Aine Ryan of The Daily Shift evaluates the benefits of watching TV online…
As the evenings are drawing in, many of us will take refuge under our duvets in front of the television. When it’s black as night at only 5pm and raining cats and dogs, it’s somewhat comforting to know that your favourite TV programmes will be waiting for you on arrival. It’s also easier to feel less guilty when you throw on your pyjamas during the ad break before the start of Coronation Street.
When I arrived in my new apartment here in Maynooth, I was relieved to discover a large television sitting on a desk in the corner of the living room. Unfortunately, I was somewhat distressed to discover that nothing appeared on the screen when I turned it on. “What am I going to do when I come home after a long day of college?”, I thought to myself. I even contemplated trying to find alternative accommodation. I could deal with a luke-warm shower or a broken microwave but not a broken telly…
Luckily enough, I had saved enough money to buy myself a laptop. Of course, the reasons for this purchase were so that I could check my e-mails and keep on top of my college work. Although these duties play pivotal roles in my daily life as a college student, I have also taken advantage of my laptop for my own personal entertainment. The absence of a television in my life from Monday to Friday is now insignificant as I now have the power and access to watch my favourite television programmes whenever I like, without having to trawl through those never-ending ad breaks.
Furthermore, I can even watch certain shows ahead of their Irish or English or even their European premier-dates. For example, instead of watching Home and Away on RTE 2 (whose episodes are about two months old), I can watch the latest episodes as they are aired in Australia. That’s pretty cool, right? (Or am I just being a nerd?)
I also find the prospect of watching TV online to be a highly motivational tool. “Should I make a start on my Irish Grammar exercises or should I try to find a website where I can watch the new season of Modern Family legally for free?” This thought crossed my mind yesterday afternoon. So, I hastily completed my Irish homework (which, by the way isn’t due for another week and a half) and I then discovered the ABC player, where I watched episodes from the new seasons of both Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy legally for free.
Some may call it a waste of time, whereas I prefer to call it a heavenly way to spend a Saturday evening. Oh and another advantage of this new ritual for me is that I have a perfectly valid excuse – I’m a Media Studies student. So when someone shouts at me to get up and do something more productive with my life, I can inform them that I have an obligation to watch a wide range of programming in order to analyse the narrative theories of Todorov, Propp, Barthes and Levi-Strauss.
That should get them off my back, plus it makes me sound like I actually know what I’m on about for once.