Quite an obscure title, no? A bit too authoritative sounding, yes? Agreed on both points, but the logic is there, let’s get to it then.
Let’s sketch out a common everyday scenario. You, like so many of your kind, are addicted to watching your favourite TV show, we’ll call it ‘X’. This series is on its 5th season so far, and it had you hooked since the pilot episode. Happy days! (the expression, not ‘that’ TV show – Fonzie, you’ll just have to shunt another electrical appliance into life, probably starting with your stair-master and see where you go from there…)
Re-focus, show X. Great cast, episodes now are starting to lose the momentum, happens to even the best programs eventually… the thread of where the story is going slowly starts to vaporise with it. Critics are left imagining if the producers are drawing inspiration from the makers of ‘Lost’ and if the plot is being changed/adapted at every turn, instead of aiming to a well, predetermined end or conclusion.
Like so many others, you don’t have time to watch all the episodes as they air. You stream retro-speculatively, sometimes you set the DVR recorder/ Tivo / whatever and enjoy a fortnightly weekend catch-up in bed, under the sheets with your ‘X’ (and) your partner (see what I did there?) – whom you corrupted long ago. After all, you suspected your relationship wasn’t strong enough back then to endure this solo-addiction, and you’re glad you never had to test this theory.
Enough with the padding!! Where were we? The point is you aren’t wasting time watching X as it airs, you’ll bending it around your life which is commendable and certainly more fulfilling. But what if you could fast-forward to the end and watch the whole show, conclusion and all. Imagine dialling your time machine of choice, (mine is a Fiat Punto), and being able to watch the show, knowing that you are getting to a final end. Granted, it is the journey rather than the destination we should enjoy, but with shows, I think having a set end date helps us all to enjoy each episode, regardless of how many we watch in a single sitting.
Just think, retro-viewing would mean no more avoiding spoilers on the web or incoming plot fluff via your social media, because no one in your circle is talking about the show they would all say something like: “it finished last month dude – that show is dead to me, we’re all watching show ‘Z’, where have you been? Pffffah!”
Ok, maybe part of the draw was talking about the show with others as the episodes dribbled out, one by one, but in hindsight, so much of that is limited without a real sense of where the story or characters within the show are going…it’s 90% speculation, often completely wrong.
If you could watch all 6 seasons of ‘X’ (yes, they squeezed another one out in the time it took you to scroll down to here) – uninterrupted by broadcasting, (hell uninterrupted by the world if you have no respect for yourself and want to binge a solid month or two of your life away, why not?) you can focus on the most entertaining of episodes or moments, quoting your favourite character lines and dissecting everything piece-by-piece as you choose.
The reason for this more-rant-than-actual-article, is that it dawned on me rewatching some of my favourite seasons of shows (yes Mr Robot was on that list, so were seasons 1 & 2 of Californication, Battlestar Galactica etc.) that really, the good shows stay excellent, and you enjoy them because they are finished.
OK, so not technically true of Mr Robot – having watched both seasons (and I stand by the review posted on this site that season 1 is excellent in every way), the second season – well it can’t hide its formula for spinning a never-ending story…so it’s a bit meh by comparison… like The Matrix, I consider MR-R season 1 to be the complete story, the other instalments/seasons respectively were filler to me.
Now I haven’t got the Punto working yet, your time machine is also probably missing a few crucial time-hopping pieces, so in the meantime what can be done.
Well, let the latest TV thing’s hype wash over you, like an early morning shower – where you’re not really awake and any part of you that is thinking, is thinking about something else.
Instead, catch-up on something else, reading, another show that finished as a complete set of seasons and binge watch, read, consume these if that’s your thing. Time is too precious to be kept in limbo and left wondering how long the road is.