Saturday, May 15, 2004

Is It Live or Is It DVD?

Now that I've made it through the Babylon 5 bottleneck (and I'm still not sure why it took me as long as it did to get through season 2), I'm really working on getting caught up on my DVD-watching. Well, OK, catching up is not going to happen, really, as I've still got literally hundreds of hours of unwatched discs and an unabated urge to buy new ones. But I've been making progress, anyway. I've been watching season 4 Farscape eps, and have finally gotten around to starting season 5 of Buffy. And both of these things have got me thinking a little about how different an experience it is watching TV shows on DVD (whether you've seen them before or not) than watching them as they come out on television.

I hadn't seen any of Buffy season 5 before, although I have seen some of season 6 and all of season 7 and have come across a few spoilers on the internet, so a lot of what's going on I already know about. But I'm trying to imagine what it must have been like for a regular watcher of the show to enter season 5, going in cold and unspoiled, and being confronted with the sudden, unexpected presence of Dawn. It must have been freaky. Heck, it's freaky enough even for me, and I already at least kinda-sorta vaguely know what the explanation is. I'm actually rather sorry that I'm not having that experience.

More and more, I've been falling into the habit of just not bothering to watch stuff when it's on television, instead opting to check out shows when they come out on DVD if they sound interesting. (This is certainly what I did with Angel.) And there are definite advantages to that. But I am starting to see the downside.

On the other hand, re-watching those early season 4 Farscape episodes, I find that I almost enjoy them more now than I did the first time. Back then, I was pretty unhappy about the fact that they weren't giving me what I wanted, mainly explanations for the stuff that happened between seasons and which mostly never did get properly explained. Now, I'm pretty much reconciled to the fact that that information was just never divulged (and was possibly never going to be, either, as I'm not sure even the writers knew what the hell was going on) and can just enjoy those particular episodes on their own terms.

Oh, well, I guess everything's a tradeoff, really.

No comments:

Post a Comment