Doux News: March 2, 2014

This Week: Fool Me Once… -- Binge Your Heart Out -- Is Netflix the New HBO? -- At Least We Know Orange is the New Black -- Or Maybe Orphan is the New Black -- Superhero Roundup -- Vince Gilligan -- Veronica Mars -- This Week in Casts -- This Week in Cats

Fool Me Once...

As I’m sure you’ve heard, NBC is rebooting Heroes, that superhero show that went so wildly off the rails that Billie—who reviewed ten seasons of Smallville--had to call it quits. Just in case you think that a Heroes reboot sounds like a good idea, I remind you of this interview with creator Tim Kring, in which he cites viewer idiocy as the reason his show falls into the "misunderstood brilliance" category.

Binge Your Heart Out

The Atlantic has an interesting article—complete with unscientific survey—about what constitutes a binge or a marathon. Consensus seems to be that four hour-long shows in a row is when “Hey, let’s watch some TV” turns into “Ugh, I think I threw my back out from sitting in the same position for so long.”

Four episodes seems right to me, because I started binging on Buffy back in the day, and that meant four episodes per DVD. Needing to put in a new DVD does seem to provide the meta-cognitive jolt needed to knock me out of a binge. According to the article, Netflix provides the same televisual satori after a third episode by showing a gray screen that asks you if you’re sure you want to continue watching. (That has never happened to me.)

What do you all think? Is four episodes the threshold for a true binge?

Is Netflix the New HBO?

Deep, philosophical puff pieces about binge-watching aren’t the only Netflix headlines this week. In the typical internet-as-echo-chamber style that we’ve become so used to, a variety of culture sites addressed the Netflix/HBO rivalry that, apparently, everyone cares much more about than I do. Representative examples here and here and here.

Consensus seems to be that Netflix has a strong business model, but relatively weak shows—after all, would you love House of Cards if you didn’t watch it so quickly that you barely had time to think? HBO, on the other hand, resists binge-watching, but has a horribly flawed business model: the CEO has stated that he has no problem with people “borrowing” the HBOGo passwords of their friends and family. Ideally, of course, HBO would figure out how to make its cable content available online for those people who have “cut the cord.” Until then, I’m stuck with a big cable bill and a True Detective addiction.

At Least We Know Orange is the New Black

Or Maybe Orphan is the New Black

Superhero Roundup

The upcoming Netflix Daredevil series will shoot in NYC, which is great news for fans who want some Hell’s Kitchen authenticity, and terrible news for those of us who wish that TV shows and films would shoot in Los Angeles, like they used to, back when we had tax credits, too.

Perhaps the Guardians of the Galaxy can save us. Or perhaps not:

Vince Gilligan

Vince Gilligan’s upcoming show Battle Creek has a new star: Dean Winters, who has been in 30 Rock, those car insurance commercials featuring Mayhem, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which is how I always think of him. Winters will join Kal Penn (Kumar), who was already cast as one of the local BCPD.

His other upcoming show, the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, has a new tongue-in-cheek website offering the crack legal services of one Saul Goodman, attorney at law.

Veronica Mars

The first two minutes of the Veronica Mars movie is now available right here:

This Week In Casts

Greg Grunberg will play a doctor in the upcoming ABC medical drama Warriors, about the staff at Walter Reed hospital. The show will also star Morena Baccarin. I'm already excited, even though I don't care for most medical dramas.

Person of Interest favorite Paige Turco will play the wife of Scott Bakula’s character in the upcoming NCIS: New Orleans spinoff.

Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan will star in ABC’s upcoming comedy Selfie.

Jada Pinkett Smith will play a villain on the upcoming Batman prequel Gotham.

• Taraji P. Henson, fresh off an NAACP Image award, will star in Empire a hip-hop family drama by Buffy’s very own Danny Strong. With Terrence Howard already cast in the lead role as mogul Lucious Lyon (probably not his given name), this show is shaping up to be truly excellent.

David Anders (Sark!) will co-star in the upcoming Rob Thomas show iZombie, which I completely dismissed here and will now totally watch, because: Sark.

Doctor Who has added a new companion to the Peter Capaldi/Jenna Coleman run: Samuel Anderson.

This Week in Cats: Time is a Flat Circle Edition

Thanks to mazephoenix for the link!


ChrisB said...

Really interesting article about binge-viewing. As someone who would, once a year, devote an entire weekend to 24, I feel more like a glutton now.

Jess Lynde said...

I'd agree that a "true" binge is in the 3 to 4 hours in one sitting ballpark. BUT, my caveat would be that you have to watch at that rate for at least two to three days in a row for it to really be a binge. If the hubby and I just spend a Friday night catching up on multiple episodes of something we've got backlogged on the DVR, it doesn't feel like a binge to me. That's just a fun evening. I agree with the article that there has to be something more "unhealthy" about the process, or some sort of guilt associated with ignoring other responsibilities, to feel binge-y.

topher darling said...

I'm so excited for Orphan Black!!!! It's the one series I can't recommend to enough people!

sunbunny said...

I'm definitely going to be binge watching Orphan Black season one (yet again) before season two starts! I'm freakishly excited. And terrified.

Billie Doux said...

I've just realized I'm not much of a binge viewer. What's wrong with me?

Panda said...

I feel like I'm the only one here that's actually for this Heroes Reborn idea. If anything, that interview Josie linked makes it seem like an even better idea. NBC are basically putting their hands up and letting Kring make the show he wanted to.

He said himself that fan opinion and network influence were huge factors. This event style storytelling could be a really great thing. It's the way the show should have been told originally, almost in an American Horror Story way. Except its the same time and there;s potential for a few one of appearances, but there's no room for the writers to listen to what's happening on the outside.

Not that I'm demanding that it go beyond this 13 episode order. I just think there's massive potential there.

Billie Doux said...

You might be right, Panda. I hope you are. It's been a long time since we were all blown away by season one, and I'd like to be wrong.

Freeman said...

Did anyone else find the trailer for Guardians of the It felt very oddly edited to me and I still have no idea how to feel about the movie. This is a movie I'm going into as a skeptic and this trailer did nothing to alleviate that feeling. In fact I feel even more "eh" about the movie. On the plus Side I am interested in Rocket Raccoon now. He looks fun.

I'm interested to see how they pull off Heroes. I find Kring's reasons for how the show became to be a bit weak but I'll reserve judgement. Maybe lightning can strike twice. Honestly if it were up to me I'd let Heroes burn, just gimme back Alphas.