Monday, January 25, 2016
New writing project for 2016
Some of you may already know but I wanted to get everyone into the conversation. I'm busy working on my next writing project--and I'm loving it! I'm writing about my experiences in watching a 24 hour-long marathon of the 1983 movie A Christmas Story. If you chuckled when you read that last sentence, then you get it. Some might ask: Why would anyone do that? And that's sort of the point.
A Christmas Story has been broadcast on TV as a 24 hour marathon on Christmas Eve every year since 1997 and the marathon continues to grow in popularity. I like to think I'm like a lot of other people--I usually have it on my television during the holiday but it's a part of the background of activities. Does the network think people watch the whole thing? Should someone watch the whole thing? What will happen if someone is foolish enough--I mean...dedicated to Christmas entertainment enough to watch the whole marathon? I'm more than enough crazy to find out. I hope you're curious enough to follow along.
Extreme television watching is all the rage right now. Many of us already binge-watch streaming shows on their debut, including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Arrested Development, Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, et al. Earlier this month, a new sitcom Angie Tribeca (starring Rashida Jones) premiered as an overnight marathon on the basic cable network TBS. Even more of us know what is it to indulge in a Twilight Zone, Law & Order, or Friends marathon of episodes. TV viewers crave immersing themselves in a world created by their favorite TV shows--old and new. Upon reflection of my own viewing habits, I have to confess I participate in this trend of viewing all the time. I have the habit of watching anywhere from 4-6 episodes of Law & Order every Sunday morning on TNT. Of course, the individual episodes only hold my attention if I don't have the plot and final verdict memorized at its start. Otherwise, it's just background noise while I seek out a newspaper or read a magazine.
However, A Christmas Story marathon is different. It's watching the same movie over and over--not a new episode every hour or half-hour. Yet this is the appeal of Christmas entertainment. We tend to watch the same specials and movies year after year--how many times have you tuned in to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? A Charlie Brown Christmas? It's a Wonderful Life? A Christmas Story? As a culture, we seem to have unique viewing habits and traditions when it comes to Christmas entertainment. I'm going to try to unpack some of this and make sense of it while documenting my 24 hour movie viewing experience. Heaven help me.
If you love reading TV books like I do, then you may recognize that this project takes its inspiration from previous experiments in hyper-viewing including Charles Sopkin's Seven Glorious Days, Seven Fun-Filled Nights (1968), Jack Lechner's Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (2000), and others. Will my sanity be tested while watching the same movie over and over for 24 hours? Will my sanity be tested for even considering watching the same movie over and over for 24 hours? yes and yes.
I'm dying to know what you think. Please leave any brief remarks you have in the comments below. I also have some questions for you--and request any lengthy remarks be sent to my email: [sorry--address removed.]
Please feel free to answer any or all of the questions that you like.
What I'm wondering:
1) Is the 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story on Dec. 24th-25th each year a part of your holiday tradition? How much of it do you watch? How important is it to your family?
2) What's your favorite scene in A Christmas Story? a scene that stands out? Besides the DVD, do you own any merchandise/decorations tied in to the movie? what are they?
3) Do you think it succeeds as a 24 hour marathon? Why? Does it get better with repeated viewings?
4) What other movie/special would you rather watch as a 24 hour marathon on Christmas Eve? What Christmas-themed movie or special do you think would absolutely fail as a 24 hour marathon?
5) Do you marathon any favorite holiday entertainment with your family at Christmas?
Feel free to speak up. Thanks for your imput!
***Update: The book is entitled The Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story and will be released Oct. 15, 2016. Purchase at www.1701Press.com
Posted by Joanna at 8:06 PM