1.) Apparently, it’s not really a crime if white people do it [SEE Weeds, Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Riches, etc.]
2.) When did National Geographic sell out? What happened to cheetahs sprinting across the savannah and icebergs being calved? Why is it suddenly all National Geographic Exclusive: Inside Guantanamo Bay and America’s Biggest Petrochemical Refineries. Is NatGeo just another subsidiary of Halliburton? It is, isn’t it? DAMN IT. You just wait, they’ll be coming for NOVA next, and then we’ll have to watch Neil de Grasse Tyson explaining the totally awesome science of drone strikes, or Brian Greene pondering the immortal question of “Are We, In Fact, Living in the Matrix?”*
3.) Ok, this isn’t a thing, but it should be: Saturday Night Live Roulette.
No, hear me out. My job is to create, manage, and distribute digital content through a variety of channels. I have to sit through a lot of meetings that deal with precisely this sort of issue, often in conference rooms that are incredibly conducive to micro-naps.
No one sane is going to watch entire reruns of a very topical late-night sketch comedy show dating back to the mid-1970s. (Nor is any viewer likely to say, “Hey, I’d like to watch all the episodes from a particular decade, perhaps the 90s?”) Chronological bundling is a no-go.
Fine, then. If not chronologically, then what is the best way to parcel out and package this content? Focus on one particular performer or category, e.g. “Best of…” or “All Weekend Update”? Again, I’d say no: you can’t take the variety out of a variety show. That kind of defeats the purpose.
Really, I think the key is to make it as random as possible. You, the viewer, should not know what you’re going to get until it’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. Kind of like the actual show: it might be amazing, it might be terrible, it might be utterly baffling. But it’ll be a surprise, is the thing. A surprise you can breastfeed your infant to/recover from surgery in front of. Who could ask for anything more?
Hey, maybe it could work like this.
4.) On a related note, Netflix Instant should have a built-in editing feature. You can already freeze and scroll through stuff frame by frame. Why not add this extra bit? Because here’s the thing: not every film or television series ends up realizing its best and truest expression. The X-Files would make a fantastic sitcom. And the majority of Nicolas Cage movies have the DNA of truly superb psychological thrillers, it’s just that somehow certain genes get switched off in post-production. For example, wouldn’t Knowing have been
watchable better without all the apocalyptic nonsense-that-comes-true-because-pseudoscience? Like, what if it had just been a movie about a guy who loses his wife, his job, and finally his mind to the point where he ends up murdering his special needs child because he believes the end of the world is nigh? I’d watch that. Instead, I had to watch the real version.
And see, that’s just scratching the surface. People already have the time and energy to do this kind of thing (SEE: YouTube, all of it), so why not make it a feature?**