Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Instant Gratification

If asked, I would describe myself as a patient person.  My 7th hour class would disagree, but I think they are making bad choices.  I am cool, calm, and collected.  But when it comes to my entertainment, I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.  I have completely lost all patience with series of all sorts.

I blame Netflix for my inability to watch television like a normal, patient person.  I don't have to wait until next week to see what happens next.  I have to wait until I push 'next episode'.  Maybe get a snack.  Even season finale cliff hanger episodes don't bother me, because the resolution is a moment away.  I watched Season 1 of Downton Abbey in about a week.  Matt was working late nights, there was no one home to judge me and my love of period pieces, so I plowed through it.  Then I watched most of Season 2 online.  When I got caught up, I could have watched the last episode in real time, but the Super Bowl was on, and I lost the vote (by a lot).  But now I have to wait until SEPTEMBER for the third season!  Impossible and ridiculous.  That's an eternity from now, and the worst of it is that I will have to wait a week between each new episode too.

I read a lot of young adult literature, and I read it fast.  And if it's good, I don't mind waiting for a sequel, because today, there is ALWAYS a sequel.  What bums me out is when I start a book without realizing there is a sequel, which has happened twice recently.  I start to develop a sinking feeling when I realize there aren't enough pages left to resolve a conflict, and the sinking continues until the unfulfilling end.  I stuck with Charlie West in The Last Thing I Remember for one book, but he annoyed me too much to read his other two adventures, so I'm stuck Googling, reading Amazon reviews, and searching Wikipedia to find out how exactly he lost his memory.  I'm still not sure.  Cassia in Matched was an interesting character, but can I really wait until November to find out if she chooses Xander or Ky?  When I first read The Hunger Games, the third book hadn't been released yet.  I ordered Catching Fire and Mockingjay from Amazon before I had even finished Hunger Games.  But when I was ready to read Catching Fire, which was approximately 3 minutes after I finished Hunger Games, they wouldn't send it to order to complete my order in the fewest transactions, Amazon made me wait the longest two weeks of my life to complete my trilogy.  I was a wreck.  It was as bad as waiting to find out if Dumbledore was really dead. And the Hunger Games movie I have been waiting for is this weekend, but who knows how long it will be before the next one comes?

Is my problem a result of my generation's increasing dependence on the speed and gratification of technology?  Is part of the thrill or enjoyment of entertainment supposed to be suspense?  Did people like waiting to find out if Darth Vader was Luke's father?  I may never know.  But in the meantime, the Season 2 finale of Grey's Anatomy was pretty dramatic, and this very moment I'm going to find out what happened.