Watching US TV Shows Abroad

From SU London student Dan Kaplan’s blog.

RANDOM ABROAD THOUGHT #3: The best way to cope with a Lost addiction while abroad

Before I left for London, one of my greatest worries was not something you might expect. It wasn’t anything to do with money, or finding a place, or actually being able to (gasp) study while abroad. No, it was the fact that I’d be abroad during the final season of Lost, which has, in the last six years, established itself as one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched. (I’m not going to describe how it merits such a title here, as I’ve probably already done so with probably 75% of the people reading this, and that really isn’t the point of this post.)

I had an ill-fated attempt to re-watch all five seasons’ worth of episodes on ABC’s Web site before this season’s U.S. premiere on February 2. (Getting to London and effectively not having Internet at all for a week sort of killed any chance of that happening) In any case, I found out shortly after arriving that the UK is, in fact, quite into the show as well, and that it would air here each week on a three-day delay (Friday nights instead of Tuesdays) on Sky 1 – the independent network rival to the BBC. Score.

Now I faced a dilemma: should I wait until the Friday night airings and watch with a bunch of friends, or should I just hop on Sidereel and find a stream of it the next day?

Both sides have their merits. My roommate chose the latter, and thus not only gets his weekly satisfaction a bit earlier, but also doesn’t have to browse his Facebook pages quite as carefully during the three-day period (you never know who’s gonna post status updates related to Lost plot twists – I’ve been guilty of this a few times).

But consider how I’ve been watching it so far. On Friday nights, I trek over to my friend Jess’s place and watch the episodes with a group of eight to 10 people (six that live in her flat, plus a variable number of fellow Losties). We knock back a beer, kick back and indulge in a crowded living room for an hour – sharing the surprises, exchanging theories, and getting each others’ backs when we recognize nuances and plot twists that others don’t immediately. More importantly, there’s a sense of togetherness that I think is not only important while we’re here away from home for the next three months, but also just generally in this age of digitalization, where we’re becoming more and more antisocial and attached at the hip to our technology.

No-brainer. And I get the feeling this guy would agree with me (especially at 1:33 in).


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