Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Saturday 14 September 2013

Behind the Times

Where all things television related are concerned, I can generally be expected to be behind the times. We don’t have a lot of time for television, and we don’t even have them in our public rooms.

We don’t have a satellite package, either.

As a general rule, if we want to watch something, we buy the box set and watch it on purpose, which is to say in the screening room on the dvd projector, cinema-style.

It’s a good thing. It makes a person disciplined, choosy,  even. We find we only watch the shows we really want to watch, and we don’t spend all evening every evening glued to the box watching indiscriminately. You can lose a lot of valuable time that way. It’s madness.

There is one small caveat to all of this, and it is that I don’t really sleep. I’ve never been much of a sleeper and it’s always been a bit of a problem. When I was young it was a problem because I shared a room, and there were rules, and I wasn’t allowed to shine a light for half the night and keep my sister up. When I finally had a room to myself things were a little better and I would read long into the night.

For a long time, I used to keep a mini dvd player on my bedside table and rerun my favourite shows, via earphones so that I didn’t disturb the husband, and that worked pretty well, too.

Recently, of course Netflix arrived.

For the longest time, I was behind with all thing tv related. I always waited for the dvd box set for anything that might be interesting. Box sets are a good thing. I can watch them at any speed I like, over several weeks or months, or in a glut, over only a couple of nights, and, better than anything imaginable, there are no sodding adverts to sit through. I never minded waiting, either. It never mattered to me that other people had seen a series before I had, and I was never so plugged into the World that spoilers were a problem. I’ve never been a big fan of review sights, or, heaven help me, fora!

Netflix seemed like a good idea, and a cheap one.

At first, I was a little disappointed. I didn’t seem to be getting all that much for my money, and every time I went looking for some old favourite tv show to rerun, it never seemed to be there.

Then, I got the hang of it, and simply started picking things from the menus.

In the beginning, it was the same old story. I was behind the times. I was late to Dexter and Damages, and Arrested Development and Breaking Bad... Bloody love Breaking Bad! Totally see why people have raved about it! Every day, I look forward to new episodes. I’ll be sorry when it’s over. 

Then, the other day, I opened the Review section of the Guardian to find a great big article on Orange is the New Black, saying how this brand new show was shaking things up at Netflix. 

Brand new! I thought. Brand new? What’s brand new about Orange is the New Black? I watched that... How many weeks ago did I watch OITNB? I call it OITNB for crying out loud!

Well it was long enough ago for me to recommend it to and watch it with the husband, and long enough ago for me to recommend it to the dort and for her to catch up, too.

The cast of Orange is the New Black
Clearly, just for once, I was in on the ground floor of something... Something TV! Shocking!

Orange is the New Black is a prison drama about a nice middle class thirty year old woman who ends up in gaol for a ten year old drugs crime, as a result of a plea deal done by an old lover. It’s dark and funny, and all human life is there. There are some sharp, witty performances and some keen observation of human interaction. I liked it and will watch it again. In fact, I’m looking forward to the second season, even as I write this.

So, if you haven’t seen it and you’ve got Netflix, what are you waiting for? And if you don’t have Netflix, you might want to think about it, it’s a pretty decent resource for the price of less than one season of anything on dvd per month.


  1. I've been meaning to watch it for a while now, but as I'm behind on a lot (and I mean a LOT) of shows. I've not been a great television watcher for the last five or so years, but all of a sudden there is a host of content suddenly sprung up and not enough hours in the week to absorb it all before the next seasons are out.

    The Almighty Johnson's and Games of Thrones (all of it) are good examples of what I've missed out. Both shows are easily three years old but I'm only really getting around to watching either show right now (and its difficult to watch GoT without making Sharp references). And those are just the top two of a longer list of shows I'd missed out on.

    With the aid of Netflix I may get caught up on sometime next year.

    1. We really enjoyed the Almighty Johnsons, which is a nice easy watch, but we're saving Game of Thrones for the full cine experience, to watch on the wall in all its glory, so it might take a while to get to it. I gather it's worth the wait, though. Smiles.