Reign and the Joys of Communal TV Watching

Recently, this piece on Slate talked about the rise of “viewing parties”, screening TV shows with a community of like-minded fans. It seems strange to me that this is considered a “new” thing and I don’t totally buy into it. Nor do I buy into the notion that television viewing has become more solitary with the rise of Netflix and the DVR. It has changed “appointment viewing”, sure, and the way we view communally (see the explosion of tweets when a particularly popular show is on) but I don’t think viewing has become more solitary. In fact, traditionally, I think TV viewing was always considered fairly communal and family-centered. Or, at least that’s what I gather from watching The Wonder Years. Continue reading