How I Watch Films and Television

This is how I do it. I am not saying that my way is the only way.

Sleep is my favorite thing in life. Second is watching a film in a theater on film (although almost every theater shows films only digitally now) on a really big screen with great sound and a big audience as long as they are off their cellphones and not talking. I like to sit as close to the middle of the row as I can. Most of the time I do not like to eat anything, and I usually drink only water. The top two reasons I usually want to see a film are: 1. the director and 2. good reviews. There are over 100 living directors whose new films I want to see in theaters regardless of plot, subject matter, reviews, or actors. If these directors remade City Lights, my favorite film of all time, starring Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, I would still see it. If a film has multiple reviews on Metacritic and has a rating in the red (39 or under), I almost certainly will not see it unless it has a director I am a completist about. I try and watch the original versions of films and TV series before the remakes and sequels. I say I try and read the source material (novel, novella, short story, graphic novel) before seeing the films and TV series they are based on, but I often do not. The only films ever made that I refuse to see are The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the 2003 Michael Bay-produced remake; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning; and Texas Chainsaw 3D. I keep a list of every film I have seen, and I have seen over 3000 feature theatrical films.

At my apartment I have a widescreen television with surround sound and a region free Blu-ray player. I have Netflix (streaming and through the mail), Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and Starz. I own a few hundred films and TV series on Blu-ray and DVD. I do not buy DVDs anymore, just Blu-rays, unless I cannot legally rent or stream the films or TV series. I have never illegally downloaded a film or TV series. I do not even know how to, and I would never do that. It is illegal and immoral. I will not watch a film or TV series on DVD if I can get a Blu-ray of it or stream it in HD. I rarely buy a film or TV series that I have not seen, unless it is a classic or by a director I really admire, and I know I want to have it even if I end up not liking it.

I would never watch a film or TV series unless it is in the correct aspect ratio and completely uncut and commercial free. Even some of the cable channels show films not in full widescreen. I will only watch a film or TV episode if I can watch it in its entirety in one sitting. Films and TV episodes should not be broken up. I have never walked out of a film in theaters or not finished a film. When watching a film or TV series, I turn off all my lights, and I always completely silence my phone and do not look at it. If anyone watches a film or TV series using an electronic device, he or she has not seen the film or TV series. The person has been using a device while a film or TV series has been playing. Since I have my widescreen television, I have no reason to ever watch a film on anything smaller. I have never watched a film or TV series on a computer or phone, and I never will.

If I watch a TV series, I watch it in order, spreading out the episodes by at least a day. I never watch more one than one episode on the same day unless two aired back-to-back originally. I do not like binge-watching series. I never watch a TV series unless I can fast forward through the commercials. I have never seen a reality TV series outside of a class, and I have no desire to see any. I have never seen a TV drama series that premiered before 1990. I am watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Hill Street Blues now though. The only TV dramas that I have seen that premiered before 2006, when Big Love did, are the original Twin Peaks and the British House of Cards, which both premiered in 1990. I want to see more.


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