Tonight is the premiere of the third season of Weeds. I’m a huge fan of the show. And, no, it’s not just because Mary-Louise Parker is the sexiest mom in America west of my backyard. That helps. But it is a brilliantly over-the-top portrait of the ills of suburbia and the pressures of families. And the cast is stellar. I inhale every episode. (Sorry.)
But I don’t watch Weeds on Showtime. My cable system’s deal for getting the channel is ridiculously priced and so I missed out — until I watched it via iTunes. And I ended up buying every episode of the first two seasons: $1.99 each.
This season, because I’d blogged my affection for the show, Showtime let me watch the first episode on the web — and it has opened this up to other “insiders” (all you have to do is register, I think). They also sent me the next three episodes and a nice little schwag garden bag I’d give to my daughter of it didn’t says WEEDS on the side. And now I’ve watched them all. Sucked them right up.
Only problem is, now I’ll have to wait a very, very long time for the rest of the season — until it is off Showtime and some contractual time has passed and it finally shows up in iTunes.
Damn. This is no way to run an industry based on popularity. If I’m willing to pay for the show, I should be able to watch it now.
I was thinking about this the other day when I saw other cable shows — free cable shows — advertised on my subway. I might want to watch some of them. But there’s not much of a chance that I’ll even go to the trouble of telling my TiVo to record them. And I certainly will never shedule my life around them. But I’d still watch them, if only I could watch them on my schedule.
All TV should be on demand. If you can charge and get money, fine. If you can charge for watching early and get money, fine. If you just want to expand your audience, great.
But TV networks are horribly inefficient means of distribution from our side of the equation.
I want my fix of Weeds and I want it now. What a silly industry it is the denies me this pleasure. Even drug dealers are smarter.