Posts tagged netflix

I am 11 episodes into the Netflix season of Arrested Development, and in my humble opinion the show is as good as it was in season 3, which in itself was the worst season of the show, even though it through some classic moments.
This new season starts incredibly slowly, but it just dawned on me that the show is not carrying the momentum of the first 3 seasons, and starts the joke snowball at the top of the mountain again, albeit with a few of the “greatest hits” thrown in for good measure. Mitchell Hurwitz also may have had the confidence that, unencumbered by ratings pressure he could build a slow start into a rousing finish and hold onto his viewership.
The scale of the storyline is huge, and I have to say there have been times when I have lost track of the plot, although this is partly due to my habit gained since AD went off-air, staring at my phone for roughly 50% of the time.
A few former golden moments are overused, like Ron Howard’s narration overlapping with characters dialogue, and characters swapping identity. I liked the attitude taken to the chicken dance, which was just hinted at. But a lot of it is masterful, confidently written comedy that doesn’t pander to anyone. 
Overall I am very happy to see more of the Bluth family. Ultimately the real winners here are Netflix, who this week garnered huge brand awareness, and hopefully some of that rubs off into awareness of their original programming slate. Over to you, Jenji Kohan.

I am 11 episodes into the Netflix season of Arrested Development, and in my humble opinion the show is as good as it was in season 3, which in itself was the worst season of the show, even though it through some classic moments.

This new season starts incredibly slowly, but it just dawned on me that the show is not carrying the momentum of the first 3 seasons, and starts the joke snowball at the top of the mountain again, albeit with a few of the “greatest hits” thrown in for good measure. Mitchell Hurwitz also may have had the confidence that, unencumbered by ratings pressure he could build a slow start into a rousing finish and hold onto his viewership.

The scale of the storyline is huge, and I have to say there have been times when I have lost track of the plot, although this is partly due to my habit gained since AD went off-air, staring at my phone for roughly 50% of the time.

A few former golden moments are overused, like Ron Howard’s narration overlapping with characters dialogue, and characters swapping identity. I liked the attitude taken to the chicken dance, which was just hinted at. But a lot of it is masterful, confidently written comedy that doesn’t pander to anyone.

Overall I am very happy to see more of the Bluth family. Ultimately the real winners here are Netflix, who this week garnered huge brand awareness, and hopefully some of that rubs off into awareness of their original programming slate. Over to you, Jenji Kohan.

Still in trailer news, here is the first full length trailer for the new Arrested Development episodes. They will stream on Netflix from May 26.

Yahoo to acquire Hulu?

It looks like Marissa Mayer has been making tentative enquiries:

Sources said Mayer also had an extensive getting-to-know-you meeting, which was apparently not held at Hulu’s offices in Santa Monica, Calif., along with COO Henrique De Castro.

Let’s hope those content deals with the networks aren’t expiring any time soon.

Rectify

I notice that The Sundance Channel will be releasing all the episodes of new series Rectify on iTunes at once, taking a leaf out of Netflix’s playbook. At under $10, and the tagline “from the producers of Breaking Bad”, I might be tempted…

My thoughts on “The War for TV”

This week The Verge are running a large feature on the future of TV, and the war for distribution of content. Articles include reviews of current VOD hardware, often dragged down by patchy software, to visionary interviews by CEO’s claiming to want to democratise, but surely aiming to be the next Rupert Murdoch.

My thoughts are that nobody has cracked it yet, and I believe this is down to software engineers not being lovers of TV. When I watch a show on Apple TV, the show finishes and it takes me back to the synopses of the episode I just watched, instead of pushing me to the next ep, you realise this is software written by someone with no love for bingeing on TV for hours on end.

When you can’t actually navigate 4OD on a PS3 properly with the bluetooth remote, it reminds you that the person who coded the app never sat back and tried to watch two episodes of Peep Show in a row.

Even the idea of throwing youtube to your TV with the new app via airplay mirroring can’t be done for more than a few minutes without your iPhone reaching epic new temperature highs.

What I’m saying is that software engineers at the big players need a dose of reality. They need to sit down with the common man and observe his TV watching habits. They only need tweaking. The best interface I have come across is Netflix on a PS3. You get the basic information, if you don’t touch the remote it will keep loading up episode after episode, and it does what all good interfaces do, puts as few layers as possible between you and your favourite programs.

Stop trying to complicate things, more people will buy your product, and one day very soon we will look back at the quaint 30 year period where we all fitted satellites to the side of our houses to access 500 channels.

As a side note, I think there is enough interest in the future of television to start a dedicated website. What say you, Joshua Topolsky?

Don’t miss the War for TV on The Verge right now.

Spotify for TV?

Thoughts on Spotify potentially diversifying from music to TV over at Paidcontent:

The latest peddler is Danish public broadcaster TV2, whose Beep tech site says it has learned that Spotify is negotiating to distribute HBO’s upcoming HBO Nordic over-the-top pay-TV service across Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark.

I have recently come to love Spotify, now that I have figured out how to restrict the social integration to people I don’t mind seeing my musical tastes (Kajagoogoo anyone?). If they can pull off something similar with HBO, Showtime et al, allowing friends to share and discover new shows, then it would be a welcome addition to any smart TV or set top box.

Why Arrested Development on Netflix could change everything

Great piece on Giga OM about the impact Arrested Development could have on the fortunes of Netflix, and the wider TV distribution chain.

The TV singularity approaching us consumers of media is at times a scary one: We’re used to shows that cost millions an episode, but we’re also now used to consuming whatever we want, wherever and whenever we want. Some people think that going forward, these two mindsets won’t be able to co-exist. But Netflix seems to disagree, and the Bluths may be the ones to prove it.

With Hulu Co-pro’ing The Thick of It, I wonder if Lovefilm have any plans to acquire a much-loved series to have it exclusively on their network.

TV dreams do come true: According to TVline, John Slattery is joining the cast of Arrested Development.

TV dreams do come true: According to TVline, John Slattery is joining the cast of Arrested Development.

The Tech and TV worlds merge

What a week! Every time I started writing about some potential monumental shift in the TV landscape, another company made a bold move worth writing about. So I will attempt to summarise below, in no particular order.

In the most exciting news, Amazon announced a London R&D office, to help lead development on TV and Film services. 

Finally in a surprise turn of events, BSkyB announced an investment in Roku to develop new streaming hardware and services. There motives are unclear to me at this time, other than a scattergun approach to the fight against Netflix and Lovefilm.

Google announced details for their fiber network in Kansas City, including a ‘Fiber TV’ service that some major networks have not signed up for. The prices are pretty amazing, and it makes me wonder how easy it would be for Google to rollout this kind of product across a part (or all) of London.

Facebook announced their first international engineering office in London. Not strictly TV related, but important as a sign of US tech companies looking to London as an important outpost. 

These are exciting times indeed, if you are in London and want to be part of the next wave of TV services…

I am really enjoying Louie at the moment. It’s like a grittier version of Curb, with a hint of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia about it. I’ve recently had my eyes opened to the joys of the US Netflix store, but I don’t think the show has been picked up by a broadcaster in the UK. Anyone?