Earlier this week, I took the time to reflect a bit on Internet monolith Amazon's attempt at branching out into the world of original video content, reviewing a batch of comedy pilots that they released.
As I said, surprisingly, they were generally not-terrible - all had at least some redeeming qualities (though given the production values most of them had, they had better be good), even the disappointingly-putrid Onion News Empire.
But really, Amazon is hopping on the bandwagon here, following the likes of competitors Netflix (which has thus far turned out the political drama House of Cards; horror-master Eli Roth's Hemlock Grove; and the highly-anticipated return of the beloved early '00s comedy Arrested Development) and Hulu (who has the exclusive rights to foreign series that would not otherwise be shown stateside, as well as a select few original series).
But really, even those are following the webseries trend that was made mainstream by the success of machinimas (videos created using video games) such as Red Vs. Blue, interactive series such as lonelygirl15, and Joss Whedon's astoundingly popular musical Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.
Streaming video is growing more and more popular each day, to the point that analysts believe that streaming video might kill advertising revenues for TV networks.
As far as content goes, the major networks tend to hitching their wagons to crap - reality shows, plagues of singing competitions, mind-numbingly stupid comedies - while displacing programs with semblance of quality and originality (NBC's Community and Awake spring to mind, as recent examples) and dragging other shows past their useful life (CBS's How I Met Your Mother).
The Internet, for all its faults and foibles, tends to be a meritocracy - good things stick around; bad things go the way of MySpace. Sure, there's the occasional outlier (don't Google the phrase "Annoying Orange," for your own sake), but the cream generally rises.
Web content is the future for TV networks - and increasingly, the present for media consumption. Don't get left behind.
The Week On Our Blogs
On The Range, we read Gabrielle Giffords' response to the defeat of the background check compromise; broke the news about Pizzeria Bianco coming to Tucson; watched a documentary featuring the world's oldest gay, Canadian rapper; wondered if we could get into shape for skin-tight Star Wars bodysuits in time for Cromicon; considered "weed sauce"; reminded you to vote for your Best of Tucson® nominees; laughed at how awful the week was; complained about Mad Men; and more!
On We Got Cactus, we reflected on the family-friendly(ish) trashiness of Country Thunder; started checking into ticket availability for next year's edition of the state's largest country-music showcase; got a taste of the soundtrack for The Great Gatsby; watched the new Macklemore and Ryan Lewis music video; and more!
Comment of the Week
"I think the decision by Chris Bianco to locate a new Pizzeria Bianco restaurant in Tucson is great. Unfortunately, as others have commented, the mega-student housing buildings that are increasingly changing the view and the composition of the downtown area are troubling. Does Tucson really want the downtown to become a monoculture of college students and little else?" - TucsonWeekly.com commenter JCC, airing concerns about the changing culture of downtown Tucson ("Editor's Note," Opinion, April 18).
Best of WWW
Apparently, people are really excited about Chris Bianco's forthcoming downtown pizza joint, Pizzeria Bianco. It caused the kind of stir not seen on our site in quite some time - and rightfully so, as editor Dan Gibson would have you believe.
Bianco's highly-touted (for good reason) pizza is an indicator of the way downtown is growing, and not the only one: Diablo Burger, Saint House, Tap & Bottle and so, so many more businesses are opening in the coming weeks and months, not to mention the recent openings that we've already seen. Now's a good time to be downtown - and if you've got ideas on anything that you think should be highlighted, we're glad to hear 'em.