Friday, May 2, 2014

Nielsen releases an infographic that lists how much of your life you've wasted watching Sheriff Rick brood in a spotty Southern accent

The Rickster
Nielsen is an evil company. Because broadcast networks still rely on Nielsen's horribly outdated ratings diary system for deciding which shows to cancel instead of measuring a show's popularity on streaming video services (which are where viewers like me prefer to access shows these days), a lot of shows I like that were more popular with viewers at streaming video services than with Nielsen families have been cancelled.

I'm still not over ABC's cancellation of the hilarious but low-rated Happy Endings (which starred Damon Wayans Jr., who might end up edging out Elisha Cuthbert as the most well-known name from that show if his upcoming--and promising-looking--hard-R comedy Let's Be Cops becomes a hit). I resent Nielsen so much for its role in the cancellation of so many great shows that when I attended V3con in L.A. last year and was handed a goodie bag containing a free T-shirt from one of V3con's 2013 sponsors, which happened to be Nielsen, I felt like tossing the Nielsen tee into the garbage. It's currently lying in a pile of clothes I've set aside for Goodwill.

But they're sisters, identical sisters all the way!
Orphan Black
Occasionally, Nielsen does something that's actually beneficial to the public, like posting an infographic that displays how much time viewers would spend watching the entire runs of shows like The Walking Dead, 24 and "¡Escandalo!" (Sherlock takes up the least amount of time, of course, because it produces only three 90-minute episodes per season or series). It's an interesting chart--although I wish it would include Orphan Black, the most recent show I Netflixed from start to finish--and it's quite useful for someone like me who hasn't watched a single episode of House of Cards and wants to know how much time it would take to stream both seasons of House of Cards on Netflix.

But I still dislike Nielsen. For example, in the infographic, they use the term "binge-watch" to try to be hip. I hate that term. Along with terms like "shippers," "squee," "bromance," "amazeballs," "the feels" and "reverse racism," "binge-watching" should be taken out back and shot and then buried in a ditch. "Binge-watching" makes watching TV sound like an eating disorder. I prefer the term "marathoning" because it sounds more proactive, and it makes you feel like you've accomplished something special, like sitting through three days and two hours of Ted Mosby's obnoxiousness without strangling somebody.

6 days and 2 hours of the show 24 = 6 days and 2 hours of Dick Cheney having an orgasm, the most disgusting image I've ever slipped into these alt attributes.
Who are these nutcases who like to "binge-watch" things? Ingesting an entire season in one sitting is crazy. Even after two episodes, I start to get antsy. Three is my limit for a marathon, whether those three episodes are from a half-hour comedy or an hour-long drama. To get caught up on Orphan Black in time for its season premiere, I marathoned its first season on a disc-by-disc basis over the course of one week, and I found the three-or-four-eps-per-disc marathoning pattern to be perfect and not-so-exhausting.

Next, I'd like Nielsen to post an infographic on marathoning really old ABC sitcoms like Family Matters and Mr. Belvedere, an atrocious show that comedian Ken Reid reveals himself to be an expert on--I never knew about the Belvedere writing staff's bizarre fixation on rape--during Hari Kondabolu's entertaining guest shot on Reid's podcast TV Guidance Counselor. Would sitting through Belvedere's overly preachy Very Special Episodes about date rape or AIDS be a two-day ordeal or a three-day ordeal? (And who knew that one of the most progressive stand-ups of color around is also a Perfect Strangers/Family Matters nerd? There are side characters from Family Matters whom Kondabolu brings up that I never knew existed. I didn't realize that there are layers to the Urkelverse that rival the layers of the Tommy Westphall Universe.)

I'd also like to see an infographic that looks at when viewers start to lose their patience while marathoning the one-hour Republican Party commercial for the torture of suspected criminals that was 24. I've been wondering if more viewers start yawning when the cougar shows up or when the show runs out of people for Jack to torture and decides that "Hey, let's have him torture his own younger brother! That should be amazeballs!"

Original score cues from Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica and The Wire, which are among the shows listed in the Nielsen infographic, can be heard during "AFOS Prime" on AFOS. Two of those cues are "Balls in the Air," an original David Schwartz/Gabriel Mann song from Arrested Development, and "The Fall," Blake Leyh's end title theme from The Wire.

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