Ricky Gervais’ “Derek:” All binge, not enough cringe.
With so many television networks rolling out their fall seasons, ads for new and returning shows are everywhere. Depending on what magazines you read, websites you visited or subway platforms you frequented this month, you may have missed announcements for "Derek," a Netflix series that debuted last week. In keeping with Netflix current business model, all seven episodes of the series' first season became available on September 12th. "Derek" stars Ricky Gervais, who also writes and directs, as an awkward 50-ish employee at a nursing home for the elderly.
We live in a TV watcher's paradise. More and more frequently we get to choose when, where and at what pace to consume television. This is generally viewed as an improvement over having to wait for the Big 4 to dole out much-anticipated hits of "L.A. Law," "Moonlighting," or "The Cosby Show," surviving only on infuriating "on next week's episode" teasers. That said, I've started to wonder what, if any, are the effects of watching serialized storytelling indiscriminately in great, big chunks. Assuming a story is physically broken into pieces by its own creators, what is the impact -- besides alleviating the viewer's impatience -- of gulping the whole thing down in one swallow?