opening night

we gotta standardize

Thanks to the internet, things that once premiered in movie theaters or on primetime television slots now appear whenever the hell they want. This is terrible.

The situation has only been exacerbated by the pandemic, which shut down movie theaters completely, and now some of them are open but few people are stupid/selfish enough to go. (Full disclosure: I got bored and drove to Greenwich to see Tenet in the middle of the week during the day last September. There were maybe three other people in the theater and I ate a box of terrible, melted Milk Duds that had clearly been sitting in a hot environment for six months). When movies came out in theaters, they used to premiere at midnight on Friday. At some point, the theaters said, “Screw it, let’s open at 7 p.m. on a Thursday.”

Regardless, it was fun to wait for a specific time that a thing would become available to you. You felt like you were getting in on the ground floor, like you were a part of something.

I have no idea when anything premieres now. Every streaming service is nice enough to provide a date for when something might become available, but that’s about as detailed as they get, and all of the services are different. The only one that seems to get it right is Apple TV+, whose new episodes go live at Friday midnight, East Coast time. I guess music-wise, Spotify also gets this right (I don’t use other music services, maybe they all get it right).

This is the correct time for something to go live: If it’s midnight the day that something comes out, I should be able to — I hate to use this phrase — consume the content.

There are a lot of serious problems I also care about but this is the dumbest, most frivolous pandemic-related thing that has started to piss me off. Services like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+, as far as I can tell, operate on West Coast time, so new stuff shows up at 3 a.m. on Fridays. I am asleep at this time. Having episodes and movies go live when I am asleep is a great way to get me to not give something my full attention. I am not a huge fan of The Mandalorian generally, and I am even less of a fan when I’m watching it at 11:14 a.m. with a cup of coffee, having already scrolled past countless oblique headlines and tweets about whatever happened on it.

I should be able to enjoy a premiere at night! I should get to watch something on opening night and then go to sleep immediately after. This is the normal sequence of events. There should not be a tension between wanting to watch something at night, which used to be when I saw new movies, and watching something immediately. Instead, every week now, I have situations like the one I had today, which I spent thinking to myself, “Do I have time to watch Nomadland before my haircut or should I save it for later?”

I know this is nuts when I say it out loud and even when I don’t say it out loud — a real champagne problem if there ever was one. I just think that all of these services are doing themselves a disservice by having their marquee products launch when much of the country is asleep.

a thing I can’t stop thinking about

We love the crab rave!


Thank you for reading BNet. Unfortunately, I do very much want the limited edition Zelda Joy-Cons.