Watch along

People watch a lot of TV every day. They come home, make a little something to eat and plop down on the couch to get some passive entertainment. For hours on end.

I looked up the TV viewing numbers for some countries, and for most people, it would not be difficult to fit a movie into their viewing time every day. And it could be quite a long one.

This makes me freak out a whole lot less about committing to so much passive screen time every day for a year, and it makes me feel a lot better about my existing  TV habits. It also makes it less difficult to ask others to participate in this movie experiment. If you’re gonna watch a lot of TV anyway, why not do it in a slightly constructive manner?

I made a map that shows average minutes of watching TV each day for some countries across the globe. The lowest number is from Moldova with 110 minutes of TV each day, and the highest number is from Saudi Arabia with 409 minutes a day. These numbers do not include online TV, streaming and so on, so the numbers are probably quite a bit higher in reality.


Sources for the map: Media consumption forecast 2015 and List of countries by population. Hover over each country to get the numbers.

The countries with viewing numbers on that map contains approximately 67% of the worlds population, and on average the people in these countries watch 175 minutes, or nearly three hours, of TV each day. Most movies will fit in to that time very well, so it should not take away a lot of extra time for most people to watch a movie instead of their regular TV programs.

And so, for many, taking part in my little experiment would be a simple shift in what is viewed, and not for how long they view.

In short, my experiment is to watch a movie every day for a year. The movies are a mixture of critics favorites and audience hits. And the question I try to answer with the experiment is will this diet of the finest movies (or prime cuts to make the bad pun) make a change in my taste of movies?

And so can you.

Here is a bit more about how to participate, if you want to do that.


More details about each of these steps

Step 1 – How long to participate in the experiment and how much of the movies to see.

The full length of the experiment for me is a year, but that might not be convenient for others. Maybe six months or three months are better. It is easiest for me to tally up any results in the end if the participation is divided into quarters, but I guess I can handle anything. As long as the other steps are followed as well.

How much to participate in the experiment is completely optional as well. You can choose any system that in some way more or less randomly chooses between the audience favorites and the critically acclaimed movies, and the ones that fall in both categories. Some possibilities are:

  • watch the movies that are scheduled for Tuesdays
  • watch the movies that came out after you were born
  • watch the movies you have not seen
  • watch all the 365 movies
  • watch the movies that are in a language you speak

Choose a system of some kind, and stick to it. (As best you can.)

Step 2 – Make some initial notes.

Note down your system for watching movies and for how long you will participate. Also note down if you have any connection to the movie industry or are a movie critic. It would also be nice if you wrote down your expectations for what it would be like to participate and if you have any preconceived notions on what the result will be. Do you believe your taste will as a result of this experiment, or are you genuinely not have any idea about the outcome for you?

Step 3 – Watch the movies

Then comes the, hopefully, fun part. Watch the movies and note down what you honestly thought about them. Make the note here on my blog, or anywhere else you want. Just write down enough so that you later can go back and see  whether your opinion has changed.

Or you can write a whole captain’s log, like me.

Step 4 – Quarterly review of taste

At the end of every three month period, it would be nice to see if, and then maybe how much, anyone’s taste in movies have changed.

Step 5 – End of year review

Finally comes the end review where you more thoroughly go through what you thought of every movie you saw, and note down how right that is now.

Easy peasy.

Or you can just follow along here on the blog and see if my taste changes at all.

After the twelve months I will go through all the end of year reviews, or maybe it will just be mine, and see what effect the experiment has had, if any.

Picture at the top of the post is of a postcard showing Movies “Over the Waves” at Lumina, Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington, N.C. in 1926.

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