Thursday, April 28, 2011

Truly, a Time of Wonder

A few nights ago, when I really should have been heading to bed, I sat on my couch and browsed through a list of every Saturday Night Live episode from the 1970s. Making mental notes to catch the Paul Simon eps, the Elvis Costello ep, and several others, I stopped in shocked delight to see that there was a Bob Dylan ep! Within a minute I was watching the 70s "I found Jesus" Bob, sing "Save Someone," a damn fine song from that Christian period.

Yesterday, I continued my re-watch of The Office with the season 3 episode where Andy gets Dwight fired. I had forgotten what a changed Andy has had over the seasons, just as much as Michael really. H really was kind of an obnoxious jerk. I've also, through this re-watch, managed to get a better feel for Michael's arc from oblivious jerk to well-meaning stunted child. Alan Sepinwall has a wonderful re-cap of the key inflection points in that changeover here, but there were a few other moments that (so far) have caught my eye. There's a Season 3 Christmas episode ("Benihana Christmas) where a dumped Michael manages to convince a waitress to come back with him to the office party. When the waitress leaves, a dejected Michael pretends as if he's lost yet another love of his life. And as he mopes and cries, there's a great scene where Jim gently brings him around to seeing that this was a woman he had met just hours before and that he was really being silly. Laughing, he admits to Jim that he had to mark the waitress wit ha marker to distinguish her form her Asian friend. It's a great moment, and one where you see Michael gain a degree of self-awareness he had perhaps not had before. Season 3 had some nice moments of dawning self-awareness like that. Toby explaining to Michael that the office was teasing him in the Prison Mike ep, that they really didn't wish they were in jail, is another example.

On the train ride home today I continued watching the "Dwight at Staples" ep on my iPhone, which I had started watching the night before on my laptop. And which I will likely finish on my TV (through the Blu-Ray player, Netflix-enabled) tonight. Each time, the ep will start where I left off.

Other options available (just in my queue) include 30 or so episodes of Penn and Teller's Bullshit, every episode of Lost, every episode of The Twilight Zone, a 100 or so episodes of Roseanne, and every (I think) episode of Cheers.

All of this--plus access to thousands and thousands of DVDs and Blu-Rays (out right now? a The Closer, season 3 disc, The King's Men, and Rabbit Hole). For a little over $20 a month.

So - what's the point of all this?

When is Netflix going to collapse? This can't be a sustainable business model.

And when are shows going to pull out? After all, those SNL sets had been mildy attractive at one point. Now? Not only don't I have to buy them, but accessing episodes is easier than it would be if I had 20 DVDs to juggle.

Again. This can't last.

Can it?

Until Whenever

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