NCIS: Widening Gyre

Just last March I asked, Am I Over NCIS? The question seems even more pressing given the NCIS season 16 finale. (Spoiler warning on the season, not to mention any and all previous seasons.) I’ve never been this mixed in my feelings regarding the characters, and the off-screen personal stuff is especially disturbing given other ugly entertainment-related realities that have been uncovered recently.

There is additional pressure from time in the saddle as well as from how viewing habits have changed (both mine and the world’s). Weekly episodes of commercial-filled broadcast TV seem increasingly quaint somehow. And sixteen seasons — most of them 24 episodes — is a lot of NCIS (378 episodes; over 260 hours).

All-in-all, for me the sun may well be setting on NCIS.

Regarding interests and attachments, I’ve found that some things remain fairly constant, some things ebb and flow, and some things have a limited lifetime.

The people you know and are close to, for instance, are complex and dynamic, so (unless one of you changes significantly and you no longer get along) people attachments, at least for me, tend to be constant and very long-term.

I find people are too fascinating to be boring. (Dogs are a kind of simplified people to me, so I include them in the endlessly interesting category.)

Very few things have that level of complexity or are that dynamical, but for me baseball and a few others come close enough to have held my interest for a long time (beer, mathematics, stuff like that).

§

As a trivial example of ebb and flow, I crave candy corns every fall and jelly beans every spring. Other than that, I’m not that big on candy these days (I have been in the past).

The exception is that butterscotch or caramel has been an enduring life-long love affair. Love the Werther’s!

§

The reality is there aren’t too many things that ebb and flow over the long term. I tend, ultimately, to consume things like hobbies or TV shows.

The thing about consuming is that, at some point, you’ve had your fill.

For example, I realized a while back that I’d had my fill of Star Trek. That has a lot to do with how Star Trek evolved, but it’s also satiation on my part. I’ve been there since the beginning. Fifty years is plenty enough.

When DVDs of TV seasons where a thing, I discovered it wasn’t as thrilling as I’d imagined to own seasons of old beloved TV series. I never did watch all of some I bought and have since donated to the library.

Streaming gives me unprecedented access to old beloved series and movies, and… I just don’t care. I’m just not interested.

I can’t fathom the angst some experience about The Office or Friends no longer being on Netflix. I was always “Eh,” on the latter, but really loved and regarded the former. But having seen the whole series several times now, I can’t imagine ever watching it again.

§ § §

So I have to consider whether I’m sated when it comes to NCIS.

I don’t think that’s what it is, though. I still really like the main character, Gibbs, and I really like McGee and the other adults (I really like Slone, but wish they’d made her a more together character… the adoption thing… sheeze).

There have been some very good stories and no preposterous treasure hunts or other utterly ridiculous plots.

But they’ve gotten a little borderline to me, and I’m not big on the newest additions. I especially can’t stand Fez.

I’m double-plus bugged by the return of Ziva David.

§ §

I’ve never had much regard for the comic book trick of bringing back a dead character. The whole point of the death is to mourn the loss.

When the authors cry, “Ah, ha! Tricked you. Ta Da! Here she is!” I feel it cheapens that particular death and tells the reader in general that death is just a time-out.

This particular plot thread also requires the absurd comic book “requirement” of secrecy even from those most trusted, most close friends. (This bullshit about secrecy is one of the biggest general storytelling sticks up my craw.)

The frosting on this particular shit cake is that, at the end of the season finale episode, with no warning, Ziva shows up in Gibbs’ basement and only has time to warn him he’s in danger — they both are.

As cliché-ridden ham-handed cliffhangers go, it’s right up there.

§

The only way this works for me is that it turns out Ziva is a ghost, too.

All during the episode, Gibbs was dealing with the “ghost” of Diane, one of his ex-wives (who was killed in front of him). She finally leaves after issuing him a warning about his isolation.

Then, bang, Ziva shows up and warns him he’s in great danger.

Psychologically, it makes sense that Gibbs’ protective subconscious would create another hallucination that pulls him away from difficult growth.

There is even some sense to a brief appearance by Cote de Pablo (Ziva), whose career stagnated after she walked away from NCIS (for reasons she didn’t discuss for a long time — basically, she was unhappy with the job).

But if this is going to turn into some cartoon comic book plot about secret danger and don’t know who to trust and all the other silly-ass clichés, then I’m not going to be happy.

I’m not a fan of the “seeing people” thing when it causes normally rational people to talk out loud or otherwise behave as if they thought that person was really there when they clearly know better.

§ §

They’ve already been pushing it a bit with the melodrama.

Fornell’s daughter is suddenly a drug addict? Huh? Because Big Plot Idea, I guess. If they planted any seeds anywhere, I sure never noticed them.

(And spare me the “that’s the point; you never know” bs. You do know if you just pay attention and don’t kid yourself. Drug addiction isn’t subtle.)

Having Fornell point a gun at the doctor was a bit much. Not a fan of the “out of control” asshole.

§

Meanwhile, over by the high school lockers, Kasie implied to Ellie Bishop there was a hookup looming with Fez. Bishop acted surprised (maybe even slightly outraged — I would be).

The “shippers” (fans who are far too involved and invested in the relationships of fictional people) have been yearning for a Bishop-Fez hookup. It’s Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David all over again (but sillier).

All I can say is, “Please Script Gods, No!”

And Slone has implied she has a crush on someone (clearly Gibbs). That one at least makes sense, but it’s all so high school.

§ § §

And then there’s this business with Pauley Perrette.

I hardly even know what to think about it. It’s tempting to just ignore it, because I’m so far from any direct knowledge, and there are clearly vested interests in play.

It puts a bad taste to things, though. I can’t help but wonder if Perrette has fallen into some sort of off-the-chain attention-seeking. (Possibly related to her new show?)

There’s something that seems odd to me about her recently… bad things happening to her… now she’s implying Mark Harmon physically assaulted her, which would be pretty serious if true. (Even her fans are pushing back on that, apparently. At the least, demanding details.)

So that’s really weird.

§ § §

It’s still well worth (at least starting) another season next fall, but this feels like a pattern. I went through this with both the spin-off shows, and they’re history to me now.

A lot may depend on how this Ziva Returns pans out. A big reason I stopped watching the spin-offs was the ridiculous, absurd, cartoon plots.

I also hope to hell they don’t put Bishop and Fez together. A relationship plot thread between a character that doesn’t do much for me and one I can’t stand would bum me out.

Ah, well,… who knows what the future brings.

Stay watching, my friends!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

21 responses to “NCIS: Widening Gyre

  • Maggie Wilson

    I cannot comment on NCIS in particular, but am familiar with the feeling that “enough is enough.”

    I recall watching M*A*S*H for the bazillionth time. Alan Alda was, for me, the main draw – the guy who played Radar a close second. It was as if I reached a saturation point – and suddenly I couldn’t stomach another clever quip from Hawkeye – and there was something in the gossip news, too, that tainted my view of the actors. I haven’t watched an episode, since.

    I’m feeling the same way about the Office, and I’m glad you “confessed” for that’s confession is what it feels like to me – to speak out against the beloved show? What a betrayal!!

    And don’t get me started on writers who think anything goes. It has been my observation that when a TV cast stages a musical number, you know that the writers have exhausted their resources.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Ha! I can think of examples of musical numbers that prove the point. 😀

      “What a betrayal!!”

      Right? 🙂 It’s funny to me how people cling to their old favorites. It reminds me a little of how children will watch the same favorite movie every day. Comfort food? A respite from all the new stuff the world throws at one? Fear of the unknown? I’ve never really understood it.

      It’s kind of sad, really, all the money and time I invested in either taping or buying entire shows. The thought was that I’d enjoy them in my old age, but… old age is here, and I have no interest in TV archeology.

      “I recall watching M*A*S*H for the bazillionth time.”

      M*A*S*H is one of two shows I busted my ass trying to tape every episode of. Tried to pause during commercials, but getting that wrong “ruined” the recording, so often I just recorded the half-hour.

      Eventually, I got all but two episodes taped. Ironically, two of the missing ones were my favorite episodes — the two-parter about Hawkeye and Margaret hooking up. (I posted about my love of the show.)

      I never watched any of the tapes. I ended up buying all eleven seasons on DVD and watching the DVDs as they came out and I bought them, but that’s the last time I viewed any M*A*S*H. I threw away the tapes a couple of years ago. (You can’t even recycle old VHS tapes.)

      The other show I busted my ass taping (and likewise never viewed the tapes, replaced them with DVDs, and threw away the tapes) was ST:TNG. Had nearly all of those, too.

      I have discovered that, because love and hate are so close, it’s easy for something to almost “throw the switch” on your strong feelings. Being let down by something you love doesn’t generate indifference (at least not at first). It switches you from loving to hating.

      I’ve had that happen with people who seriously let me down, and it’s very easy to happen when it comes to things.

      For instance, one of the things that set me back with M*A*S*H was finding out that, while everyone loved Radar, everyone kinda hated Gary Burgoff, who played him. His lonely exit (if you recall) seemed almost indicative of that.

  • SelfAwarePatterns

    I think I had my fill of NCIS several years ago. I’m totally not up on what all of the characters have been doing in recent years, or who’s alive and who’s dead.

    16 seasons is a lot. At this point they may be trying to surpass Gunsmoke’s record of 20 seasons for a fictional show. I wonder how much of the current viewership at this point goes all the way back to the first season.

    When I was younger I used to rewatch and re-read a lot of stuff, but in the last decade or so, I haven’t had the urge. I generally only watch something once. As much as I was in to Game of Thrones, I’ve mostly never gone back and rewatched the episodes. (I know a lot of people who do.) I might rewatch or re-read something I watched or read decades ago (Space 1999 most recently), but that’s about it.

    That was my dad’s attitude when I was growing up. He never cared about keeping books, movies, or TV shows because, once consumed, he never wanted to consume them again. At the time I found it incomprehensible. I kept every book I read (except for library books). But the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve become like him in this regard, although I still have an irrational preference for buying rather than renting entertainment.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Both my parents, but especially my dad, loved books and saw value in having a personal library (of music, too). That did make sense once upon a time, but I increasingly see my owned library as a burden.

      Just the number of times I’ve had to box up all my books for a move (and then unbox them on the other end). Or the number of bookshelves I’ve made or bought (often leaving them behind due to being attached to the wall).

      I have a big box of all my Star Trek DVDs (which is pretty much all of Trek except for Voyager and the JJ Abrams movies). I’m thinking I should also donate my 100+ original Trek novels.

      As you say, the (complete lack of) urge to revisit the past isn’t at all what I thought it would be as I aged. It makes sense in that I’ve never been one for the past, but there’s also the component of wanting to revisit something beloved.

      Apparently I’m more interested in what’s new. (But then I always have been, so this shouldn’t be such a surprise.)

      “At this point they may be trying to surpass Gunsmoke’s record of 20 seasons for a fictional show.”

      It’s been a well-loved and very successful show that’s managed to turn out decent stories even after 16 years. I doubt beating the Gunsmoke record (which The Simpsons kinda did already (come to think of it, so has South Park)) is the point, but I’m sure they’re quite aware of it. For a live action drama to beat that record would be something.

      “I wonder how much of the current viewership at this point goes all the way back to the first season.”

      Heh, good question. I have been (I still really love the pilot episode). Based on absolutely no evidence or logical analysis my gut thinks it would be a fair number. It’s kind of a baby-boomer show, and it spun off JAG, so may have had a ready audience from day one.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        “Just the number of times I’ve had to box up all my books for a move”

        That’s one of the nice things about my move to ebooks 10 years ago. I’ve reached the point where even if I have a physical version of the book somewhere in storage, if I do want to read it again (rare), I just buy the electronic version rather than go through all the trouble of locating it.

        Come to think of it, I think one of the reasons I’m relatively okay with the shaky nature of digital ownership is that I don’t anticipate going back to most of it. There are a few books I return to regularly, but most, once I’ve read them, scroll ever further into oblivion. (Occasionally I discover a book way back there that I forgot I owned. Thankfully Amazon prevents you from buying ebooks again!) That’s doubly true for movies.

        “Apparently I’m more interested in what’s new.”

        I don’t know if I’m so much interested in what’s new as what I haven’t seen before. In that sense, even new books that too closely hew to some standard story type don’t particularly interest me. (That’s one criticism I agree with of much of the self published stuff. Most of it is very derivative. Of course, a lot of people are totally happy with experiencing the same story over and over again.)

        “my gut thinks it would be a fair number”

        You’re probably right. It’d be interesting to see the audience demographics. (I suspect it skews rural and older.) I didn’t get into it until it had been out for several years, was totally into it for a few years catching up via DVDs, then lost interest. Was never sure what drew me into it, or why I eventually lost interest.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “I don’t know if I’m so much interested in what’s new as what I haven’t seen before.”

        Yes, that’s what I meant by new — new to me. 🙂

        I completely agree about derivative stories. (That’s a big reason I’m not much into mainstream fantasy, but love stuff like Discworld.)

        “Was never sure what drew me into it, or why I eventually lost interest.”

        It may depend on how much you like police procedurals. I’ve been into them since Adam-12 and (the original TV) Dragnet. (I like the military flavor, as well.)

        I never really thought about it that much until now, but a lot of the fiction I like is “law and order” in one way or another. Even Star Trek, arguably (especially Kirk). Doctor Who, for that matter, is kind of a cop.

        All the Private Detective fiction falls under the same heading. In general the theme of justice (or fairness) and setting things right. (Come to think of it, the concept of “fairness” was really big in our family.)

        That show, Law & Order was tailor made for me, because I’ve also been a big fan of courtroom drama going back to Perry Mason. The irony is I got tired of L&O after Angie Harmon left. I think I actually prefer shows that are one or the other.

        There’s a sub-genre that goes back a ways: The official LEO and the amateur partner. From Scarecrow and Mrs King to Lucifer, it usually involves a male-female partnership so there’s a potential romantic angle to play with.

        It’s surprising how many shows I’ve watched over the years do that. It kinda goes back to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. (Absent the romantic angle, at least until Lucy Liu started playing Joan Watson.)

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        As a very young boy, my favorite shows were Adam-12, Emergency!, and Hawaii Five-O. Since then, I’ve had an on again off again relationship with police procedurals. A lot of what attracted me as I got older were shows that deviated in some way from the pattern. I was a big fan of Magnum PI for instance.

        I never got that much into Law & Order, although I definitely watched the occasional episode. I think most of the procedural stuff just faded into a sea of sameness for me. NCIS probably attracted me for its humor components. (Similar to Magnum PI, which I believe was created by the same producer.)

        At this point, for a show to attract me, I have to see something different in it, which rarely happens anymore. Which is why, although I almost always have the TV on when home, I’m rarely watching it.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “I was a big fan of Magnum PI for instance.”

        That was a good show, and I’ve always like Tom Selleck. (Apparently the show has been rebooted. Higgs is now a young female ex-CIA agent. [sigh])

        “I think most of the procedural stuff just faded into a sea of sameness for me.”

        I know what you mean. I’m not sure a show like NYPD Blue would interest me now.

        Many of those “odd couple” official and amateur pairings I mentioned have that element of a slightly new angle.

        In Castle the amateur is a mystery writer who helps the female homicide detective close cases because of his ability to ‘see the scenario behind the crime’ (’cause he’s a mystery writer and they know about that stuff).

        In The Mentalist he’s a former con man “psychic” turned straight whose ability to “see the con behind the crime” blah, blah, blah.

        And in Lucifer he’s the actual devil whose left Hell for Los Angeles for a much needed vacation. He’s really into punishing the guilty. (It’s actually a pretty good show.)

        “(Similar to Magnum PI, which I believe was created by the same producer.)”

        Yep, Donald Bellisario. Who also did JAG, which I really liked.

        “At this point, for a show to attract me, I have to see something different in it, which rarely happens anymore.”

        Very much likewise. On both counts. (Aging has something to do with the latter. We’ve seen a lot of stories by now. I sometimes have to remind myself that stuff that seems very old and cliche to me is new to younger generations. (Which then gets me upset how less and less of the world is oriented towards my generation anymore.))

        Which, I have to say again, astounds me you’re not into The Good Place. One of the freshest things I’ve seen in a long time, for one. And centered on moral philosophy, for another. (There’s an entire really hysterical, if a bit gory, episode in season two about the Trolley Problem. It features the characters on a Trolley having to make the decision! 😀 )

        And Ted Danson and Kristen Bell, both accomplished actors and playing brilliantly off each other, for a third. Really is an A+ show. (Two seasons are on Netflix, the third should be there soon. Apparently the upcoming fourth season is intended to be the last.)

        “Which is why, although I almost always have the TV on when home, I’m rarely watching it.”

        When I had cable my TV was always on, too (usually on the MLB channel 🙂 ). Just livens up the place. Now, not so much. (I have some, possibly unfounded, concerns about OLED longevity. Apparently these can “wear out” in time?)

        I kinda miss it!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        “Apparently the show has been rebooted. Higgs is now a young female ex-CIA agent. [sigh]”

        I watched the pilot and was underwhelmed. I didn’t mind so much that Higgs is female, but a love interest?!? If she’d been an old gnarled female CIA veteran, it might have been more interesting. Maybe they just didn’t want Magnum to be the playboy he was in the original series.

        “Which, I have to say again, astounds me you’re not into The Good Place.”

        I haven’t tried it yet. If I ever do, I might become as hooked on it as you’ve been. We’ll see.

        “I have some, possibly unfounded, concerns about OLED longevity.”

        Hmmm. Hadn’t heard of that before. My current TVs are pre-OLED so I don’t have that worry. I suspect if it’s an issue, I may pass on it the same way I eschewed plasma for all their issues, despite the better picture quality. My current TVs are right at nine years old. The living room one is pretty much on anytime I’m home and awake, and appears to still be going strong.

        Nothing in the newer TVs (4k, etc) are really attracting me right now. If one of my current ones died, I’d probably replace it with what are today fairly low end models.

        “I kinda miss it!”

        How did Youtube TV work out? I’m pretty sure if I got rid of cable TV, I’d have to go with one of the neo-cable services.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “If she’d been an old gnarled female CIA veteran, it might have been more interesting.”

        Exactly. But gotta have that flirtatious “will they or won’t they” vibe.

        “I suspect if it’s an issue, I may pass on it the same way I eschewed plasma for all their issues, despite the better picture quality.”

        I never had any interest in the plasma TVs, either. I went from bigger and bigger CRTs to a big LCD I bought a very long time ago. Had that for nine+ years. Got the OLED just last year — really like it, although I had to get used to the “soap opera” effect, which was really pronounced at first.

        If I did have to buy another TV, who knows what technology it would have. The quantum dot stuff is the current rage, I understand.

        The 3D TV thing seems to have died (thank heavens), and I don’t hear much about the curved TVs. The 4K stuff is pretty impressive, but apparently the 8K stuff doesn’t really add that much unless you sit very close (like only a few feet).

        There just might be not much left that can improve TV.

        “How did YouTube TV work out?”

        Mostly positive; enough to keep me subscribed. Baseball is probably its main value, plus the few shows on CBS I watch anymore (the few NBC shows, and the one ABC show, I get on Hulu).

        The few complaints I’ve had involve their technology.

        For a long time, very reliably, every time I’d watch Nicole Wallace on MSNBC, at the first commercial break, the feed would jump back to the beginning of the show. Really annoying, and until that commercial break was over, you can’t even re-join the show. All attempts jumped back to the beginning. Had to wait out the break and then re-join.

        I used the built in feedback to send them some strongly worded feedback. Never heard back, of course, but after a few weeks that problem went away never to return.

        I find their UI a little clumsy, in large part because they insist on live action thumbnails on many pages. Makes the page slow. And I’m annoyed by how many screen touches it takes to end a show. They do an odd thing where, if you [Back] out of a show, the show continues to play, but you get back to a UI page. That’s just weird. But on the app, (1) touch to pause, (2) touch to get out of full-screen, (3) touch again to wake up the UI on the smaller screen (because even though you just touched, the smaller screen has no active UI, which really annoys me), (4) touch to minimize to a little window, (5) swipe to get rid of the little window.

        And the thing is, I’ve come to the conclusion, based on long experience with gmail, Google Earth, Google Maps, YouTube, and now YouTube TV, that Google makes really shitty apps. I don’t know why the Great and Mighty Google makes very shitty apps, but they do. In every single case, the UI just sucks balls.

        I say that as a career software designer with over 40 years experience. Google makes very shitty apps. It makes me wonder if they don’t know what I always considered the cardinal rule for designing a UI: Use your own UI a lot. That’s how you develop a sense of what’s good and what’s bad about it. You have to tune a UI. They’re hard to get right in design. Usage is everything.

        [Sorry for the rant, but UI design is a hot button with me.]

        Finally, I wish YouTube TV would allow me to skip commercials when using the DVR. It does with some shows, but not with any CBS show. You’re forced to watch the commercials there. Hulu doesn’t have the NBC The Blacklist, but YT TV lets me FF past them, so that was nice.

        I haven’t tried it with a baseball game I missed. (YT TV automatically records any show you’ve expressed interest in, even when you’re watching it already, but I’ve never fathomed why anyone would watch a recording of a baseball game (other than ones of historical interest).)

        Bottom line, I’d file my issues under “annoyed but living with okay” and their DVR service is great. I’m not a fan of Google apps, but even using the website has some of the annoyances. Using the website with my laptop (and hence a mouse) is the most painless.

        Touchscreen apps,… suck, in general. It’s a terrible way to interact with a computer.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        Googling around, it seems like the major manufacturers are poo pooing the OLED lifetime concern. No one knows for sure, but OLEDs have been around since 2013, so hopefully any lifetime issues might have surfaced by now?

        I’m with you on crappy Google apps, although I find just about all entertainment apps crappy. The Youtube app on Roku (also from Google) is the buggiest I have to deal with. But I don’t despise it the way I do the Netflix app, which makes me question my Netflix subscription every time I use it.

        The crappyness of entertainment apps seems like a continuation of the general all around crappyness of DVD UIs.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “Googling around, it seems like the major manufacturers are poo pooing the OLED lifetime concern.”

        Not that they have a vested interest or anything…

        What I’ve read worries about the organic nature of OLED. It doesn’t seem to be failure so much as reduced quality. Even too much direct sunlight has some worried.

        The flip side is that TVs have gotten so inexpensive that replacing one isn’t the huge hit it used to be. I’ve noticed that roughly the same model OLED I bought is now about 1/2 the price or less.

        “But I don’t despise it the way I do the Netflix app, which makes me question my Netflix subscription every time I use it.”

        Wow. What bugs you about the Netflix UI? The auto-play is annoying, but other than that I haven’t found it particularly worse than Hulu or Prime. I will say the auto-play makes it rank below those two, though.

        (I usually go straight to My List which doesn’t auto-play.)

        “The crappyness of entertainment apps seems like a continuation of the general all around crappyness of DVD UIs.”

        I wonder if it’s for the same reason? Everyone trying to design a stand-out cool UI, so every designer with Ideas is re-inventing the wheel.

        Some of those DVD UIs were ridiculous!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I think the Netflix autoplay infuriates me more than most people. It feels like Chinese water torture. I rarely browse their service for content anymore. I usually wait until I hear about some show through other means then try to navigate as directly to it as possible.

        But it’s also the app with the most problematic playback of all the ones I use. Maybe it’s my provider, but I generally don’t have problems with Amazon, Hulu, HBO Go, Youtube, or any others. And Netflix’s content is coming from the same infrastructure as Amazon’s, so it has to be with their service or app. The fact that they’re wasting bandwidth and load with that loathsome autoplay is just salt in the wound.

        That and they get in the way of watching the end credits. Unless I move very fast and precisely in their stupid UI, they auto-navigate me to some other random show I’m almost always not interested in.

        At this point, the only thing stopping me from canceling is their exclusive content. I say that as someone who’s been subscribed since they started the streaming service. (Well, before actually since I used to rent DVDs from them.)

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “I think the Netflix autoplay infuriates me more than most people.”

        We all have our hot buttons! The autoplay when browsing doesn’t bug me so much; I just keep moving so it doesn’t get a chance. (Or if using the laptop, I avoid hovering.)

        But the way it tries to feed you another show in the middle of the credits of one you just watched… yeah, that really pisses me off. As you say, it’s usually not something you want to watch. And you need to move quick — I think you get 20 seconds? Which is usually down to 17 by the time I realize I need to move.

        I have such a hard time getting through my watch lists that I don’t browse much, either. Maybe just check for new stuff once in a while.

        “But it’s also the app with the most problematic playback of all the ones I use.”

        That may be, as you say, your provider. I’ve always thought of it as one of the better apps when it comes to the actual stream feed.

        Hulu gave me problems for a while — constantly dropping to low quality, often back and forth every minute or so; really annoying. It’s been pretty good lately, although I did see it once recently.

        (I’ve been having some weird, very sporadic, internet issues involving connections. Often SSL connections, for some reason. I keep meaning to talk to CenturyLink about it.)

        “That and they get in the way of watching the end credits.”

        Largely due to studying filmmaking in college, I like to read all the credits — honor the people who did the work. (But credits have gotten so ridiculous these days.)

        But I know most people don’t, which, I assume, is what Netflix is thinking. They all tend to let you jump to the next episode during the credits, but no one is quite as obnoxious about it as Netflix, you’re right about that!

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        ” I just keep moving so it doesn’t get a chance.”

        I do too, and sometimes I have the volume muted so I won’t have to listen if it does start. Still aggravating though!

        “Hulu gave me problems for a while — constantly dropping to low quality, often back and forth every minute or so; really annoying.”

        If that’s all the Netflix one did, I could live with it. But it stops playing, and spends minutes buffering, then comes back at low quality. And again, I’m not having problems with other services, so I really don’t think I can peg this on the provider. (Unless Cox is specifically targeting Netflix traffic.)

        “I like to read all the credits — honor the people who did the work.”

        Often times I actually just like listening to the music again. These days you can look up at least the major players on IMDB.

        “But credits have gotten so ridiculous these days.”

        One of the reasons I rarely go to the movies anymore is that I don’t enjoy sitting through a three hour movie with no bathroom break. I often wonder why they don’t move the credits to a middle point and have them scroll through an intermission. The audience gets a break, and a chance to buy more popcorn, and the movie producers get more people to watch the credits. Seems like it would be an all around win.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “But it stops playing, and spends minutes buffering, then comes back at low quality.”

        That’s seriously messed up. And weird that it only affects Netflix. That would drive me crazy.

        “These days you can look up at least the major players on IMDB.”

        Oh, certainly. For me it’s more about taking the time to honor the people who spent several months (or more) of their life creating something.

        (And sometimes the credits have jokes or other funny things. Plus, back before everyone got in the cookie secret, a lot of films had a cookie that was worth staying for — and very much a joke on all those who walked out the moment the credits rolled. I trained a lot of my friends to wait for the credits to end! 🙂 )

        ((The habit of watching the credits grew, in large part, from looking for names of people I’d gone to school with or worked with. Apparently none of them really “made it” either, although I know of a few that had some minor success.))

        “I often wonder why they don’t move the credits to a middle point and have them scroll through an intermission.”

        I like the intermission-with-credits idea! All it takes is some director looking to do something different…

        I do wonder, sometimes, how long movie theaters will be around. I don’t seem to hear much about 3D anymore, so mostly what they offer is high prices, bad food, dirty bathrooms, everything run by kids,…

        I haven’t been to the movie theater in years! (Used to go at least once a week.)

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        I mentioned the credits in the middle idea once to someone in the movie industry. He reminded me that there are strict union and guild rules about the credits. They’ve been changed before, but it usually takes someone flaunting them and being successful anyway, like Star Wars or Apocalypse Now. Without an artistic benefit, a middle sequence is probably not in the cards.

        On movie theaters, I wonder the same thing. Right now, they have a virtual lock on the initial release of movies. Some are released concurrently online, but they don’t tend to be major movies.

        But the only time I really go to the movies is when I’m with others, and we need something to do. I wonder if that is ultimately enough to keep the theaters going.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “He reminded me that there are strict union and guild rules about the credits.”

        True dat. Big fights, sometimes, about whose name goes first (or last), how big the type is, and whether they come before or after the title…

        It’s still a neat idea. Does seem like a win all around.

        “I wonder if that is ultimately enough to keep the theaters going.”

        Especially for families, which I think are a big part of their business.

        I know some theaters installed really cush seating. I wonder if attendance rates are low enough they’d make small areas for groups.

        I’ve been to theaters like that — some even had wait service, wine and beer, and burgers and pizzas, but they never seem to do well and close. Maybe that’s too close to what people can do at home these days.

        Okay, how about a restaurant-theater. Seat an early dinner crowd, give them 90 minutes to eat, and usher them into the theater for the first show. Seat another crowd for the later dinner and show.

        If digital distribution gets inexpensive enough…

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        On the cush seating, those are actually the only ones I’ll consider going to anymore. A theater has to have stadium seating, plenty of leg room, comfortable seats, and powered foot rests. I’ve been in the fancier ones where waiters serve you, but I personally don’t need that (although those typically have a minimum age requirement that keeps the kids out, which is nice).

        On digital distribution, isn’t the distribution to the theaters now digital?

        Personally I’d prefer to just watch it in my home, even if there’s a premium cost for doing so at the same time that it’s in the theaters. I think the industry is missing out on a revenue opportunity. Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that the theater chains are expected to boycott any distributor that does something like that.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        “…and powered foot rests.”

        Whoa, they have powered foot rests now? I say we hold out for wrap-around chairs with built-in sound systems and massage motors.

        “On digital distribution, isn’t the distribution to the theaters now digital?”

        I assume so for those with digital projectors. I don’t know what the state of installing those is currently, but back when I paid any attention installation was slow and expensive, so a lot of theaters still showed film.

        Could be they’re all digital now.

        “Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that the theater chains are expected to boycott any distributor that does something like that.”

        So we’re waiting for the tipping point where a distributor no longer feels the need for theater distribution. It’s got to be coming. Aren’t we up to 80″ TVs for reasonable rates?

        Good sound system, your own bathroom, a pause ability, a rewind ability, your own snacks and beverages, no talking teenagers, your own couch you can just fall asleep on…

        Theaters (movies) are going to go the way of theatres (plays)… something people do for a special outing or extra special film/play.

      • SelfAwarePatterns

        “Could be they’re all digital now.”

        I’m pretty sure they are for the big chains. And I suspect the small independent ones were forced into it by the distributors. It’s been a long time since I saw the old blemishes along with the crackles and pops of film. (Except in situations were it was explicitly simulated.)

        “Theaters (movies) are going to go the way of theatres (plays)”

        I hope it happens soon.

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