The changing face of entertainment in 2013

Just as we have gotten used to writing “2013” on the top right hand corner of our lecture notes, the new year has crept upon us. With it, 2014 will inevitably bring surprise, immense joy and innovation — but that’s not to say that 2013 didn’t deliver as well. Here are some of the biggest trends in entertainment throughout 2013.

As far as television goes, the bar was undeniably raised. The primary reason for owning a television went from the 11 o’ clock news and the Price is Right to Breaking Bad and the Walking Dead. In fact, these shows shifted the mentality of many occasional viewers to “binge-watchers,” consuming entire seasons in order to catch up for the Dexter and Breaking Bad finales.

Quite frankly, even the overall production values of television series increased this year, with some shows that looked to capture the same spectacle as a summer blockbuster film. Notably, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, The Americans as well as the new season of Homeland seemed larger than ever on the small screen.

With every profound advance also comes a few cash-ins from big name studios. One of the best examples of this is the amount of spin-offs that announced this past year. From an Office spin-off focusing on Dwight Schrute’s beet farm to a Pretty Little Liar’s spin-off called Ravenswood, this past year seemed a bit too nostalgic. Not all of these spin-offs were bad news however, especially in the case of the new Breaking Bad series starring Saul and the the Boy Meet’s World spin-off that will return to us a daily dose of Mr. Pheeny.

Ironically, some of the best television shows of 2013 never made their way to television, choosing instead Netflix to make their debut. Orange is the New Black, the fourth season of Arrested Development and House of Cards are all revolutionary as Netflix Original Productions.

While watching television, a movie or anything else for that matter, it seems that people are always on their phones. In an age of immersive entertainment, technology is actually hindering one’s traction to the media. Attempting to turn this annoying habit into a viable entertainment platform, all three major video game console manufacturerers attempted to create a second screen revolution. Although Microsoft’s Smart Glass and Sony’s PS Vita compatibility ultimately just feathered out, Nintendo’s Wii U relied heavily on the idea and is ultimately failing as a result.

On a more positive note, 2013 was a great year for film. For those, however, who made the effort to drive a whole five minutes to a movie theatre, Twelve Years a Slave, Gravity and The Great Gatsby were just a few of the stand outs to an excellent year.

In conclusion, 2013 changed the way we receive and perceive entertainment. Changing a simple interaction into a more complex and intricate exercise in technological immersion and vapid movies into socially conscious films. We can only hope that 2014 can deliver on our lofty standards.

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