The idea of alternate realities has been around for quite some time, but it perhaps reached its apex in 2011 when "Community" aired the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory." In the third episode of the third season of Dan Harmon's cult classic NBC-turned-Yahoo series, a housewarming party went haywire as the rolling of a die decided the fate of all seven characters. Each unique scenario spawned from the random number Jeff (Joel McHale) rolled to decide who went downstairs to get the pizza, and his decision to let the die decide for them resulted in alternate timelines — both light and dark— that only Abed (Danny Pudi) could acknowledge.
Though it's one of the best episodes of the series, if not the lengthy history of sitcoms, I bring this up only as a segway to the idea of how fate, circumstance or seemingly innocuous decision-making can affect the realities we come to accept as truth. For instance, had Indiewire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller not been busy late Friday morning, perhaps she would have kept with her annual tradition of binge-watching the new season of "House of Cards" in the immediate hours following its release. Then she, not Indiewire TV Critic Ben Travers, would have been the one to file her review, assign a grade and possibly influence the expectations, discussions and thought processes surrounding Season 4.
In other words, would Ms. Miller have liked "House of Cards" more had she binge-watched it immediately? Would she have liked it less? Would Mr. Travers' largely glowing review be any different if he had taken days and not hours to sift through the latest 13 episodes? We'll never know for sure, but how and why these decisions can affect viewers' final opinions is the topic on hand for the latest edition of Very Good TV Podcast, hosted by Indiewire's diligent TV team.
Don't forget to subscribe to Very Good TV Podcast via Soundcloud or iTunes. Follow Indiewire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news, and check out Liz and Ben's Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don't forget to listen to Indiewire's other podcasts, Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Indiewire Influencers, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Dana Harris and featuring various guests relevant to anyone tracking independent film or the entertainment industry in general.
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- If you're looking for a more detailed take on the new season of "House of Cards," check out our full season review.
- Are you keeping up with "The Walking Dead"? AMC's ratings juggernaut just dropped one of its best episodes Sunday night.
- Jimmy Kimmel has been announced as your 2016 Emmys' host, and the date of the ceremony has also been set. More info here.
- Jonah Hill hosted one of the worst "SNLs" of the season, even if it did spawn one long-awaited bit.
- Liz spoke with "Vinyl" star Olivia Wilde on what we can expect from her character, and why she's more than just a housewife.