazy shop in a seedy neighbourhood to buy Fishing stuff.
You can have a Fishing calendar on your wall at the office, tell Fishing jokes, and invite co-workers to.
Fish with you without getting sued for Fishing harassment. There are no Fishing-transmitted diseases.
If you want to watch Fishing on television, it does not cost extra, like when you have to subscribe to the Playboy channel.
Nobody expects you to Fish with the same partner for the rest of your life. Nobody expects you to give up Fishing if your partner loses interest in it.
You don’t have to be a newlywed to plan a vacation primarily to enjoy your favourite activity.
Your Fishing partner will never say, “Not again? We just Fished last week!”
We all have anxiety due to digital overload. E-mails left, right and center, social media activity, keeping up with all the different messages. Not so long ago it was more about e-mail, but these days it is WhatsApp texts, messages on Facebook, Twitter updates. and more. And when you land and get online after a long flight it can hit hard and sometimes it is overwhelming.
It is amazing what can accumulate during a night. I know I am not alone in this modern day struggle. I have travelled with many friends and colleagues before, and when we land, there is always a rush to get online and see what’s cooking. Things to take care of, problems to sort out, people needing answers, decisions to make. And when you are groggy and tired from a long flight it can really stress you out.
I remember using the “out of office” feature on my Microsoft mail client in the late 90s and into the new millennium. But for the past 10 years I don’t use it anymore. The office is wherever you go. Good or bad, this is the modern world. Globalization is about never switching off. E-mail overload, and all the rest, is not a problem we are going to solve anytime soon.