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Movies & TV

23rd Mar 2017

How box set culture introduced a golden age of television


Brought to you by Sky Box Sets.

We’re living in a box set era.

Television has come a long way. Over the last 20 years, TV has evolved from a disposable medium into a bona fide art form.

Who could argue that a series of The Sopranos is as good as anything you’d see in the cinema?

We’re now living in a golden age of television. Never before have we been treated to such a constant stream of high quality television shows. When we aren’t keeping up to date with a new show, we’re catching up on a classic series on the likes of Sky Box Sets.

So how did we get here?

The emergence of the box set

20 years ago, people would start watching TV shows in the middle of a series and just work out what was going on. It was either that or wait for it to be repeated.

Shows like Oz, The West Wing and Boardwalk Empire boasted higher production values, great writing and stellar casts and turned TV shows into something people wanted to own.

Box sets gave these quality TV shows a second life and helped them to escape the schedule. They also created a new audience that wanted to watch television in a different way.

Box sets are designed for binge-watching

Serialised dramas like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones are structured to make you want to watch “one more” episode. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger and each season ramps up towards a season finale.

We’re always chasing the next episode or series and the industry is now producing more scripted TV shows than ever to feed this insatiable demand.

Television is more inventive than cinema

More and more films are playing it safe with predictable reboots, sequels or other franchise spin-offs. TV can still tell weird or original stories and experiment with genres, knowing that a show can still find an audience even after it is originally aired.

It’s now normal to see movie stars like Paul Giamatti in Billions, James Spader in the Blacklist, Kerry Washington in Scandal or Michael Gambon in Fortitude. Big stars are migrating to TV because long-form storytelling gives a character plenty of room to grow and develop. And that makes actors look good.

Box sets suit our busy lives

We live in an “on demand” era, where people want to watch shows in their own time. Online players like Sky Go let people watch TV back when it suits them and Sky Box Sets allows people to catch up on classic series.

Appointment watching is a thing of the past.

It’s all about watching what you want when you want, whether that’s a comedy like Veep or a tense drama like The Affair or the political machinations of Madam Secretary. People lead busy lives and technology lets us build our entertainment around our down time.

We now watch TV shows on iPads, on our phones and on our laptops. Television is everywhere and nowhere. It’s digital, wireless and endless. And all the signs are that it’s only going to get bigger.

You can enjoy unmissable shows like Billions, The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire on Sky Box Sets now. With over 350 box sets, there’s something for everyone. Plus, for a limited time only Sky Customers can get a great Sky Box Set offer when they upgrade to Sky Box Sets before 30 March. Visit the Sky website for more information. 

Brought to you by Sky Box Sets.

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