I’ve discovered some interesting “minichannels” online, New Ellijay and Retrostrange. New Ellijay serves a local town as well as carries various shows and music. Retrostrange digs into weird films, instructional videos, and more. Both also carry old films and serials that are easy to get ahold of and broadcast due to being public domain, etc.
I find such things interesting because old and historical and odd media fascinate me. However something else struck me about watching old movies and long-ago-ended television series.
The movies will not be part of a gigantic sprawling cinematic universe that both requires a flowchart and requires you to navigate angry fans wanting a director’s cut. Oh they might get remade or something, but they’re done.
The television shows are over. They’re not going to continue forever. They’re not going to jump from streaming service to streaming service with their future uncertain. You know what you’re getting, even if it’s frustrated at a sudden stop.
(My friends who are on a Columbo marathon probably appreciate this).
Right now in an age of remakes, cinematic universes, reboots, streaming-jumping, and more knowing something is finished is a great comfort. You’re getting a certain predetermined experience then you can go on – you can even check online info to find what you’re getting into.
They’re also not being hyped.
You’re not listening to endless commentary about these old shows and films – unless you run into an obsessive fan. You’re not facing trailers of trailers to remind you of trailers. There’s no breathless news and updates about the properties dropping into your social media.
It’s refreshing to see things that aren’t being endlessly tossed against my consciousness like fastballs.
I get the other benefits of these channels and other services with older, “finished” properties. It’s not just history and culture and curiosity, it’s a lack of some very annoying elements of our culture.