Sunday, January 29, 2017

Core Post #2 (for Week 4 Readings)

Like Alia, I was also most intrigued by Tania Modleski’s “The Rhythm of Reception.” The relationship between housewives and daytime television. Modleski considers Raymond Williams’ idea of flow and connects it to the flow of housework: namely that what the housewife was doing and how she was doing it influenced the daytime programming. An example Modleski uses is the housewife’s need to read her husband’s mind about what he wants and how that is mirrored in game shows which ask audiences to call in with predictions about poll results (69) or how television programs assumed that the housewife would be distracted at some points and would thus repeat important plot elements multiple times (71).

Modleski’s connection between daytime television flow and the housewife got me thinking about whether this similar kind of connection exists somewhere now. The only one I can think of is the way I personally watch television (sometimes). Now that streaming services allow us to binge watch shows, I wondered if a similar symbiosis existed and I feel like it does. When I’m doing reading or an assignment for a class I usually have something from Netflix playing in the background. Like the housewife, the continuous flow of Netflix keeps me company during the constant flow of work but unlike the interruptions of plot and commercials in daytime television, bingeing is continuous. Though such a supposition is tenuous, I would consider that fewer and fewer people tend to work strict 9 to 5 jobs and instead free-lance or have multiple part-time gigs, thus there is less strict blocks of work and leisure. And in some ways, Netflix has adapted to this type of viewing style. The distracted housewife and the repetition of important plot points has been reincarnated as Netflix skipping the title sequence of a show once you start bingeing it. The flow has changed for people who watch television differently.  

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