Stealing My Job

Entertainment Options Broaden

I’ve always been an entertainment fanatic. I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t mesmerized by the music on the stereo and radio, the TV shows on the television, the movies at the theater, or even the celebrities that appear across all those mediums.

It certainly wasn’t a surprise to anyone when I began writing and focused that attention on entertainment, writing reviews, interviews, commentaries, etc., all about that exciting entertainment that had fascinated me all my life. In fact one of the tasks I did for the past several years was writing a «What’s Hot on TV Tonight» column. Everyone always wants to know what’s on that night.

However, with the advent of the computer age, and even more the mobile device age, my job doesn’t seem quite as necessary anymore. Sure, the reviews are always popular as you can see with our weekly iTunes Review, but what people crave now is information, and much of that can be found in apps. Besides, the choices have multiplied immensely.

Take my old «What’s Hot on TV Tonight» column for instance. There are many reasons why there ceased to be a need for that anymore. They have apps out there to tell you what’s on every channel every night. It’s just the first choice we think of when looking to know what’s on TV that night.

Some other great choices include What’s On TV, which includes all the listings in a familiar grid interface. GetGlue is a great choice that combines choices along with a social networking interface. You can chat about your favorite shows. Additionally, it follows your choices and suggests shows it thinks you may want to watch. No more channel-flipping to find something to watch.

Along with these choices, you also have individual apps that go along with your choice of satellite or cable TV system. These include Xfinity, DirectTV, Dish, and TiVo. These will help you not only see what’s on TV that night, but will also help you with individual choices of these systems, such as setting the DVR.

They’ll even allow you to watch some of these programs on your iOS device.

This brings up an interesting point. You can now watch TV on your iOS device or through Apple TV even through services like Netflix or Hulu. There are some thrifty individuals who have even decided to forego expensive cable and satellite systems and just watch TV on their iOS device, computer, or through Apple TV or even another set-top box such as an X-Box. It’s hard to tell people what’s going to be on TV that night when the choices are no longer static. While that may be what’s on TV, your choices are so much more than that.

Through Netflix and a small subscription price you can watch a variety of movies and TV series. Sure, you don’t get first run TV series or blockbuster movies that have just been released to digital, but you do get slightly older blockbuster movies, some great independent features, and past seasons of favorite TV shows. With regular free Hulu you get a choice of some full-length TV shows, but mostly clips. With the paid service there is a great choice of full-length-episodes to go along with it.

In addition to entertainment that you would find in your local theater and on your television sets, the Internet also now offers its own programming. You can find creative programming here that you’ll never find on your own television set. They are referred to as web series, with individual shows being webisodes. It’s a great way for creative individuals to get their own projects aired.

They don’t have to wait to be picked up by a major network or cable station. They can just have it aired on the Internet.

Some series have even found a resurgence this way. A few years back, the ABC network decided soap operas were a thing of the past and promptly cancelled two longstanding shows, All My Children and One Live to Live. Fans were clamoring to have their stories back, but ABC was having nothing of it. This left the Internet. The shows have made their return and can now be seen on Hulu or iTunes. And the great part about the Internet is there aren’t the same rules as with network television. These shows can now get away with being more racier to the point of even simulating oral sex in one episode.

Of course in all this, we can’t forget YouTube. Where would we be without YouTube? Anything and everything can go on YouTube, and it does. It doesn’tjust have to be used for funny clips. Just about all levels of entertainment can be found there. It’s also another breeding ground for web series. If you haven’t sat online and started looking up one thing on YouTube only to end up sitting there for hours watching a variety of clips and other programming, you don’t know how to use the Internet.

There’s no way for one person or one service to let you know every entertainment option available to you on a given night. There are too many choices. I don’t mind losing out on that job, though, because along with everyone else, I get to reap the benefits of all that programming.

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