I feel like I have to back-track a little bit, and cover last week’s “post-broadcast” concept. Like, I was there in the lecture and the tute, but I didn’t really think about it or try to wrap my head around this strange new word: post-broadcast.
Well, like it was for many I think, my first stop has to be Graeme Turner’s book Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era. In this, he really defines the period of time in which broadcast television began to decline:
“The decline of the broadcast era in the West has seen increasing industrial and technological convergence as telecommunications, information technology and the electronic media coalesce under the same corporate umbrellas, and as technologies themselves interact more directly than ever before.” (pg. 7)
Now, I am no scholar. Not even close. So in my simple terms this seems to suggest that the “post-broadcast era” speaks of new media technologies interacting in a way that traditional media never could. For example, we have the Internet, social media, and TV screens just about everywhere we look. A key word is “convergence”, as not only do these technologies exist, but they interact and work alongside one another. Watching TV also means picking up the phone and voting for your favourite celebrity, or scrolling through your Twitter feed to see what others are saying about the latest episode of your TV show.
Another thing we talked about in the tute was this whole thing about block viewing television shows. That is, sitting down with the DVD box set of a show and watching episodes in large chunks, rather than breaking it down and watching an episode a week as TV broadcasting allows. I love the way Mel Campbell puts it in her article Baying For True Blood: Binge Reading in Television’s Post-Broadcast Era:
“in the post-broadcast era, freed from the tyranny of being drip-fed single episodes in a set timeslot, we can now watch as many as we like, when we like: on DVD, TiVo or the Internet, engaging in voluptuous television binges, tearing through entire seasons in a weekend.”
I’ve been attached to a drip before, and I understand the need to be slowly medicated rather than having a massive medicine rush all at once. So perhaps this block viewing isn’t healthy? Maybe we can overdose on Madmen or Game of Thrones? Definitely can on Gossip Girl. Just saying.
Turner, G. Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in the Post-Broadcast Era. Taylor & Francis, 2009