Can you remember a time when if you wanted to see a TV show you had to watch it when it was actually on? At a scheduled time, dictated to you by one of four channels! And if you missed it you had to wait ages for the DVD to be released. Now with hundreds of channels, not to mention online access through YouTube, blinkbox and streaming services, TV is everywhere and we can’t get enough!
TV has changed dramatically over the last 20 years; if you can’t remember struggling to programme a VCR and then trying to watch your favourite programme through a “snowy” screen, then you will never truly appreciate how lucky you are to have Sky+. With instant access to TV shows, on demand downloads and the possibility of recording two shows at a time there is no excuse for missing a TV show. Because of this, suddenly, what we are watching has become as culturally relevant as what music we like to listen to and where we like to hang out.
The amount of choice gives us more to watch but it is also about watching the “right” thing too; if you haven’t seen the latest TV obsession then you will have nothing to talk about at work the next day. But it’s not just accessibility that has made TV shows so popular; sure, going to the cinema is great but with cinema prices soaring why spend out when you can enjoy the latest comic book action in HD on your wide screen from the comfort of your home with the likes of Arrow or Flash. Improved technology in TV with HD, surround sound, curved screens and even 3D means that TV shows have the potential to become just as aesthetically astounding as the latest blockbuster.
Game of Thrones
Out of nowhere the next big TV show has become more exciting than the next big film and this is reflected in the number of big screen names that are making the transition to the small screen; Liv Tyler in The Leftovers, Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead and Clive Owen in The Knick. Directors and writers are following suit too, enjoying the freedom to develop the storylines and characters over a number of series as opposed to just a couple of hours. The ambitious Game of Thrones, based on a series of books by George R. R. Martin, could have been made into a film franchise like Lord of the Rings but by going to the small screen it has been able to draw on the CGI and epic quality of cinema without having to compromise on the intricate storylines.
The Walking Dead
Whilst Game of Thrones still forces us to wait eagerly for the next instalment each week, streaming services like Netflix have started to created and release whole series in one go. All 13 episodes of the hit show Orange is the New Black are released simultaneously, allowing fans to overdose on their favourite show.
Orange is the New Black
By Samantha Vandersteen