Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.
Last Friday, something weird happened: two different streaming services released major shows on the same day, Amazon’s A Man In The High Castle and Marvel’s Jessica Jones on Netflix. This is something that has never happened before, presumably because services like this want to garner as much buzz as possible when the show is released, just like movies take care to stagger their releases. Until now streaming shows have been released more like film than television, but I wonder if that has been a mistake. Unlike traditional television, these shows are consumed in multiple different ways. Some watch all at once right away, others stream over a longer period of time, and still others catch up with the shows years after release. So considering that, isn’t better for streaming services to embrace this fact and stop treating the release of these shows like big events that need to be consumed all at once? Instead, it is better to acknowledge that there is no right way to watch these shows, and just do what you can to get people to keep watching for years to come. It’s possible that Amazon and Netflix realize this as well, and that is why they didn’t care about releasing these shows on the exact same day. This is especially true for Amazon, who had to know they would lose the buzz war but went ahead anyhow. Figuring out metrics for streaming content is always complicated, but I hope that Amazon takes the big picture view and doesn’t worry about the fact that its show may not get the attention it deserves right away. TV (or whatever we should call these streaming shows) should do whatever it can to avoid the mistake movies make of putting all their eggs in the opening weekend basket, a state that leads to the movie disappearing from the public conversation as soon as it’s opened. This Friday head-to-head might just mean somebody in streaming has learned that lesson, making it a potential important moment in the evolution of streaming content. It’ll be fascinating to see what this means in the future.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
- TV Roulette really likes to be mean. That is why this week I enter the world of The Walking Dead. I stopped watching a long time ago, so it will be interesting to see the current state of one of the most popular shows on television. I assume there will be zombies, and also dead people.
- What’s in a hat? Now playing in The Screening Room, Kyu takes a look at Miller’s Crossing, one of the very best in the Coen brothers’ long and excellent career.
- Once again the Kraken is taking on water. No new content today, as we’re busy blowdrying all the books.
- Happy Thanksgiving!
- Nothing But Trash continues with Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid. The title certainly sounds like trash, but you know what they say, never judge a book by its cover. Then again, it sounds like “they” don’t watch anime.
- –time vortex. Nothing new today, because we’re still passing through a–
- Baturdays continue with Detective Comics #33, a very special issue. Is it special because this is the first time we see Batman’s actual origin story? Or is it special because Batman fights a “dirigible of DOOM”? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Spotlight on Blogs Past:
It turns out David also wrote things in the old blog, including this piece exploring his ambivalence toward the controversial finale of How I Met Your Mother. There was laughing, crying, and anger… a whole lot of anger.
Catch of the Week:
Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.
David: This is super obvious, but that doesn’t make this any less true. This week my recommendation is to watch the aforementioned Netflix’s Jessica Jones. It’s a dark and unique kind of superhero show, so check it out.
Kyu: Thanksgiving looms, as families across the nation prepare a sacrifice of meat to the Dreadwing Fowl. Why not relax after this year’s ritual with a good book? This week I’m recommending Steve Alten’s Meg. It’s a profoundly, adorably stupid pulp novel with just enough scientific plausibility for its ridiculous premise to work: what if, in deeper waters than we’ve ever explored, the ancient, giant predecessor shark Carcharodon megalodon survives to the modern day–and what if it found a way to surface? A wonderfully melodramatic adventure story, Meg is like a really fun monster movie, or a Michael Crichton novel without all the moralizing. 1997 called to say the airport bookstore is holding a copy for you.
Keskel: This week I recommend Look Around You, the British television parody of all the educational videos that you used to watch in middle school science class. As a bonus, Edgar Wright (yes, that Edgar Wright) plays a mute scientist.
That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. If you find an intruder, stay calm and look to see if there’s maybe a whirlpool around you can push them into. Take care not to fall in yourself; all drains lead back to the Kraken, but not a part of him you’d like.