Piano Man

Binge-watching:

Verb /binj-ˌwäch/

the practice of watching multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming

Overexpose:

Transitive Verb /ō-vər-ik-ˈspōz/

to expose excessively: such as to expose (someone, such as a celebrity) to excessive publicity especially to the extent that attraction is diminished

During this continued human reset known as the COVID pandemic, one thing has become more prominent as we search for meaning in a universe of masks and Instacart deliveries: the art of binge-watching. But what exactly are we binge-watching? In my household, there are currently three chains happening: the reality TV shows that my wife is engorging each day, the obscure UFO documentaries and YouTube review videos I am ingesting daily, and the 90s comedy shows we are sharing together. But what will happen by fall when we have overexposed ourselves to the massive, but finite libraries of content on the web and there is no new content being released by the networks? This could be a serious issue for the entertainment industry that no one is really talking about.

As we continue to cruise through this new restrained world, one thing that usually happens in the spring and early summer is the filming of the fall season of TV shows. But, because of COVID, what exactly is going to happen come September when the new content that usually shows up at the network shipping docks isn’t there? What is going to happen once we, as a culture, exhaust Netflix and Hulu and Prime and nothing else is left to watch?

Side note: Disney Plus = everything we have already seen before, so the nostalgic luster will only last for – wait! There it went…

I think what will happen when we reach the fall are the following possibilities (here comes my magic 8 ball predictions):

  1. Easy to produce, fast editing, YouTube style reality TV shows
  2. Lots of Zoom readings
  3. Documentaries about trying to entertain during COVID
  4. Documentaries on those documentaries
  5. The Last Dance Part II: Jordan’s year as a player for the Washington Wizards
  6. The Last Dance Part III: Jordan talking about the Last Dance and COVID
  7. Tiger King II: Revenge of the Paw
  8. Lots of YouTube style retrospectives on life before COVID
  9. Modern Marvels: Masks

I could go on, but I think I wore the joke out.

The point is that whatever shows we get in the fall, they will be things that we would normally as a culture not pay any attention to yet, through necessity, we will be forced to engage with as there will be nothing else to watch.

But I also think that in this vacuum, musicians will be having a renaissance of sorts as the truly gifted will flourish as recording does not require more than one person. So, maybe this is wishful thinking, while visual entertainment will be struggling, true musical talents will reshape the landscape of the recording industry in ways that we were not prepared for. I won’t go into it too much, but the recent Joe Rogan – Spotify marriage has definitely created a few interesting possibilities for artists to bypass record labels through exclusive deals with streaming services, and I think when you add that to the lack of visual content (which dominates the entertainment industry) and the ease of creating music individually or in small, less than 10, numbers, a music renaissance isn’t actually that farfetched.

Then again, maybe I am just talking rubbish. Who knows what the networks and Hollywood are stringing together.

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