Disney Just Made Me Obsolete – AGAIN!

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  1. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    heh. So now they can not only put titles you haven’t bought into the vault, they can retroactively do it to things you’ve already paid to access…Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to DensityDuck says:

      This is the thing that drives me nuts about streaming. You don’t really own a copy anymore. It doesn’t bother me as much with movies but for music it is really annoying.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

        Well. You never “owned a copy”, you always owned a limited set of redistribution rights for a specific work. The issue was that because those rights were tied to a physical token, they could be transferred as an entirely-private transaction between two parties, without needing to get anyone else involved (and particularly not needing to notify or get the approval of the original licensor.) The result was that we all got the idea that the physical token was the important thing in itself, and not the rights that went with it.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to DensityDuck says:

          It goes beyond the physical token. Even downloading mp3s meant you could have them forever if you took care to store and organize them. When you have a license to stream it can be turned off/disappear at any time.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to InMD says:

            A downloaded MP3 is a physical token.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to InMD says:

            The flip side is that you’re not paying what it would cost to buy all those movies to keep. You’re paying a monthly fee for the ability to watch anything they have on tap. So in the unlikely event that they just decide to shut it all down, you haven’t really lost anything you’ve paid for.Report

            • Avatar James K in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              Right, it depends on your baseline. Are you comparing streaming to DVDs or premium cable?Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Brandon Berg says:

              Im mainly talking about music. It bothers me less with movies. Its a big deal for people like me with a taste for underground music. I worry about losing stuff that never charted, may not even have been officially distributed, or if was it was by small defunct labels.

              There are recordings that I’m certain couldn’t be found anymore, but for mp3s sitting around on peoples hard drives.Report

  2. We are already at the point where any of several streaming services fill the “I feel like watching something tonight” market. The competition is in the “I must watch the hot new show everyone is talking about” market. I personally am pretty much immune to the need to see the hot new thing. My wife and I have different enough tastes that we end up subscribing to three services: Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime with the Britbox add-on. Were it just me, I would skip Hulu. Each is cheap enough that even in combination the price is reasonable: much cheaper than a cable subscription, with better content.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I have several box sets in the basement and/or bedroom. Quantum Leap, Batman: The Animated Series, Ducktales, Talespin, The Clone Wars…

    I’m waiting to retire and then I’m going to watch them.

    And those who clean up my house after I am dead can snicker as they see all of these little plastic disks that are played on these little plastic boxes. Whenever I wanted without needing reliable internet (“which he grew up without, can you believe that! No, not because he was poor or anything… it wasn’t around yet!”).Report

    • Avatar Merrie Soltis in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yes! That will be me. I won’t live long enough to watch all of my DVDs. And God bless whoever gets stuck cleaning out this room.Report

    • I have complete runs of both Buffy and Angel. And yes, of course Firefly. But I have run through them multiple times. I will be curious to see if I can get my girls interested, but they are a bit young yet.Report

      • Quantum Leap, for example, has aged *HORRIBLY*. I still love it so.

        Batman: The Animated Series hasn’t aged a day. Not only ahead of its time, some is ahead of ours.

        I don’t know how to read Buffy/Angel. The “nobody is allowed to be happy for more than one or two shows” rule, once you see it, is something you can’t unsee and it shows you all of the strings over every storyline.

        I imagine Firefly will hold up, though. It’s an appealing retrofuture that left the audience wanting more followed by a movie that tied off a handful of the most important plotpoints. That’ll always have an audience as long as binge-watching remains a thing.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

          For me the really interesting case is Babylon 5, which is, full disclosure, my favorite show.

          So many features that we now regard as fundamental properties of prestige TV in terms of having complicated, serial plotting (that’s still better than 90% of contemporary stuff) and nuanced character arcs, but the general approach to storytelling is like something out of the early ‘80s let alone the early ‘90s.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy says:

            Babylon 5 was *AMAZING* until the Shadow War ended. Then I put it down and thought “Wow, that was great. I don’t even *NEED* the show to continue!”

            And then I never picked it back up.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

          Firefly was helped immensely by being cut off so quickly. As I’ve said elsewhere, there’s a universe where Firefly wasn’t cancelled and it had a great first season, two seasons after that to burn out the talent, and a fourth and fifth that limped along from a sense of obligation before it was Not Renewed For Next Year after a cliffhanger ending that the writers would follow up on with several low-readership comic-book series.Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Jaybird says:

          I’ve netflixed Batman the animated series. The first dvd has been been sitting on my desk for a couple weeks. I’ve been waiting for a time to watch it.Report

  4. Avatar Pinky says:

    But that “hot new show” market is disappearing. Less than 6% of the US population watched Game of Thrones. A broadcast show like The Masked Singer may get better ratings than that, but even so, no one would call it “hot”. There’s an age component, of course. I don’t know about you, but I’m at an age where there’s very little social pressure to stay current. But I truly believe that the old mechanisms for applying social pressure are just different than they used to be. Maybe every teen is obligated to see the latest Marvel or DC movie, but otherwise, you can be a gamer or a YA-title reader or a K-pop fan or any number of acceptable niches.Report

    • Avatar Pinky in reply to Pinky says:

      That was supposed to be a reply to Richard.Report

    • What the kids are doing nowadays has mostly moved away from traditional scripted television and movies. They live on YouTube, especially with ties to gaming. My tween girls are into Minecraft and Pokemon and Sims. Stuff like Star Wars and Harry Potter? They certainly are aware of them, but it seems to be more cultural background. Actually going to a Star Wars film? Hit or miss. Neither is into the Marvel or DC stuff. Of course any of this stuff might be gendered to a greater or lesser extent.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    The answer is we need less and people need to read more. They need to read well too. But for some reason, watching TV is considered perfectly fine as recreational activity but reading is not. I encountered this attitude a lot during my post-under grad years (in and out of advanced degree programs). People would say that they felt like if they had the brain waves to read, they should be working on school or something after hours. But it is perfectly acceptable to say that the brain has shut down and then watch TV. I find this strange and anti-intellectual.

    Sometimes TV feels like the personification of Plato’s allegory of the cave.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      But for some reason, watching TV is considered perfectly fine as recreational activity but reading is not.

      It is?

      If you have someone saying “Oh, I *WISH* I had the energy to read!”, they’re not denigrating reading, they’re trying to one-up you in response to your one-upping of them by pointing out that you’re reading instead of watching television.

      “Did you watch the new show?”
      “Oh, I only use my television when I’m on vacation. It tells would-be burglars that someone is home. I read with my leisure time. And not comic books, either. Real books. Books you’ve never heard of. From Canada.”
      “Man, I wish I had the intellectual energy left over at the end of the day to read. I only have enough energy left over to watch television and not be a jerk to people trying to make small talk and connect over pop culture.”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Most people are not readers but do not want to admit it. These goes for people at all educational levels including the very top. Though the fact that this is possible says a lot about our education system in general and nothing very good.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I’d say that it says that our education system in general is great at stomping whatever passions students have and turning someone who might enjoy reading for pleasure into someone who hates it, hates it with a firey passion.

          Personally, I think that this could be improved by firing a whole bunch of bad-to-mediocre teachers.Report

          • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

            And replacing them with whom?Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

            I think the problem is with the reading list. Not saying every teacher is great, but the assigned books never seem to be challenging or interesting.Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Pinky says:

              The more challenging or interesting a book is, the likelier it will be to raise protests from some group. The books on the assigned list have managed to withstand political pressure by this point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Also: Good schools do better at not caving to the nutter who is upset that “I Am The Cheese” is still on the 8th Grade reading list.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

                Good schools usually have demographics of parents that don’t complain about challenging or interesting books. We read Herman Hesse in the 11th grade without edits. No parent even bated on eye. In a differentReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Oh, do “good schools” have demographics in common often enough for us to reach conclusions about it?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Yes they do.
                Any school where the parents are deeply engaged and supportive of their children’s education will produce good results.

                The quality of teachers doesn’t seem to be the driving variable.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                deeply engaged and supportive of their children’s education” is not a demographic trait.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Not unless you consider culture to be a demographic trait.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:


                If you look at the set of people who attain the best educational outcomes, and once you weed out the idiot legacy admissions, the freakish savants, and other outliers, what you will find is a group of people of varying races and creeds and nationalities, but there is one thread that ties them all together.

                They all come from a home where education is powerfully stressed, placed on a higher priority than almost any other thing.

                Higher than hanging out on the corner, higher than football or lacrosse, higher than just falling into a safe position at Daddy’s firm.

                I know there is a strong desire for people to try and be determinist about this and struggle to find a genetic or racial component, but it really is just this simple- those families that make it a priority succeed more often then those that don’t.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                What do I look up here to find out the demographics of those people you speak of?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Why are you looking there unless you were being determinist about it?

                Is there a census question on “How important is education to you?”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                It’s more like if we know that one demographic is better than another, shouldn’t we figure out ways to check to see if that demographic is growing over time or shrinking over time?

                Like, wouldn’t we want policies that increase it (if it’s possible to increase it) or prevent it from shrinking (if it’s possible to prevent it from shrinking) and if this change over time can be measured, shouldn’t it be?

                (Or is this demographic something that is not able to be measured, not even in theory?)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                How would government go about increasing the demographic of ‘education is really important to me’?

                Maybe the best place to start is popular culture and how we think about education- is it just a job skills training program, or is there something noble and worthy about knowledge just for its own sake?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Well, first I’d want to know if this demographic is even measurable in theory. If it’s not, then talking about making it larger or smaller is nonsense.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

                Well couldn’t we just measure how many students and schools perform well?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                Sure. Could we compare those numbers over time?Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I mean I guess it’s funny to watch Chip use the Know-Nothing Argument but it’s more just annoying knowing that he’ll scream about racist bullshit the moment someone else tries it…Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                “Well! You’re suggesting that people might think allusions to ‘culture’ when talking about performance in school is a dogwhistle for RACISM?! Sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking about the idea culture and race being linked! Didja ever think that maybe yoooou’re a little too concerned about racism? Didja? Didja? (wink, wink-wink) Didja?”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to DensityDuck says:

                I’m actually saying the opposite.

                That the only common thread among academic achievement is the desire and making it a priority.

                If some cultures are overrepresented its because culture is something we construct, with conscious choices that we make.

                Asians don’t just have some magic mojo that whispers the answers to math tests;

                Instead, Asians tend to make education a high status accomplishment, and millions of them make individual choices to enroll their kids in math camp instead of football, and to zealously demand they do their homework instead of video games.

                White Americans could be this way, if we chose to.
                We just tend to choose different things, construct different values and priorities.

                Racism is the lazy man’s aristocracy, where there is just some mysterious gift of the gods that allows Arthur to pull the sword from the stone, or Anakin to have spooky powers.

                Our culture is very enamored of the idea that heroes don’t work for it, they don’t sacrifice and strive and discipline themselves, it just sorta happens.Report

              • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to LeeEsq says:

                A (perhaps apocryphal) story I heard once: a shopkeeper (I think it was a drugstore that also sold paperbacks) would tell kids that came in “I will sell you this book” (it was “Treasure Island”), “but don’t let your parents know I did; they wouldn’t want you reading it.” Reverse psychology, of course. I assume “Treasure Island” was the shopkeeper’s favorite book.

                Also, something I’ve read about: the pressure to have kids read books about people “just like” them. Maybe it’s a mark of my privilege but I would have found books with characters “just like” me or the circle I ran in horrifically boring. (And I read to escape the upper-middle-class-wannabee-snob hell I lived in as a kid of a less-wealthy family). I wanted books that took me “somewhere else.”Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Pinky says:

              I was very lucky. I went to schools where the teachers were so good that I not only learned from the teachers who taught me, I was learning things from the teachers who were teaching my friends when we’d argue about stuff over lunch. They taught me second-hand.

              Westchester Schools, man. They were awesome.

              Now, I’d agree that we’d be well-served to get rid of Wuthering Heights from the reading list… but I hear stories about merely mediocre teachers and I find myself scratching my head, wondering where stuff went wrong.

              We have nephews who loved to read as kids but had that stomped out by teachers. We had a couple that didn’t like to read but, dammit, we found books that made them *WANT* to read. We scoured high and low for them and the day that one of them called and left a message that asked “are there any more of these?”, we made sure that he got it.

              Of course, school did a good job of making him hate reading again.

              There are a lot of stories out there about students who used to love a thing who, once they started going to school, started hating it.

              I mean, not me. Not my schools. I was born for school and I went to some of the best ones.

              But, you know, people who weren’t as privileged as I was. Am.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

                In fairness to teachers, there’s a phase that teens go through where they hate everything. You can’t blame teachers for every sullen teenage temper tantrum.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                I think the issue is that teachers teach literature in a way that, if they taught math, would be like writing some numbers on the board and saying “addition is a process by which two numbers are combined to make a third. Now that you know what addition is, add these numbers. Your grade depends on how well you can convince me that you’ve found the right answer.”Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m in academia, and trust me, a lot of us remain absolutely silent about our tv watching habits in Certain Company; I have more colleagues than I can count on one hand who crow proudly about Not Having An Idiot Box.

        I dunno. The older I get, the more I am all about “don’t snark on harmless stuff that makes other people happy, even if you don’t get it.” I like some pretty silly tv myself – watch lots of cartoons, have a deep and abiding love of “Murder, She Wrote,” in the right mood will watch the heck out of those Hallmark Christmas-themed “meet cute” movies (but ONLY the Christmas ones).

        I used to love those ridiculous ER-themed shows like “Bizarre ER” but after losing a couple people I was close to in accidents/medical stuff, I can’t watch those any more.

        But yeah. I do read too, but some nights? I just want the sound and the movement of the TV to entertain me.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk says:

          Oh, I imagine that academia is Brutal on this stuff.

          “Did you see the new Game of Thrones?”
          “Yes, well, I didn’t see it yet so thanks for the spoilers. I was watching a Hungarian documentary about the genocides that happened there between 1952 and 1978.”Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      People lie about reading because reading is valued. This isn’t hard.

      People aspire to read.Report

    • The answer is we need less and people need to read more. They need to read well too. But for some reason, watching TV is considered perfectly fine as recreational activity but reading is not.
      I do know some people who claim that “book smarts isn’t all there is” or who make fun of people who are “only book smart.” But I don’t know anyone who says that reading isn’t fine as a recreational activity. (If I do know someone like that, they haven’t disclosed their view to me.)

      As for “reading well”….I guess it’s possible you mean one (or both) of two things. One is, reading in such a way as to comprehend what one is reading. I do know people who don’t, won’t, or can’t do that–at least not consistently. Some of them have advanced degrees.

      Another meaning is, “read that which is quality and not trash.” I guess it depends on values and experience, among other things. Sometimes it’s necessary to read trash to know what isn’t trash. Frankly, sometimes materials assumed, a priori, to be trash turn out to be pretty good while other materials assumed, a priori, to be quality turn out to be something by Jonathan Franzen.Report

  6. Avatar LTL FTC says:

    Losing the Simpsons archive to a new streaming service, especially one not too focused on content for grown-ups is a big loss.

    I don’t even have any device on which to play a DVD or BluRay anymore. Yet frankly, it frightens me, given how quickly someone can be wiped from all channels by rights holders.Report

  7. Avatar North says:

    It’s gonna continue to be a great time for television watchers… for a while. But we all know this model isn’t sustainable and a whole lot of stuff is gonna go bust.Report

  8. fillyjonk fillyjonk says:

    Man, though, I remember growing up in the “watch it live or wait a whole year for it” (or “for summer re-runs”) era. That was when losing your tv privileges on a “big week” MEANT something.

    The only streaming service I have currently is Amazon Prime; that’s mainly because I wanted the fast free shipping and having streaming stuff is a plus. I have used it to run episodes of “Parks and Recreation” as background “comfort noise” (I live alone and sometimes you just want the sound of human voices). Though now I hear that’s going away once NBC gets THEIR streaming service up.

    (Though Prime did recently add the first five seasons of “Murder, She Wrote” – another favorite. Not sure how long they’ll stay on there, but I appreciate them for as long as I have them).

    Really beloved movies and the like, though, I buy dvds of, so I can watch them regardless of what streaming service owns them. Well, for at least as long as functioning dvd players exist….(I still have a few movies on VHS, despite the tv/vcr combo unit being in storage right now).

    If “The Simpsons” goes only to Disney Plus, what is FXX going to fill its evenings with? “Family Guy”?

    And yes, yes: I should read more but there are some days (especially lately) where I just come home SO wiped that it’s hard to get my brain to focus.Report

  9. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    We are dealing with the paradox of choice when it comes to entertainment. When people had too few choices because of the limits of technology and government regulation, they complained because of the lack of choices. Minority communities ranging from people of color to LGBT people to nerds were definitely underserved in the network days. Cable and now streaming gives people near unlimited choices and allows for many minority tastes to be satisfied. I can watch non-American TV shows like the Mechanism or High Seas thanks to Netflix. At the same time, there are simply too many average to great options available and people don’t have the time.Report

    • This is definitely me. I don’t watch all that much TV. Some nights it might be an hour, but many other nights it is none at all. It is rarely more, and when it is it is because I liked the previous episode enough to stay awake for another hour to see the next one. The idea of watching a show because it is the current hot thing is patently absurd. It would eat into a significant chunk of my viewing time, when I could be watching any of a huge library. Last night I watched some All Creatures Great and Small, the BBC production from 1978. The hot new thing it is not.Report