Streaming Is Too Big for Its Own Good

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At the time I was finally able to see and quickly fell in love with, Book Dogs—FX’s ethereal dark comedy about four rebellious Indigenous teenagers causing trouble on a small town Oklahoma reservation — it had been almost a year since its release in 2021. My enduring was not deliberate. but it did mean that I had missed one of the most satisfying aspects of what makes television especially a piece of software. Book Dogseven more worthy of a date in this dirty era of streaming: the opportunity to soak up your quirks as you watch and chat alongside everyone else on social media.

This has become a trend lately. I find myself unable to keep pace with the overflow of TV and movies offered to all major streamers (I Book Dogs last month to Hulu, FX’s corporate partner), and to the network and cable equipment that has adapted late to the times generating cultural IP across multiple platforms. (Yes, I signed up for the free trial of Paramount + and yes, I saw the pre-cooked American version of Island of love without a bit of embarrassment.) I just finished The Golden Age (10/10 recommended, is Housewives before Housewives) and have yet to begin Station Eleventhe second season of Successionand I couldn’t even tell you where I left it Ozark (in fact, I just checked; season 3, episode 1). In the midst of all this, I still didn’t have time to watch the movies piling up in my growing queues, including the dystopian thriller. Mare / Android and documentaries Ailey, Highest scorei Our father.

Context, as always, is crucial. All of this has happened at the same time, from spring to summer, a bit post-Covid, but not entirely, in which streaming was, and still is, vomiting content at an unprecedented rate. In addition to catching up, I also added to my streaming ephemeral treasure: I subscribed to Peacock in April (Bel Air is the first remake in a long time that deals with genre lines with real benefits) while watching, chronologically, all that the DC animated universe had to offer HBO Max (in terms of its slate of animation, DC far surpassed Marvel). These are the times. According to an analysis by Vulture on spring programming, “streaming platforms and cable networks launched more than 50 new, high-profile series” over a 10-week period. An executive painted it without wheels: “Right now it almost hurts consumers. It’s too much.”

In addition, apps for creators such as YouTube and TikTok have been slowly redesigned where we look for entertainment and escape. During the first year of the pandemic, Instagram Live became a dating TV, as users gathered to watch the battle song series. Verzuz, or linked to the eccentricities of influencers like Boman Martinez-Reid on TikTok. Video streaming, Neilsen reported, now accounts for 25 percent of television consumption, up 6 percent from the previous year.

Not registered as bad. An immediate advantage of the excess of algorithmic content that obstructs our attention is the pleasure of introducing ourselves to a genre or series that is otherwise overlooked. Forced feeding, I admit, has its advantages. Since then, streamers like Netflix and Hulu have appeared, which previously did not bring international stories to the United States, with the rare surprise success that seems to take over the culture in an indirect way: a strange series seems unfathomable until, of suddenly there is fan fiction. this is written on message boards.

In the fourth week of its release, in October last year, Squid game“The South Korean.” survive-style hostility-style drama: It had become the most-watched program on Netflix in all language groups and social media conversation. (According to the company, the total number of hours seen at the end of the first month amounted to 1.65 billion.) With fluctuating results, other foreign series have found an audience in the US, including the recent soap from the South African company Netflix, Wild Beauty.

Still, I can’t undo the feeling that instinct of more, bigger, now it has only exacerbated our worst impulses. The choice is to stay connected and keep up to date with everything or to be ridiculed in the group chat so as not to catch any of Keke Palmer’s references for the new season of Legendary. Also, for the average consumer, streaming companies have maneuvered in light of what appears to be only rapid growth and blind excess. Sure, we reap the fruits of this almost impossible ethic, but is that what we want, or even need?

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