TV shows worth watching

I have been watching quite a few new TV shows recently.. Most are American. I won’t go into the details of how to watch them but let’s just say they are available if you look. This adds to Supergirl, Gotham, Limitless, The Flash, Better call Saul, First dates, etc…

Mel also blogged about a few shows which I’ll be honest most I disagree with (sense8 yes and Mr Robot yes – the rest I watched and wasn’t impressed with).

Lucifer

Lucifer crew

Suw pretty much covers Lucifer in a blog post (beware it contains spoliers!). I’ve been enjoying the series since I saw the pilot last year. I am worried it might go formulaic but so far, theres been enough variety to keep things ticking over. I’m expecting things to heat up soon, and Suw confirms this.

Suits (season 5)

Suits

Suits I’ve liked for a while but its not been anything to shout about. Its been ticking along for a while in mid-level drama mode. But this series finally Mike is on trial and the tension is back up again including lots of bits across the previous series. I would almost say skip to season 5 but you will miss all the references which is a shame.

Man seeking woman

Man Seeking Woman

I’m sure I’ve covered this before but it always makes me laugh. I was planning on using a part in my TEDxManchester talk but had to remove it due to time constrains. Its funny, short and quite smart about its points of references.

Master of none

Master of none

This recommendation came form Sarah who I recommended Man seeing woman too. Its actually similar in off the wall style as man seeking woman. One episode starts one way and then the very next one is totally different. I almost once restarted playing it, as I wasn’t sure it was correct. All from the mastermind of Aziz Ansari, the co-author of the excellent and funny modern romance. Can’t wait for season 2.

11.22.63

11.22.63

This came from my cousin, said I should check it out and I thought what on earth is this? After watching the first episode I was hooked… I replied saying its a cross between Looper, The Lost room and Vantage Point. I’m a sucker for time travel but what I also like is the focus on that era of time. The racism and sexism is all there and shocking through the lens of now, which pretty our man character is. This also confirms what I think when people say they would travel back in time and I say heck no…

My 2015 media consumption in review

My most watched fim of 2015

During my new year resolutions 2015 review, I pointed out that I couldn’t access my year in media without some serious development of Trakt’s API. Well 15 days too late for the review unfortunately.  I saw this on twitter…

Sure enough you can now see my 2015 review in media on the web.

Lots of quantified data for my media consumption…

For 2015…

  • 686 media items played
  • 669 hours of played media

Thats a lot of media use, even I have to admit, especially since, this is does not include documentaries, youtube, vimeo, ted, chromecast use, etc…

My TV genres for the year,
my tv genres of 2015

TV wise… My most watched show is Last week tonight with Jon Oliver with 37 plays or 18 hours, 30 minutes. Generally. I clocked up…

Pay a voluntary contribution or suffer the shame?

The Real Hustle being filmed in Brighton

So I'm really late to the whole Radiohead price experiment. Many people have said how great it is, others have said there just copying what smaller artist have been doing for years on sites like Amiestreet, some of pondered interesting questions and others have moaned about the quality. But what I found interesting was Ben Metcalfe's post which asks the question Would you pay a voluntary contribution for your BitTorrent usage?

Having pushed for so long for digital distribution methods that afford us our full rights under copyright (ie no DRM), it’s kinda time that we step up to the plate and prove that today’s digital media consumers are not looking to freeload… or are we?)

I was just chatting about this issue with a heavy BitTorrent user I know well, who’ll remain anonymous. For her, she finds BitTorrent the most convenient way to select and consume media – she watches a lot of foreign TV and also occasionally enjoys watching video on her PSP (which doesn’t support any DRM-for-video technology even if the content she wants to watch is available in a DRM’d format). Downloading torrent files from sites across the world and transcoding them into a PSP-friendly format has become a simple and painless process which she finds quicker and more convenient for her needs than any DRM system out there right now.

She is frustrated that she has to use what are currently deemed ‘illegal methods’ to obtain the media and can’t do anything to legitimize the content she is viewing.

So I know Chris Anderson is writing a new book called Free but honestly if I could pay the artist or production company for my DRM free download I would. Depending on the content I would pay between 1p – 2 pounds. 2 pounds for heroes, dexter, Dr Who, IT crowd, etc. 1 pounds for Ugly Betty, Apprentice, The Real Hustle, etc. 30p for Prison Break, Daily show, etc. I would also pay for podcasters and videocasters for their efforts if it was conveient and simple.

There was something interesting I heard at the wealth of networks conference in Boston. The Social Facebook application, called Causes. So the thinking behind the causes application is that the person can indicate what causes they support. But that application also tells people if you've donated money or helped that cause recruit new members. The idea being that if your friends have all donated loads of money over months, and you nothing. You would be shamed into taking the cause off your list. Now if you imagine something like this for TV, Music and even Film I guess? (I know Tioti is thinking about badges to indicate you like a certain show) you could have some site like last.fm or tioti/sharetv which tracks your tv/music but also shows when you donated money or helped out in someway. I guess the people who just want stuff for free will not sign up, but for the rest of us this is a way of showing your really a fan and enjoyed the show so much you paid or did something in return. This would also show the producers how popular there show/tune is and you could build grassroot graphs and charts I guess. If the real hustle series 1 rakes in a load of money and series 2 double that, you know your doing something right. If its less and less then its time to change something or give up. Its like voting for a show but the financial decision means votes are not given in vain or lightly. Hey and its helping out the people who work really hard. Just a idea, not really formed yet.

I'm not really a fan of Radiohead, but if this helps the content producers and owners into considering other business/revenue models, then put me down for 5 pounds…

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The current state of Tape it off the internet.com

So TechCrunch UK did a post covering Tape it off the internet. The review was interesting but I have problems with Tape it off the internet in its current state.

So first up adding a new show is simply a nightmare. I wanted to add the new BBC conspirancy Drama, The state within. But I couldn't find where you do this. Sheila also had this problem but she actual found it once. Now it seems the option is gone for now. My next problem is the RSS Bit Torrent support. It does work but I don't want to see the wrong episodes. Yes if you use your brain you can work out the correct one, but ideally tioti would automaticlly work out whats correct and whats not. My Bit torrent client does this with a simple Regular Expression, it would be great if tioti would also do this.

My other concerns are centred around the user interface. Its using so much ajax calls it actually becomes very ignoying. Unlike Flickr, it seems you have to do one thing then wait for the little red staus box to change before doing anything else. I'm sorry but if your going to use Ajax, use it so I can change many things at once. You might as well use page reloads if your not going to allow multiples changes at once. The user experience of Tioti is also really weird. It doesn't seem to make sense. For example on the episode guide why can't I also change the rating for the show here and maybe start a discussion? I think the episode guide should also be the centre of the experience. From there you should be able to download, discuss and rate a show. Then click on a season and get simlar behaviors. How cool would it be to click one button and get a rss feed for all the previous shows? It would certainly help people catch up.

I've posted up some screenshots with comments to cover the rest of my complaints regarding the UI

The social side of things is also bizarre. You can do the usual things like share a show with a friend and get into groups and discuss the show (like your going to do that in the closed walls of tioti instead of the real fan bases like lostcast). But you can't share episodes with friends, which should be fine because your only sharing the torrent file or link to the torrent file. Which is also where things fall down. See Tioti will recommend torrents but what I'm actually interested in is torrents which my friends have downloaded or are currently downloading.

So my recommedation for Tioti is a plugin for Azureus like how last.fm works now. I mean if you can get a plugin for most of the top torrent programmes then you'll be away. I mean imagine if Sheila started seeding episode 7 of Heroes and I'm on her friends and heroes list. Then Tioti could alert me to that fact and link me to the same torrent file. This fits in with the whole Azureus 2.5 share with a friend option and Tribler social p2p system.

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Should we kill TV but keep the shows?

So I was almost done with my RSS aggregator for the night when I read Jon's entry titled I Watch Shows, Not Tv. As I was reading through, I was in total agreement with Jon. Some choice quotes which made me laugh.

The medium had become totally uninteresting to me. Reality Tv was everywhere, sitcoms sucked, and ads were worse.

Enter Bittorrent, Hd rips, and RSS. Ever since I set up my system, not only do I watched more shows, but I watch a LOT of shows. I probably have at least 10 shows I watch weekly without missing a beat. But not only do I get to watch them at my own convenience

The only television I watch is the television I watch. That makes sense, I swear. When I’m done with a show. That’s it. I don’t flip to the next channel to see what else is on. I finish and move onto another project. Just sitting in front of your Tv leads to watching Hugh Hefner’s Whores jumping around pretending they have enough content to constitute television. I’d rather sit down catch 42 minutes of Lost or 28 minutes of Curb and be happy.

Totally! I have a very simlar setup to Jon, xbox media centre and all. And he's so right, me and Sarah watch a lot of shows including Lost series 2, Prison Break, Daily Show, etc, etc. When I was in hospital recently, the lovely nurse asked if I wanted the TV on, and without thinking I replied “No, I don't watch TV.” Bang just like that without thinking about it, then I realised what I just said. Honestly me and Sarah turn on the TV for the BBC news 10min update at about 8am in the morning then we turn off and listen to the slashdot review podcast if there is time. When we get back in the evening, we may turn on Channel4 news for 1 hour and maybe once in a while leave it on and watch grand designs or something like that afterwards. But usually we turn off have dinner together and maybe put on a show or listen to a podcast while we catch up with news, emails, etc. Even with the daily show on more4 every day now, Sarah's not interested because shes use to timeshifting it. She does'nt like the idea of turning on the daily show at 8:30pm every day and sitting in front of the TV.
Hey and why would we? With TV RSS we can store them and watch a whole load together with friends on a weekend or watch it the week after if we choose to.

Moving on, I read the related link and found the tons of comments mainly in agreement.

But I say all this and I know something doesnt quite fit.
I've heard about studies in the BBC which went down this route of the show being more important that the channel and TV its self. But these studies say when that is the case, people look for brands they can trust. Channels are a odd thing, if you live in the UK, you may think of BBC one as generally massmarket but higher class than ITV (my view not the BBC's view), BBC two more documentary's and nature programmes but still some comedies and mass market contnet. BBC Three, for people 35 and younger, somewhat like BBC two but with lots of comedies and reality tv. BBC four, highbrow documentary's and some news.
People use these types of thoughts to decide what channel they should wait on or check out. Remove the channel and people try and cling on to many other things like brand to tell them more about the programmes and there expected audience.

So although I'm with you Jon, I need to err on the side of caution because people need to make money without killing the distribution method (as they do now). Itunes video is a good move away from tv and towards shows and programmes.

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