My eldest daughter and I have a fair amount in common, one of the biggest areas we share is our love of certain television programmes. Before you accuse me of letting the TV be an automatic baby sitter (though she’s too old for a sitter anyway) you should also know that we do a decent amount of healthy activities like walking and swimming and reading to exercise our brains also.
Anyway. We are both devotees of the series “Friends” which was a very popular sitcom about a group of 6 , well friends! It ran for 10 series over the course of 10 years and tells the trials and tribulations of 3 women and 3 men over that period.
I must have seen each episode countless times and yet I still find it funny and so does she.
The difference between our experience is that I saw it when it was first aired and she has watched all the repeats, until we bought her the box set.
She never knew the agony of the series finale when we had to wait months to find out, would Ross and Rachel get together? What happened after Ross said Rachel’s name, would Monica and Chandler get married? ….
In my eyes that makes her experience slightly poorer because she had instant gratification. Part of the excitement of catching up with a programme was that we had endured that waiting period in between. It enhanced the enjoyment although it was frustrating at the time.
We live in an age of instant gratification with email instead of snail mail, texts instead of phone calls, instant messages, face time and a multitude of other ways to interact, many of them making it possible to communicate without talking directly. No wonder we sometimes have trouble communicating.
It would be ok if you could walk up to a stranger and say “lol. Smiley face. I like you. Poke. Poke.” But of course society actively discourages that kind of interaction, thankfully, for random strangers .
What saddens me… And yes, saddens is the right word is that we are not willing to wait for things and we pass that on to our children. Even the programme makers worry that we’ll lose interest so they release spoilers and mini episodes and prequels.
You can’t try to follow any big programme without some unscrupulous newspaper giving out juicy details or social networking sites listing plot spoilers.
I am currently looking forward to the new series of Sherlock that airs on New Years Day. Those who have seen it will know it ended after his fall off the roof of St.Bart’s but we, the audience, know he is still alive. Next series we will get to see how he faked his death and John Watson’s reaction.
There has already been an advance screening of the first episode at the British Film Institute which means I’m having to be very careful which social networking links I click on because some that were there have posted spoilers on Twitter. I have an idea how he faked his death but I want to watch it when it airs on TV. I don’t want it spoilt. I’ve waited 2 years to find out. I don’t want instant gratification.
Please, please programme makers. Stop spoonfeeding us like babies with drips and drops of series details. We are willing to wait. If it is good enough you don’t have to worry over falling ratings. We’ll be loyal, because some things worth having are worth the wait.
Till next time.