Remember the TV show Freeks and Geeks? It was one of the best comedy-dramas I’ve ever seen. My friends and I would actually plan our Saturday nights around it, and I’m not sure if that’s a measure of how cool the show was or how dorky we were (and being in college, we didn’t have consistent access to a VCR to simply tape it). The show lasted less than a season on NBC in 1999-2000, and then had a short syndicated life on the Fox Family channel or some such cable channel.
Now there’s a campaign to release Freaks and Geeks on DVD. Join 34,000 other people and ask that this great show be released on DVD. I did.
The DVD revolution is amazing. I guess VHS did it for movies back in the 1980s, but I was too young to witness that home entertainment revolution. Now DVDs are doing the same thing for TV shows and other non-movie formats that didn’t stand a chance on VHS. I think the two strongest formats for DVD are TV shows and music/concerts. DVDs work extremely well with non-linnear programming, making them ideal for TV shows or collections of videos. The sound quality and space for extras make them ideal for media-saavy bands.
Even cancelled show The Family Guy may return to network TV, thanks to strong DVD sales. The people have spoken. How cool is that.
What’s especially interesting in all of this is the move towards on-demand, digital home entertainment. DVD collections of TV shows come close to that, allowing you to watch whatever episode you want, whenever you want. Tivo and other digital TV recorders let you ignore the TV guide and watch TV on your schedule.
It’s cool and scary to see an industry change before you eyes. Cool because I don’t have to be trained like a Pavlov dog to sit down and watch the Simpsons at 5:00 and 6:00, but scary because skipping commercials means we have to find another revenue stream (or get more creative, like the not-so-subtle product placements in TV shows).
I know it’s just TV, but I still think it’s cool to see where things go from here.
(Feb. 3, 2004 Update: Freeks and Geeks is now available on DVD, surprisingly cheaper than originally advertised)