This is the era of online streaming. Services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot and so many more have all of our favourite shows and movies right there – just a click away. And the content is not just bite-sized, it is big chunks we consume in one go.
Netflix even has a whole section for ‘Binge-worthy’ TV shows.
But you know what I miss? Television. No, not your laptop hooked to a TV, but cable-TV, the Doordarshan wala TV, the Tata-Sky/Dish-TV wala TV.
The current generation, who haven’t known life without Netflix, will never know the times when we used to plan our whole lives around TV.
Our evenings began 5 pm Pokemon and 5:30 pm Beyblade, only after which we would go to play with our friends. Discussing the latest episode was part of our daily evening ritual.
But the worse case of waiting was for those one-episode-per-week ones. Oh, the torture of waiting a whole week just to see your favourite show. The whole week was spent in anticipation of a Sunday morning where you could watch M.A.D. And then poof! It ended so quickly.
Have you known the struggle of having your favourite cartoon scheduled at 3:30 in the afternoon? So you would beg your mother to let you watch it on mute, while your parents took their afternoon nap.
The one who held the remote held all the power, and we were forced to watch what they wanted. If you and your sibling’s favourite shows coincided at the same time, it was all a matter of who got the remote. Good luck looking for early morning reruns.
The worst thing to ever happen to you was when the movie you had been waiting for so long to come on TV was broadcasting the same time your mother’s daily saas-bahu show came everyday. Cue the long task of switching channels when the breaks came. You might risk missing some parts of the movie, but that’s a risk you gotta take.
The Netflix-era knows nothing of ad breaks, where we would run to get our food ready, or try to make it back in record time. Imagine having to hold your pee until a break comes. There was no pause button.
This anticipation and misery did us some good at least.
We learnt the real value of patience, with our one-episode-a-week viewing model. You can’t just play the next episode to see what happened, the real thrill was living a whole week with that cliff-hanger, and figuring out what happened. My best friend was that sneak peek at the end of the show that showed us “in the next episode..”
Now, we only watch TV when our internet is down.
I will always turn to my ‘idiot box’ for a little bit of mindless TV to unwind after a long day. Some of you may unwind with binge-ing online, but deciding what to watch is another stress I don’t want to take on. I’ll let my TV decide for me.