Suffering from a case of TV FOMO

23:45, Jul 17 2013

I'm going to have to acquire Orange Is the New Black somehow.

Created by Jenji Kohan - the brilliant mind behind the underrated (in hindsight) show Weeds - Orange is the latest offering from Netflix, following House of Cards, Hemlock Grove and the fourth season of Arrested Development. Every episode was made available simultaneously last Friday.

The show follows Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) during her time in a women's prison, as she struggles with doing time and trying to keep her engagement to writer Larry (played by Jason Biggs) alive.

Critics love it: Alan Sepinwall says "it evokes "Oz" in a very, very good way: it doesn't feel quite like anything that's been put on television (if we're still calling Netflix 'television') before," and Tim Goodman thinks it "constantly offers more than you expect, and even when it delivers something either predictable or straight from the 'women's prison drama' handbook, it then counters with something fresh or unexpected".

Meanwhile, Maureen Ryan calls it "one of the best new programmes of the year, and the six episodes I've seen have left me hungry to see more". It holds a score of 80 on Metacritic.

But it isn't those critical opinions that are making me think about acquiring the show and devouring it in one or two sittings (as one is inclined to do with these Netflix releases). The real reason I'm going to have to acquire Orange is that people I actually know and love are talking about it, recommending it, and singing its praises.


I've got a case of TV FOMO: fear of missing out on a television show.

Maybe I'm over-cautious because it has happened to me in the past. People were telling me how good True Blood was back when it started, and I didn't listen. "A vampire love story," I would dismissively say. "How could that be a good television show?!" Sure enough, I ended up binge-watching the first season to catch up. I loved it.*

It happened with Battlestar Galactica, too. Amid all the discussion around the ending of Season 4, I watched every episode in less than a month - mostly so I could take part in discussions happening around the internet. Sure, I was a little late to the party. But at least I got there eventually.

TV FOMO doesn't usually inform my viewing these days. It's rare that a show slips through my nets before I've at least seen a trailer, or watched an episode or two. But I've got that FOMO-feeling now, with Orange Is the New Black. It's more than just a case of "hey, new show, I should watch that". I'm more concerned that people will be talking about Orange as one of the best shows of the year, and I'll be shrugging, saying "no, I haven't seen it".

Acquiring the show is a little tricky, too, since the only way to do so is via unorthodox or illegal means. We've discussed those methods at length on the blog, so I won't get into it now. Orange might cause some people to take the risk, given there has been no sign from any local network that Netflix shows will make their way to NZ.

Anyway, for today's blog, I'm interested to know if fear of missing out, if TV FOMO, has caused you to acquire and watch a show - and if it has, do you think it was worth the time and effort. So, over to you ...

Have you ever been affected by TV FOMO when making a viewing choice? And if you've seen Orange Is the New Black, give us your SPOILER FREE review, below.

(*) Now, of course, True Blood actually isn't a good television show. Season 6's only saving grace is Arliss Howard, who plays the over-the-top governor of Louisiana, Truman Burrell. I love that guy!

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