First Click: Are you like this weirdo who watches TV and films in fast forward?

July 1st, 2016


I’m pretty sure I’m having an “olds” moment right now. Welling up from deep within is the urge to shake my fist and scream at the internet. A feeling that’s been festering for a week, ever since I read this Washington Post article titled “I have found a new way to watch TV, and it changes everything” by Jeff Guo, who, I presume, is the devil. Here’s an excerpt:

"I have a habit that horrifies most people. I watch television and films in fast forward. This has become increasingly easy to do with computers (I’ll show you how) and the time savings are enormous. Four episodes of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" fit into an hour. An entire season of "Game of Thrones" goes down on the bus ride from D.C. to New York.


This is where the trick of playing videos at 1.5x to 2x comes in — the latest twist in the millennia-old tradition of technology changing storytelling. The concept should be familiar to many. For years, podcast and audiobook players have provided speedup options, and research shows that most people prefer listening to accelerated speech."

I could see this for informational videos. Videos with titles like "What to expect at the DMV," or "Divorce, it's not for everybody." But for entertainment?

Now, I could refute Mr. Guo with the impassioned plea of former Verge podcast engineer John Lagomarsino. Or I could sit here and argue the merits of quality over quantity. I could even detail the importance of pace to dramatic storytelling or, critically, to the delivery of a joke. I could then back it up with the infamous "gold watch" scene from Pulp Fiction, which I’d urge you to view at normal speed while paying particular attention to the glorious eight-second pause that begins at 58 seconds. Then I’d suggest re-watching it at 1.5x or 2x speeds. Hell, I’d probably even direct you to the speed controls located with a click of the gear icon along the bottom of this embedded video:

But I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m curious to know how many people actually watch television shows and films in fast forward today?

Do you watch TV and films in fast forward?
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