You are hereMatt’s Rantbox: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Matt’s Rantbox: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Or: TV Shows on the Internet, in General
If you’re anything like me, then I’m sure you have a pretty busy schedule, a schedule that’s often changing and is sometimes a bit unpredictable (a schedule that often makes it such that you don’t get the chance to write the weekly column that you’re supposed to do… heh, sorry). But this Rantbox is not a weak excuse for me having missed the last week or two of updates. No, this Rantbox is about TV on the internet.
Now, it’s been a bit of a ritual of mine to sit down on Thursday nights and watch 2 ½ hours of TV, starting with Community on NBC and ending with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FX (recently that’s been cut down to just 2 hours with a half hour break, since Outsourced is probably one of the worst TV shows of all time (but that’s a rant for another day)). Now, keep in mind that I started this Rantbox talking about how my schedule is busy and often changing.
This means that, on occasion, I don’t get the chance to sit down and actually watch these shows when they air. Now, that’s just fine because, at least for the shows on NBC, I have more than ample opportunity to watch them online. I can go on Hulu, or I can even go straight to the source and watch them on nbc.com. Unfortunately, this is not the case with It’s Always Sunny.
If you miss an episode of It’s Always Sunny, you better be prepared to wait 30 days before you can see it, because that’s the wait time between when an episode airs and when it shows up on Hulu. For those of you wondering, episodes of just about every other show on Hulu go up the day after they air. In Internet time, entire memes can rise and fall in the span of 30 days.
At least the episodes go up on the web eventually. For those of you who tuned in to last Sunday’s airing of The Walking Dead, I hope you enjoyed it, because I unfortunately was too busy at the time to catch it. In my desperate attempt to actually see a show that I cared about and that I’ve heard is really good, I looked on both Hulu and the official AMC website, and yet couldn’t find the episode there, nor could I find any hint that either site planned on ever having any of the episodes for the show online.
This presents a problem for me. I’d like to watch the show on a consistent basis, but without having seen the first episode, I can’t bring myself to try and figure out what’s going on in the next one. This show in particular is a bit of a special case, since I’ve read the comic and therefore have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on. But still, I don’t want to start the show from the second episode.
Of course, those who would be quick to argue against me might point out that both these shows (It’s Always Sunny and Walking Dead) are on basic cable, something that people have to pay for, as opposed to NBC which is (in theory) a free channel. To those people I gladly point to Adult Swim.
My other TV show mainstays have been Metalocalypse and Venture Bros. Now, these shows are both on after midnight on Sunday, not exactly the most opportune time for a TV show. Adult Swim, however, is smart enough to put both these shows online the day after they air. It’s because of this that I’ve actually been able to keep up with them, actually.
Adult Swim is, of course, not a “free channel,” and yet they manage to have their shows up on the internet for the viewing pleasure of everyone. While I hate to pull the whole “if this company can do it, why can’t that company?” line, I have to wonder whether or not shows like Arrested Development would have been cancelled so fast if viewers were given the opportunity to catch episodes they missed online.
In the end, the Internet isn’t a strange new medium that is brand new and confusing. It’s something that’s been around for a while now, and the fact that some TV networks haven’t figured out how to properly utilize it is a shame. If networks like FX and AMC don’t get their acts together soon, they’re going to start losing viewers to their competitors. More importantly, the viewers are going to start losing shows that they enjoy.
I’ve already missed the first episode of The Walking Dead, and without an opportunity to actually watch it, I have very little incentive to watch the second episode, and by extension, the rest of the season. It’s a show I’d like to see last longer than one season, and everyone know without me a show can't survive more than one season. That’s why I’m so upset that I don’t have the opportunity to actually watch the pilot episode. Well, unless I want to illegally download it.
See, now I don't even have time to finish talking about It's Always Sunny. That's how busy my schedule is. I mean, I have to update my Twitter account... which you can follow for Rantbox updates, or if you just want to know when I'm eating delicious nachoes.
UPDATE: Hulu now has the season premiere of The Walking Dead streaming online, but only until Nov. 23, and according to the show's Hulu page, "Additional episodes will not be available for streaming on Hulu."