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New Years Resolution 2011.1 – watch no broadcast TV

Posted by markharrison on January 3, 2011

Yes, I know it’s the third of January, but various things have come together recently to make me resolve to watch no further “direct to air” TV in 2011.

Do I want to watch a show like this?

Over Christmas, we caught up with some old friends who we see once or twice a year. One of them told us about a friend of his, who has now added a second world record.

He was (and I hope I’ve got these the right way round) previously the holder of the “deepest dive by a blind SCUBA-diver” record. He is now, additionally the “fastest blind waterskier towed by a blind speedboat driver.”

He applied to a TV show in a which a “Celebrity Survival Expert” was to take people with disabilities on a trek somewhere remote. He was turned down because he was deemed too able, and apparently disabled people FAILING TO COPE would make better TV.

Do I want to watch the X-Factor?

Chris Dillow makes the case that I should care about the X-Factor, albeit because it exemplifies so many things that are sadly true.

So, am I no longer watching anything?

Video (by which I mean TV, film, DVD, downloads, irrespective of channel) is a classic example of how specialisation in the West Economy over the last few hundred years gives some stunning results. Take any recent blockbuster film – hundreds of people spending tens of thousands of man-years and tens-hundreds of millions of VC money…

… to give me something that I can have for a fiver.

There is truly great stuff out there. Personally, as someone who hid behind the sofa in the 1970s, I think that the re-birth of the Dr. Who Franchise is great, (and my children love the Sarah Jane Adventures spinoff, to the extent that the Season 3 DVD was the only thing my 6 year old actually asked for as a Christmas Present). Watching the “Christmas Carol 2011 special” was a great use of an hour!

But, it was the iPlayer version I watched, last night, rather than whenever the channel actually decided to broadcast it.

This is the point – I was able to choose to watch that programme AFTER it had been broadcast, and, more importantly, after I’d had enough feedback about it to decide it would be worth watching.

I have a complex mesh of getting recommendations about things – Amazon’s customer reviews are mixed enough to make me believe that they are authentic, not puffed up pieces by PR companies… and of course, the blogs to which I subscribe, and the people I know and meet in “real life” (That phrase needs quoting – it’s as if, somehow, only fake people talk on the Internet?)

But, the resolution – no broadcast TV in 2011 – is the first I’m publishing this year. Feel free to track my progress.


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