Harry Marks (who writes over and Curious Rat) and I have differing views about the state of media and how companies should respond to modern technology. When we’ve discussed things on Twitter, he’s very much in the ‘black and white’ camp regarding piracy, and will even go so far as to rebuy media digitally rather than ripping CDs to iTunes. I’m generally more of the opinion that media companies should be doing a lot more to make content available, accessible, affordable and not hugely annoying to use. Although I almost never torrent anything (one of the side effects of having a reliable but capped broadband connection), I find it hard to sympathise with companies whose work is widely distributed in that manner when they’ve been region locking it in some way or charging obscene money.
Today though, I’m mostly of the same opinion as Marks regarding his takedown of John Siracusa, who decided to whine about credits being attached to every episode of Netflix’s House of Cards. Marks says:
First, the problem was not being able to get the content we wanted when we wanted it. Then, came the laments about pricing. How dare seasons of television cost anything more than [INSERT ARBITRARY NUMBER… I REMOVED FROM MY RECTUM]!
Now, people are getting their panties in a twist over having to sit through opening credits? Where does it end? At what point does this blatant selfishness turn into, “I hate this actor/these mushy love scenes/this director. If you remove all of that, I’ll be beating down your door to give you money, then complaining some more.”
Netflix has its problems—the lack of a ‘wish list’/'save for later’ option is especially annoying—but credit sequences aren’t one of them. They’re a staple of TV, and although you might choose to watch several episodes in a row, until the systems are intelligent to recognise this and chop out the credits, you’ll just have to sit through them. Except you won’t, because Netflix—unlike many shiny discs—doesn’t lock the content it’s streaming and you can fast-forward through it. (Additionally, such sequences often have ‘previously’ sections, which might include a useful reminder that you’d otherwise miss, thereby making your experience worse. This won’t be rectified until we’re all wearing Google Chip In Brain™, some time in 2017.)
Mind you, here’s where I depart again from Marks, who says:
So, I’m going to finish this season of House of Cards and sit through every opening credits sequence because people worked hard to build it.
But if and when I also watch that show, I’ll sit through one credits sequence and fast forward through the rest. What I won’t do is complain about them.