Viral Video

The viral video is a huge concept these days. It’s not enough for a video to be good, it has to catch everybody’s attention (which it usually does this with some sort of click-baity title). And then the video has to be shared by everyone and their mother on every social media platform until the whole world has seen it and is talking about it. Of course, all this buzz lasts for about two days, and then it’s on to the next big thing, because that’s how short our attention span has become.

When I first got into the whole internet/YouTube thing in university, the whole viral video concept was totally different. I don’t remember hearing the term “viral video” until much, much later. Back then, instead of immensely popular generic videos, it was more common for groups of people to bond over the most obscure videos hidden in the corners of the internet. These videos would become huge inside jokes, and would get quoted on the regular between friends, while people who hadn’t seen it would have no context with which to decipher seemingly random conversations. Humour was a big part of what made these videos work (as is the case now with most viral videos), but the more common through thread was just plain, sheer randomness.

Like this video of “acapella horses” that I will never forget the tune for  (that I only just realised is supposed to be a game):

Or this animation of the end of the world as narrated by an angry French man:

Or this song about cows that tells a whole story of rebellion:

Or this dude doing the most enthusiastic lip syncing to a song pretty much everyone made up the lyrics to:

Or this video set to John Williams soundtracks that taught me everything I needed to know about Star Wars until I actually watched Star Wars much, much later:

And so, so, so many more. This may be the old person in me talking, but I just can’t imagine that kids these days can have those sorts of experiences, not with the volume of stuff being produced on a daily basis. I mean, there’s just SO MUCH to see now, I wonder how much really has lasting power.

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The Quinn Quandary

(If you watch Homeland and are not caught up with the latest season, be warned, here be spoilers.)

I wasn’t always the cool, level-headed, detached TV-watcher I am today. Back in my youth, I was part of the what is called “the fandom”, the many-headed beast that exists for every show and series, made up of fans that take characters and plotlines… well, too seriously. Most people, by the time they’ve watched a complete season of a show, have formed at least some sort of attachment to it. They have their favourite characters, the ones they don’t care about, the plotlines they enjoy and hope to see more of, and the ones they could just do without. Most people can also drop shows when they stop feeling invested or when the quality of the writing goes down. Fandoms are where that attachment is hugely intensified, made of people who not only have favourite characters and plotlines, but get genuinely angry or upset when they are not done justice.

Now, a big part of television is character deaths. Game of Thrones might have made it a big thing, but shows were killing off beloved characters long before anyone got attached to the Starks. These days, it’s a way to raise hype, to change a show dramatically and give it new direction, and it’s almost always accompanied by fandom drama. The leads on a show are usually safe (although even that is being challenged these days, RIP Ned), but every other character is fair game. Back when I was watching television hardcore (that adjective sounds extreme, but I swear it’s justified), I remember spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether my favourite characters were going to get killed off (somehow I never got attached to the leads) and preemptively getting angry about it if it seemed like a show was heading in that direction.

Back in my days of fandom, a favourite character getting killed off meant I was as good as done with the show. Looking back now, I think it reveals a little bit about how and why I watched the things I did. For every show I watched, I found a character I liked (I only allowed myself one favourite per show) and grew attached to the point that my continuing to watch the show was dependent not so much on the plot, but on how much of this character I got to see on a weekly basis. This, of course, meant that the minute this character was killed off, my interest in the show immediately plunged to zero and I had nothing left to stay invested in. This clashed directly with my being a completionist, which meant that I hated, hated, leaving a series unfinished. I would therefore hate-watch these shows to their bitter ends, angry at the writers for the direction they’d taken and angry at myself for not being able to just stop watching.

I’m a much more relaxed TV watcher now. I don’t watch nearly the volume I used to, and when I find my interest level dipping, I drop shows like hot potatoes, because I just don’t have the time or energy to watch something that doesn’t give me joy. That completionist streak is gone – it’s been a very long time since I followed a series through to its end. The shows I pick to watch these days also reflect my new, relaxed policy – they’re usually plot-heavy (so the interest sits not so much with a particular character as it does with an overarching story), with an ensemble of characters I either like equally or am ambivalent about in general, because the plot is much more interesting than any one of them in particular. Of course, I still have my favourites on a couple of shows, but the attachment is not so ride-or-die.

Or so I thought until – and here be the spoilers – they killed off one of my favourite characters on Homeland, Quinn, after putting him through the wringer for the entire season. In a way, I’m glad the torture is done – they were just piling the hurt on the poor guy. However, I feel my interest in the show has now dropped several notches, and that’s despite my really liking the lead, Carrie, and the actress who plays her. On the one hand, I hadn’t expected to feel emotional about Quinn’s death, but I do, and that makes me feel like my teenage self again. On the other hand, I feel obligated to continue watching on behalf of my grown-up self, who cares more about plot and storytelling than such juvenile things as the presence or absence of a particular (handsome) character (who had great, unresolved chemistry with my other favourite, SIGH). On the third hand, being a grown-up television watcher means I can drop a show whenever I want because life is too short to spend on things you don’t enjoy anymore.

My, oh, my, what a quandary. How ever will I get myself out of this quagmire?

Netflix Netflux

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone who enjoys TV and movies has welcomed the entry of Netflix as a worldwide, legal entertainment platform. The young ones will never know how difficult it was to watch international media before the days of paid streaming, but as a connoisseur of American and British television from a very young age, I remember having to jump through hoops to watch anything decent, back in the dark ages before the internet. Before streamable speeds were a thing, we had only the TV and local networks, which either didn’t air the stuff being shown overseas or aired them three or four seasons late. (This is probably why every Indian who grew up in the ’90s can quote Friends from memory, because it was one of the very few American shows that was played non-stop on local TV.) Then the internet blew up and illegal pirating started, and it hasn’t really stopped since then.

I think 90% of the people I know have watched something (if not most things) illegally online, myself included. I really can’t judge – in this day and age, it’s silly to expect people to wait years to watch something (especially when the internet has no geo-restrictions and is always rife with spoilers) or to be able to watch TV at a specific time on a specific day. The rise of video-on-demand and streaming services has shown that if people are given the opportunity to watch media legally, a lot of times, they will. Case in point: almost every person I know has a Netflix account now (or shares one with someone, thank goodness for their multi-person access option).

I love my Netflix account, but Netflixing in India is very different to Netflixing in Singapore. I’ve ranted about my data cap woes before, and Netflix is where that data cap pinches the most. Where I would happily stream hours of TV in a day (and I mean hours, they don’t call it binging for nothing), I’m forced to keep to more modest timings here. Where I could watch everything on a high-definition 40-inch TV screen, I’m now restricted to my tablet or my phone, which consume far less data than even my laptop. (And to think I once used to be a purist who couldn’t bear the thought of watching things on a small phone screen. How the mighty do fall.)

One of the good things Netflix introduced recently was the ability to download movies and episodes on portable devices like phones and tablets to watch later (without an internet connection). While I never required this option in Singapore, I planned to put it to full use here, taking advantage of the data war that’s been brewing in India since late last year. The details aren’t important, but the bottom line is that the local telcos have been falling over themselves trying to bait customers with free data. Having two SIM cards, each with varying amounts of free data in differing instalments with different deadlines, I played data gymnastics and made the most of it to download as many Netflix episodes as I could to watch… well, eventually. (I probably spend more time these days deciding what to watch than actually watching things, but that’s another post altogether.)

And so, over the span of two days, I downloaded some 40-50 episodes (literally full seasons of multiple TV series), very gung-ho about the fact that I’d somehow “cheated the system” and temporarily gotten ahead of my data woes. I celebrated too quickly – Uncle Murphy was due a visit, of course. When I next checked my Netflix account, every single thing I had downloaded had disappeared. I spent two days chasing up the problem with Netflix officials, one of whom cheerily asked me to “just re-download the episodes again”. If we had been video-chatting, and if looks could incinerate, that customer service representative would have been a smouldering pile of ash.

Now I’m back to square one, enjoying Netflix like no one should have to – on my phone, one measly episode a day. Still, I remember a time when I refused to go to a family gathering because I wanted to secretly watch a new episode of Roswell on TV (of course, I told my parents I had to study). When I think about those days, just the very idea of Netflix makes me grateful. Good things are relative.

Gaga for Gigas

Remember the days of dial-up? When your computer used to make a noise like it was coughing up a lung, and then you’d be connected to the internet, but could not use your phone? And nothing would load fast, but you’d still pay through your nose for it? I imagine real torture today would involve making someone watch Netflix, but with a dial-up connection. It could be one of those experimental things to see at how long it takes to make people lose their minds.

We’re in an age of abundance now, and we don’t even know it. I know I took my internet speed for granted in Singapore. Our house had the cheapest available broadband plan, for which we got a speed of about 300mbps and unlimited data usage, which was, eh, something we could work with. We never thought we were getting anything special. Then one day I called my dad to ask him what the internet speed was at home to see if I could manage working from India while I was on vacation, and he gave me a number I just couldn’t believe – 2. “2? As in 200, right?” “No, 2. As in 2mbps.” I couldn’t even wrap my head around the difference. How were you supposed to do anything with that?

And then there was the matter of data. I still vividly remember the first time I went home after my parents got broadband in the house. I must have stayed for two or three weeks, but my father ended up with a bill for about ten times the normal number. I wasn’t used to the idea of limited data – for as long as I’d lived in Singapore, there was never a cap. Because of this, I had no clue about how much data it took to load a webpage, to watch a YouTube video, to stream an episode on Netflix or to simply scroll through Tumblr. (I would not have guessed, for example, that the last one far exceeds all the others.)

And then I moved to India permanently and had to deal with the reality of data caps. My cousin and I, both heavy internet users, decided to go for a modest 90GB-a-month plan, thinking it would be more than enough for our shenanigans on the world wide web. Turns out, we were not even close to hitting the mark. Within the first 10 days, we’d blown through about 80% of our allowance, prompting both of us to hurriedly set up data monitors on our laptops, phones and tablets.

Thanks to this, I now know have a pretty good idea of what an ungodly amount of data it takes to do anything worthwhile, and honestly, it’s sucking the joy out of everything. We’re now constantly deciding between offline downloading and streaming on Netflix, between doing things on the phone and on the computer, and trying to find tips and tricks to extend our data usage. The internet should be a fun place, and having to keep track of it is like giving me a wad of money and then making me an accountant.

This post has no happy resolution. We’re still trying to sort out how best to manage our data issues in ways other than our current go-to option, which is, “just buy more”, and which do not involve the parent go-to method of telling us to “just use the internet less, what are you even doing on there?” We may be in a bind, but that does not mean we’re going back to the Stone Ages. No, we’d rather just go with our solution now, while hoping for a technological miracle that brings us up to speed with South Korea in, you know, a year or so. One can dream, right?

Concertal Consternation

Last November, a friend messaged me, asking whether I’d be in Singapore in April 2017. Two months into sudden unemployment and anxiety-ridden about what I was going to do with the rest of my life (job hunts can be nerve-wracking, okay?), I answered with a “LOL whut [sic]”, followed by a solid, “Who the hell knows, man?” Turns out the reason he was asking was because Coldplay had announced that they were going to be performing in Singapore on April 1 for the first time in eight years. After confirming that it wasn’t a very early April Fool’s joke, I put all thoughts of unemployment and money issues aside and immediately texted back “I WANT I WANT I WANT”, because, well, I did WANT, WANT, WANT.

See, I’ve never really been much of a concert goer. I love music, but a part of me doesn’t feel like it’s worth spending money to hear the same things I could hear in better quality at home, while NOT being stampeded by sweaty crowds. I only make exceptions with singers/bands I really like and whose music I’ve listend to a LOT (and it’s a definite requirement that they sound good live), and/or singers/bands who make the concert special in some way. My first ever English concert was Jason Mraz, who sang flawlessly and played acoustic guitar for us in the newly opened Gardens by the Bay, and really engaged the audience with singalongs. My second major concert was slightly out of character for me. At the time I went to see them, Bastille had only had one album, and I hadn’t even listened to most of their music. Somehow, what I’d heard convinced me they were worth watching live, and I listened only to their music for a week before the concert to “prepare”. (It, of course, paid off – I sang along to everything). In that vein, Coldplay has always been one of the bands I’ve wanted to experience first-hand, mostly because I love their earlier music (I don’t care how cheesy it is, any music that informs your teenage years will stick with you) and because Coldplay concerts are, by all accounts, colourful, magical lightshows of rainbows and bliss.

So, of course, with all this build-up and hype, Uncle Murphy (TM Sayesha) had to stick his big, ugly head in, and we didn’t get tickets for April 1, because they sold out in literally a heartbeat. I was devastated and mourned the loss in an appropriate way (by listening to Fix You many times and crying a lot). Then I left for India on vacation, and I got wind that because of the overwhelming demand, Coldplay had announced a second date for Singapore. So, after another round of “I WANT I WANT I WANT”, my friends and I managed to secure tickets, albeit much, much more expensive ones. I didn’t even care that I was spending what was potentially lifeline money at this point, I just felt that I deserved to go.

So, of course, fate intervened again. I got the job the India, and I don’t think it would have been good etiquette to have asked if I could please, please join in April because I really wanted to go to the Coldplay concert on March 31st, pretty please? I thought for a while that I may still do a quick trip to Singapore just for the concert, but the thought of spending as much as I already had for the concert tickets just for a weekend felt needlessly excessive. So, with a very heavy heart, like a totally unreasonable person, I put my ticket up for sale.

One of my friends attended the concert and sent me pictures, and I fully believe her claim that it was a wonderful experience. At least three other unconnected friends on Instagram went for the concert, and all their pictures and videos are proof of how sensational it must be to watch a band you love with some 50,000 other people who feel the same way. I can only hope I get the chance to do that some day. Maybe when I’m 50, and everyone feels like a “reunion” or “throwback” concert, yeah? I’m down.

Oh, well, I paid my own little tribute to the band over the weekend by nursing a terrible, terrible cold. Now, excuse me while I play this video on repeat…

V is for Vine

Vine is a video sharing service whose selling point is that you can only make and share short videos with it – a mere six seconds in length. When it was introduced (three years ago, in 2013), I paid no attention to it – I wasn’t interested in making videos (what could you even do in six seconds?), and in terms of social networking, Facebook and Instagram was already eating too much of my time for me to even want to look at other apps and/or platforms.

Then, slowly but surely, Vine started gaining popularity among the media and tech-savvy crowd, because smart, creative, and most importantly, funny people started using it as a way to display their talents and artistic skills. And if you can tell a story or make someone laugh or blow their minds in a mere six seconds, that’s definitely talent. The Vine creativity pool is amazing – there’s a wealth of stuff on there that uses the platform in a variety of ways.

I’m a Viner in the most passive way possible – I don’t make anything, but I love finding and watching the stuff others do. I know a lot of people haven’t heard of Vine, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourites here. I’ve put them under a cut to save your bandwidth (LOL, kidding, what is this, 2002?) because autoplay is a pain in the bum, and I don’t want to give you all heart attacks when these things start blasting. Click the videos for sound, and hover over them for original captions (they might not make sense otherwise) and to go to the Viner’s original page (most of these guys have made tons of other funny stuff that’s worth checking out).

OK, I’m done talking now.

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J is for Jungle Book

junglebookNormally, a Jungle Book movie would not make it into my “must watch in the cinema” list. Now, considering it’s convenient and relatively inexpensive to watch movies in Singapore, that list isn’t particularly stringent, so if I say a movie wouldn’t make it to the list, that means I’m really not interested in it. I’m not big on animals (they’re fine in animation, but I’m less tolerant of them in a live-action capacity), and really, The Jungle Book doesn’t really have much going for it by way of plot that’s not already general knowledge. And in most other circumstances, I probably wouldn’t have gone, but I was looking for something to take Mom to on #CheapMovieTuesday, and while she’s not particularly picky, it was pretty much the only movie running this week that I thought she might actually enjoy. Mom and I just got back from the movie (literally just – I’m gonna have to start running on US time for these posts), and I’m happy to report that I would’ve forgone a truly wonderful experience if I’d stuck to my original criteria and given it a miss.

Although I was quite a voracious reader as a young ‘un, I never did get around to Kipling’s books, so it’s hard for me to imagine how this story might be effective in prose form. It’s odd, considering the classic has such deep roots in Indian culture – I always found it funny that the “names” of the animals are just generic Hindi words for those animals –  but it never caught my attention. My memories of Jungle Book are mostly limited to the cartoon version that played on Indian TV, and the music from the 1967 movie, particularly The Bare Necessities, which was always an instant earworm. I didn’t have much memory by way of story or characters – apart from the fact that Mowgli was raised by wolves and that Shere Khan was pretty much the original Scar from The Lion King.

So, going in, I didn’t really have any expectations from this latest movie – I hadn’t even seen the trailer before this. I just knew they’d gotten an Indian kid to play Mowgli and lined up a pretty impressive voice cast. And for the first 15 minutes or so, I got what I was expecting – impressive CGI, but nothing out of the ordinary from what we’ve seen from Life Of Pi, Avatar and the likes, your usual cute-but-a-bit-green acting from the main kid and plot that seemed a bit too childish.

Now, I can’t really pinpoint what it was that changed after that – the appearance of a comedic element (Baloo’s introduction almost immediately makes the movie better), stronger voice-acting (Ben Kingsley as Bagheera is A++, but Christopher Walken basically being regular flavour Christopher Walken in a children’s movie was what really stood out for me) or the introduction of music (The Bare Necessities is still an awesome, awesome song) – but halfway through, I was as engaged as I would’ve been for my usual kind of adult fare. Once the movie sort of found a balance between trying to look visually impressive (which it is – I hope we never get to a point where good CGI stops being impressive) and telling an interesting story, it got that much more entertaining.

Also, usually, I hate the presence of kids in a cinema (that’s where my non-parent mode kicks into high gear), but the kids in the row behind us were so into the movie (their mom was having to explain some of the more subtextual ideas) that it was sort of hard to get annoyed. One of the kids kept trying predicting how the movie was going to go, following it up each time with, “Right, Mom?” and even I, with the heart of stone, couldn’t help but smile at how much he seemed to be enjoying himself. It was a good reminder of how formational this kind of experience can be for children. It was also heartening to realise that Pixar aren’t the only ones capable of making movies that are enjoyable for both 8-year-old and 28-year-olds.

(Oh, a word to the wise – if you’re going to watch this, stick around for the end credits that are pretty much their own gorgeously rendered mini-movie. Plus, bonus Scarlett Johansson singing!)

Also, speaking of music and enjoyable things:

Happy earworm!

X is for XKCD

Last year, I decided I wanted to start reading more webcomics. Not for any particular reason – I just wanted to. So, I went online, looked up lists of good webcomics and added them to my bookmarks. I read stuff diligently for about a week, after which I forgot all about them and they sunk into the recesses of my bookmark folder.

I’m dusting off one of those links and bringing it back for the letter X. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not the most well-versed in webcomics, but XKCD was one of the first ones I found that immediately appealed to me. It’s nerd humour at its best (the kind that celebrates it), and in an ever-growing collection, there are things to appeal to every kind of nerd.

I haven’t read all 1,000+ comics, so I can’t make a favourites list, so here are 10 good ones I found just by clicking on the ‘random’ button:

Winter (relevant to my previous post)

Dating Pools (relevant to my life)

Mess (relevant always)

Date (relevant to my field of study)

ContextBot (relevant because I’ve complained about this so much)

Convincing (relevant to what I’m teaching my tuition kid – I’m totally the guy in this)

Identity (relevant because it reminds me of my brother)

Scary (relevant because Toy Story is now 20 years old, you guys)

TED Talk (relevant because these are the things I think about as well)

Flies (relevant because mothers, including mine, just say what they need to)

Do you read XKCD or other webcomics? Share your favourites! 🙂

U is for Ultron

Have you ever been in a situation where the hype has ruined something for you? Where something you might have liked turns into something you actively dislike because way too many people are singing its praises? I fall into this trap all the time. I try not to be influenced by what other people say, and to make my own opinions about things, but I’m almost always put off by too much hype.

It’s silly, because hype is often a good thing. It means a lot of people like the movie, TV show, song or book in question, which makes it more likely that I myself will enjoy it. And honestly, I’m not the kind of person who thrives on liking things other people don’t – I’m not part of the “liked it before it was cool” crowd. So, really, I don’t understand what it is about over-hype that puts me off, to the point that I even dislike things that are otherwise right up my alley.

Is it that hype often increases expectations? I’ve found lately that if I want to really enjoy a movie (almost regardless of actual quality), it’s best that I go in with as little information as possible. I have had way more fun with movies for which I haven’t seen a trailer or read a synopsis, and for which I’ve heard a decent (not over-the-top) amount of praise. I’ve come away really enjoying movies that, on hindsight, might not even have been particularly good, but that I just had a good experience watching. It works the same way with TV shows and books. The less I know, the more I’m likely to enjoy it.

Maybe it’s going in with almost no expectations that leaves me pleasantly surprised, but I’m not sure if that’s all it is. Maybe it’s that knowing that a large number of people have enjoyed it puts pressure on me to enjoy it as well, which results in some kind of inward rebellion. Maybe it’s the need to offer a different perspective, to be able to say something in a sea of people saying the same thing. I’m not really sure.

I’m going to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron tonight, and I’m almost certain I won’t have very strong positive feelings about it. The Avengers franchise in general has reached over-hyped status for me. In fact, the only movies I have really enjoyed so far have been Iron Man (the first one), at which point I knew very little about Marvel or Avengers and there wasn’t nearly as much hype as there is today, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, during the release of which I was in India and managed to (unintentionally) avoid any information about it. I haven’t watched a single Ultron trailer, nor read anything about the storyline, in the hopes that keeping myself in the dark will help me enjoy it a little more, but I don’t expect it will make a difference in terms of how I already feel about the franchise.

I just hope that doesn’t become an understatement.

T is for TV

I watch a lot of TV, but I haven’t actually switched on my TV in ages. I watch mostly American and British shows, but don’t live in either of those places, so most of my TV watching happens on a laptop. The actual TV stopped being a part of my life when I started university, but I hope it hasn’t gone out of my life forever.

My early memories of TV all revolve around fighting with my father over channel rights, back when we didn’t have cable and only had two channels (DD1 and DD2). On Sunday nights, I’d want to watch Superhit Muqabla and my parents would want to watch Surabhi, and we’d spend the entirety of the hour trying to switch back and forth between the channels during commercial breaks.

During my teenage years, I discovered American shows, but this was also the time when studying was becoming a thing I had to do, so TV time was limited. Also, this was before TV became accessible through other means, so the only way I had of keeping up with a show was watching it when it aired. This was particularly frustrating during the exam periods, when TV was almost completely banned, so during the hour that one of my favourite shows was airing, I’d sneak into the room periodically to watch whatever I could on mute. I remember, once, turning down an offer to go to dinner with relatives on the pretext of having to study, but really, because I didn’t want to miss the glorious once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of watching an episode of Roswell with no one else in the house. (This was also the time I started understanding the concept of being embarrassed about the things I liked. It’s so funny to me now that teenage me was too embarrassed to tell people I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when it’s considered a cult classic these days.)

When university and free internet happened, my TV consumption went up by leaps and bounds. I watched EVERYTHING. Not only that, I read online discussion boards, wrote my own little think pieces, and participated in what they call the “fandom”. I got deep into the TV-watching culture, and I loved every minute of it. Though a lot of my TV friends remained the online kind, I even managed to convert a few “real life” ones. My friend Macho Girl and I watched a truckload of stuff together during our four years in university, the quality of which ranged from terrible to legitimately decent. We didn’t really care – being able to watch stuff and then talk about it (whether that was complaining or praising) was enough fun in itself.

Possibly the worst transition for a TV-lover is to go from being a sporadically busy university student to a round-the-clock busy working woman. Within my first month of working, I knew that all my old habits would have to go – most days after work, I had strength only to eat my dinner and hit the sack. I fell behind on everything I was watching, and it was when that situation didn’t seem to have any hope of getting back to normal that my addiction slowly went away. I dropped shows I was watching only out of some weird sense of obligation, I started getting picky about starting new ones (I only went in if it felt like there was a chance for me to stick around on a long-term basis) and I simply stopped caring for a lot of the ones I’d fallen behind on.

I now watch my shows at a far more manageable level, but surprisingly, I’ve found a lot more people in real life who are as into TV shows as I am. Maybe I got on the bandwagon early, which is why I felt like the odd one out in university, but now, practically everyone I know follows at least a few shows religiously. I still watch quite a bit now, but I wouldn’t be as confident in saying that it’s more than the average amount. It’s funny to me – I spent so much of my life being secretive and feeling guilty about my TV-watching habits, and now, it’s slowly becoming a major catalyst for socialising. How much conversation revolves these days around the latest Game of Thrones episode?

Much of my TV-watching experience has been solitary (except for those few years in university). I watch my shows in bed as I’m having dinner, and later, read forums and discussion threads as a way to be part of a conversation. Some day in the future, I hope I’ll have actual people watching TV with me. I hope there’s fighting about what to watch (even if things like DVR and online streaming have made them non-issues) and I hope there’s something that the whole family likes to get together for at a certain time on a certain day and discuss afterwards.

Some day, I hope watching TV on an actual TV becomes a thing in my life again.