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A Week in the Life of a Pop-Culture/Multimedia Junkie

10 Oct, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Studio executives, marketers and Web site purveyors have been talking a lot lately about how different the universe for entertainment content is becoming.

The thought is that no two consumers will follow the same pattern for consuming the entertainment they love, even if it's the same product. And one consumer's habits will vary infinitely depending on the content, the day of the week, the time of day, their mood, etc.

I took that idea to heart and decided to keep track of my own entertainment media experiences for a week. Come along, follow the links, live in my world for a few moments, and yes, while you're at it you may want to abandon all hope.

This is my entertainment-consumption diary for a week of my life. We begin with Tuesday, classic new media street date day.


TUESDAY OCT 3:

Scoured the weekly Sunday newspaper circulars and happily discovered a low-price battle for the much-anticipated sophomore release Sam's Town from Las Vegas power-alt group The Killers. Circuit City had the lowest price of $8.99 and a free video download to boot. Sold. On lunch break, headed to the location across the street. It's been a while since I've been in a Circuit City. The red box store is not a favorite of mine and with a Best Buy, Frys, two Targets, one Wal-Mart, a Borders, a Barnes & Noble, an F.Y.E and a great Tower (R.I.P sweet music haven) within a mile of my office, it's easy to avoid.

This store, however, is in the throes of a very pleasing d?cor and merchandising overhaul. It was the most pleasant shopping experience I've had at this retailer in some time. I grabbed my CD off the new-release display and spent the better part of half an hour just browsing through the massive DVD aisles, surprised at the huge, diverse and affordable movie and TV collection.

Popped the CD in the player back at the office and identified three songs with potential to become part of my regular rotation.

Mostly though, Sam's Town made me miss Hot Fuss, which I immediately listened to two times in succession on my iPod once the new album ended on the stereo. (UPDATE: As of a week later, I still have not downloaded the video freebie/Circuit City exclusive that in part led to my retailer-purchase decision).

Missed the second episode of new NBC show "Heroes" last night so I downloaded it from iTunes to catch up and watched it before the round of tonight's new shows began. (Yes my TV obsessions take planning.) Ohhh … I think Hiro might be my "hero."


WEDNESDAY OCT: 4

New epi of "Gilmore Girls" and season premiere of "Veronica Mars" on the new CW last night. I am digging the new CW; it allows me to indulge in the fantasy that I am actually 15 years younger than my birth date would imply. I also love the CW Web site and have been relying on it for scheduling info for the new network and other fun tidbits.

Pixie-like P.I. Veronica made a cute quip last night with this phrase: "Boom goes the dynamite," when busting the baddie of the week. Now, considering I am no novice to the quirks of ("VM" creator) Rob Thomas, I felt certain there was more to this clever bit of dialogue than four words on the page.

Sure enough, thanks to a quick Google search this morning, I found this on YouTube. Poor kid. Lucky we who get to point and laugh at his misery.

I hear from a friend the previous night's "The Word" segment alone on Comedy Central's (which I don't have) "The Colbert Report" is worth the $1.99 purchase of an entire episode.

While I wait for ABC's "Lost" to start, I watch "America's Next Top Model" on the CW. At the same time, I download the "Colbert" episode, watch it, and immediately save it to my iPod. (I only keep short bursts of video on the portable device and I only keep other video content for about a month at a time on my computer. For the most part, I use iTunes as more of a Pay-Per-View service than a permanent collection tactic).

Meanwhile, still a few minutes to kill before "Lost." "The Colbert Report" episode has made me nostalgic for the famed "Colbert and Banana" episode of "The Daily Show" so while "ANTM" wraps up, it's back to Youtube for a few belly laughs via this.


THURSDAY OCT 5:

Big day, big night last night with the season premiere of "Lost” and the obviously "Lost"-inspired "The Nine." (By the way, I am ready for something to actually happen on "Lost" now, OK writers? Thanks.)

Sat at our TV DVD conference all day talking and thinking about TV shows, iTunes and Youtube, with nagging questions from "The Nine" tickling my brain.

That night, I headed to the Hollywood Bowl for a Roger Waters concert. Stop halfway there, park car and walk due to insane traffic. Discover insane traffic can be attributed to Hollywood Blvd closure due to premiere of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre at Grauman's Chinese Theater. Marvel at line of horror fans wrapping down the street and around corner on the off chance they might get in to the screening.

At concert, cheer as giant politically tagged inflatable pig floats over crowd. Go nuts along with 18K other fans as Waters & Co. play Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety.

After concert, pop in Dark Side of the Moon CD synched to The Wizard of Oz DVD, before falling asleep. Yes, I am that guy (girl).


FRIDAY OCT 6:

High-Def 101 Conference. Wish Andy Parsons were available to take phone calls from my family and friends to explain HDMI.

Otherwise, slow media-consumption day.

After happy hour at Santa Monica wine bar, home to snuggle up with Bull Durham on DVD before calling it a night. (I have a weakness for baseball movies anytime, but especially during playoff season I guess).


SATURDAY OCT 7:

Morning viewing of Sleepy Hollow on DVD with coffee. (In a Halloween kind of mood). Forgot about all the beheading. Ew.

All the TV DVD talk of the week put "Gilmore Girls" on the brain. Pop in season six, disc four, push "play all" for background entertainment while working on a sewing project. Get depressed at asinine character behavior.

When disc is done, switch to in HBO miniseries Elizabeth I with Helen Mirren. Wonderful. More beheading though.

Intrigued. Look up reviews of of The Queen, Mirren's new Brit-royalty movie.

At one point in the HBO miniseries Elizabeth says to Essex: "Love alters when alteration finds." Makes me think of Shakespeare and London and a slapstick play from The Reduced Shakespeare Company, which I saw at a theater in Piccadilly Circus in 1996.

Have been wanting to share this with my boyfriend so I check out Amazon and buy it on DVD. (There's NO way this title is in stock at my nearby Best Buy, etc.) Surprised at how expensive it is ($18.99), but deem it worthwhile because of potential for repeated viewings.


SUNDAY OCT. 8:

More sewing today. Leery of beheadings, background video of choice is The Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia live concert DVDs.

Later, still obsessed with "The Nine." Go re-watch the ad-supported episode at ABC.com. Decide I must own Episode 1 in order to refer back to the premiere setup as the season progresses. Buy it on iTunes.

As I do not have Sci Fi channel, looking forward to purchasing Friday night's season premiere of "Battlestar Galactica" on iTunes. I feel a little annoyed that it does not seem to be up already. Trying to avoid reading spoilers and recaps about the opener on the Internet.

MONDAY OCT. 9:

Sunday paper yielded another Circuit City jaunt at lunch today, to take advantage of the advertised stock of a selection $4.99 DVD titles. Picked up Best in Show, which for some reason was unforgivably missing from the Christopher Guest section of my DVD library.

On to Wal-Mart where I know I will get a good price on my new favorite laundry detergent. I had to check out the Web site to see if it is safe to use as bubble bath. I don't think it is. Got distracted by a "mood quiz" and spent ten minutes on a LAUNDRY DETERGENT Web site … maybe I will film something about that and post it on YouTube … hmmm.

Inside Wal-Mart, I remember seeing a DVD player touting HDMI capability on display for $139 inside the front door a week or so ago. Can't find it now. Check out the surprising supply of flat-panel HDTV sets on display for less than $1,000. Tempting. Very tempting.

Get back to computer, check Wal-Mart.com, discover this "online only" special. Sounds great. I buy it. I needed a new DVD player. Don't have an HDTV set, but planning for the future.

Still no "Battlestar Galactica" on iTunes — annoyance turning to frustration.

In the evening, taped "Heroes" in order to watch King of New York on DVD with a bottle of wine.


TUESDAY OCT. 11:

STILL NO "Battlestar Galactica" on iTunes. Frustration turning to rage. Who can I yell at? Finally get the brilliant idea to check on Sci-Fi Channel Web site and find this note on the BSG message board. Apparently there is a "technical problem" getting the episode up on to iTunes. A problem? Really?

Unacceptable.

"Lost," "The Nine" all the network shows are there just fine. Is this what we have to look forward to with iTunes 7? I am trying to stave off despair. It had BETTER be there tomorrow! (How quickly I have become spoiled for immediate access to all my shows.)


Amused that as of today, every news channel and Web site is on the YouTube bandwagon, talking about the Google purchase. Wonder what this deal will mean to my future habits?

So, there you go. My media week. What do you think? Am I the average media consumer? Above average? Slighty obsessed? A little schizophrenic? Will this new week look anything like last week? Will anyone be able to predict my habits from week to week?

How are you going to harness the likes of me Hollywood? Are content providers ready to meet my needs? Am I ready for them? I don't know, but I am really interested to see how this new world of content delivery fits into consumer's private entertainment universes.

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