May 4th, 2004

Enterprise Bridge

TV my way... or the highway

This is disturbingly (yet appropriately) funny. Appropriate because the character is 13 now, it's time for hormones to start kicking in. [Added: That's from a Fark photoshop contest]

After several days of burnination, I've reclaimed another sixteen hours' of space on the TiVo. The current seasons (so far) of "The Sopranos" and "The Shield" are stashed on DVD. Last to archive is season 5 of "The West Wing", 11 of 12 hours (I'm missing "Abu el Banat".) I have 19 of 20 hours of "24", which I'm going to just watch and not archive. The commercial DVD set will be out soon enough, and Dan has them all as DiVx if I really need them. There's also nine hours of the Little League World Series left from August. One or two of those games are worth saving. Once that's done, I'll turn on TiVo Suggestions again and put a season pass on HBO's "Dennis Miller Liberal Live" repeats. And then I'll get to work on the MythTV box again.

"The Shield" turned out to be interesting... I hadn't noticed before that its episodes run forty-eight minutes (including recap, preview, and credits.) Network television dramas have been coming in at 42 minutes for a long time. (Even off-network dramas... "Babylon 5" was 42 minutes an ep too.) Even stranger, the show does not have a commercial break for its first twenty minutes. Editing "Playing Tight", I searched madly for the commercial break I thought I missed early in the show. It wasn't there. I chalked it up as something special for the season premiere. But lo, there was no early break the second week either. Sure enough, the show runs recap, teaser, credits, act 1, act 2 nonstop.

After some thought, I figure this is really brilliant on Fox's part. If the show keeps doing well (I have no reason to believe it won't,) it will hit the 100-episode threshold and become feasible to syndicate. Broadcast and most basic cable outlets cannot show this program uncut, but since it runs long, cutting the most graphic scenes won't leave them with too short a product. But in first run, we the audience get a bonus six minutes per episode. Six minutes to do scenes right, to develop characters more, perhaps in more slowly-paced subtle ways. Plus the whole twenty-minute-uninterrputed start.

I got scared I wouldn't fit two episodes per DVD... At 48 minutes, each episode can be up to 2.07 gig. That's dangerously close to capacity. I had to knock my HBO season passes ("The Wire" and "The Sopranos") down from "Best" to "High" quality to make them fit at a full 60 minutes per episode. Fortunately, these just fit at "Best".