I like imagining Jamie Dornan – you can anticipate a complete shutdown there, but keep going – having the same issues the rest of us have over Christmas, wanting to turn off for a second and therefore turn on the television.
Maybe he too spent time staring at a hectic page on a streaming service, wondering for so long what to watch that scrolling became activity and then it was time to go to bed, the evening having been filled by an endless click of the down button, interrupted only by arguments about whether the wolf of Wall Street Where Dark zero thirty is more festive or should we make a Girls5eva or three instead? (The answer is always yes.)
In an interview with the Radio schedules, Dornan noted that viewers are “spoiled for choice” these days, and it’s always easy to quickly drop a new series and move on to the next. âWhat I think is a little dangerous,â he said, arguing that it’s often worth giving something or more than one episode a chance.
It reminded me Succession, of course he did, which in his first season was far from the ubiquitous staple he has become. I had heard it was “slow”, postponed, until I didn’t do it anymore. The new BBC adaptation Around the world in 80 days is a certifiable slow starter, but he’s improving and hopefully viewers will offer him their patience.
They don’t have to, of course. There is an avalanche of choice, although that in itself can be overwhelming, which, admittedly, is a savage indulgence to complain about. This is the “my diamond shoes are too tight” complaints, to borrow a line from Friends, which has pumped its own popularity by using the streaming air pump and remains as popular as it was when it first appeared, if not much more. Which makes me wonder if the sheer number of shows we have to choose from brings many viewers back to old familiars or comfortable viewing.
Certainly, it seems that older shows are still popular. Netflix reports that Salisbury poisonings, Downton abbey and Ackley Bridge have been among its most-watched series in recent weeks, although it’s impossible to know if viewers are re-watching or finding out for the first time. Is it the fact that they are known by nature, already tested on audiences, which makes them an easier choice? It’s hard to say. But Dornan is right: our already stretched attention span is getting shorter and shorter. If we demand instant gratification from television, it will lead to eager-to-please television and that is rarely a good thing.
Abba: vinyl is on the road, but not for new artists
The great vinyl renaissance shows no signs of stopping. The UK phonographic industry has estimated that over 5 million vinyl records were purchased in the UK in 2021, which is almost one in four album purchases, the highest proportion since 1990. Abba’s Trip is on its way to being the best-selling vinyl of the year, followed by Adele, Fleetwood Mac, Ed Sheeran and Amy Winehouse.
It’s a fun old list, a mishmash of huge stars, suggesting the decline of this image of the cashier sifting through rare cuts in a dusty old store, claiming that vinyl’s popularity is based on pop. It also indicates the collapse of distinct musical eras. Over Christmas I watched my young niece and nephew dance to their favorite songs, uploaded to YouTube, one after another, and it was an odyssey through the decades that came to a head with the anthem of Shakira’s 2010 World Cup, Waka Waka. It was a concoction of everything from the early days of pop to its present day and wasn’t particularly shaped by the times they live in.
For smaller, newer artists, however, who rely much more on income from record sales for any hope of survival, vinyl production last year was difficult, if not impossible, due to a lack of infrastructure. supply chain issues. and the simple domination of the big guns at the top, which swallowed up production capacity. A new factory, Press On Vinyl, is about to open in Middlesbrough and one can only hope that the appetite for vinyl will lead to more places capable of making it.
Sally Rooney: 4.7 million panel is indeed a prize
I have a terrible habit of hiding on the Internet rather than getting involved in it. I do this on Reddit as I had to delete the app because it was filling up all the time I saved by deleting the Facebook app and then Twitter. But my favorite place to hide is Goodreads, where readers sometimes leave incredibly honest and incredibly thoughtful reviews of the books they’ve read.
Its users have just voted for their favorite books of 2021, offering the novel by Sally Rooney Beautiful people, where are you the prize for the best fiction.
Her novelist character Alice would, I’m sure, take the price, but feel awfully bad about it. Forget all those literary panels of six, with a winner here and an academic there. That’s the real deal, a voting panel of over 4.7 million readers who really know their stuff.
Whenever I’ve finished a novel (never before it’s full of spoilers), I check with Goodreads to see how much people liked it or not, and I always feel a little bit overwhelmed if something that I loved being clubbed. I love the site so much that I know it now: I will never, ever be able to download the app.