Matt Heath: The phoney mistake Kiwi TV viewers are making

OPINION:

New Zealanders are failing to watch TV properly. If you want to fully enjoy a show you have to actually watch it. You’re not going to understand what’s happening in a quality production if you are staring at your phone at the same time.

Last week we discussed the advantages of working without distraction. This week, let’s sharpen our digirelaxation focus. It’s time we improved our couch performance.

This weekend I convinced two friends to come over and experience the fantastic WandaVision with me.

These are good people. I love them. I respect them. They do great work in the community. In my lounge that day they shamed themselves, their families, Wanda and Vision.

Their crime? Hardly bloody watching the show.

WandaVision is an intriguing production. It’s weird, funny, scary and complex. A superhero story with a focus on mystery rather than action. A black and white 60s sitcom starring a witch and a robot that only gets weirder from there. There’s a lot to take in.

Being a conscientious viewer I was up to date. I’d seen all seven episodes that had been released thus far. I knew my friends would love WandaVision. I was looking forward to receiving sweet kudos for introducing them to the show. It wasn’t to be.

The opening Marvel logo had barely left the screen when they jumped on their phones. To my intense anger and frustration, they kept missing important bits. Asking punishing questions like “who’s that?”, “why did that happen”, “where did that person go”, “how come he can fly?”.

If I’d had Wanda’s powers on Saturday afternoon I would have whipped up a little round ball of red magic energy and smashed my friends through the lounge wall into another reality.

On the rare occasion they did zone-in, they focused on the wrong stuff. If you want to get to the marrow of a story don’t spend the show researching the actors. It’s irrelevant that Wanda is the younger sister of billionaire twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. It doesn’t help your understanding of the plot spending an entire episode looking at old pictures of her trying to work out if she has had a nose job.

For the purposes of the show, she is Wanda. Like all good actors, she completely inhabits her onscreen role. Watch her as Wanda, not Elizabeth bloody Olsen. Who cares who she really is?

If I possessed Wanda’s powers I would have zapped my friends into the actual show and forced them to live it for real. That would have focused their attention.

I love Tom Cruise movies. He’s fantastic in Edge of Tomorrow, Minority Report, all 400 Mission Impossible flicks. That fact that he’s a bit of a dick in real life is irrelevant. We enjoy his movies for what they are while we watch them.

Same with New Zealand’s own Russell Crowe. When Maximus Decimus Meridius looks Caesar Marcus Aurelius Commodus in the eyes and tells him he is “Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next” it doesn’t matter that our Russ once hiffed a phone at a hotel receptionist or beat up Eric Watson in a bar toilet. Russell Crowe doesn’t exist in the Gladiator universe: Maximus does.

So concentrate on the flick and not gossip about the actor from your phone.

WandaVision is a great show. I couldn’t recommend watching it more and by watching I mean put your freaking phone down and zone in.

There are just two episodes to go in this series, God how I wish I had the power to enslave everyone’s minds and force them to watch.

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