DVD Lulls Viewer to Sleep


It’s been a long night of marathoning another season of X-Files on Netflix. In this episode, Moulder and Scully face another case that is as suspenseful as it is mysterious. However, the couch is cozy and the fuzzy blanket is warm. Sleep soon ends the 7th episode in a Friday night streak. An indeterminate number of hours later, in the wee small hours of the morning, consciousness returns with a just enough energy for the trudge to bed. Netflix stopped streaming and all the home theater equipment powered down automatically. Meanwhile, the DVDs on a nearby, dusty shelf sit, aching for a time when their media once lulled late night viewers to sleep.

Starting a movie after 1AM, might as well just pound a couple Ambien in stead; sleep is inevitable. The film of choice: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The picture’s soothing music and warm visuals, combined with the snug blanket and cushy couch, create the most beautiful symphony for the sandman’s dramatic entrance. One moment, rain dances across the windows of the Hogwarts Express as it speeds towards the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then, after what feels like a few seconds, the sound of a yapping Jamaican shrunken head, punchy brass, and the glow of the TV break the thin veil of slumber. The same menu sequence repeats over and over until enough strength returns to turn off the TV and fall into bed.

An example of a DVD menu that would play repeatedly as a viewer slept on a couch in the early to mid aughts.

The DVD menu has almost passed into obsolescence. Some made the switch to the still-superior format, Blu-ray, but most viewers flocked to digital streaming services. Few people over the course of man kind have experienced the phenomenon of falling asleep while watching a DVD; Less people will in the future.

This commentary is inspired by an interesting website that made me think about the phenomenon of falling asleep while watching a DVD. I really never gave it much thought before, it’s something that just used to happen all the time. Please visit: youfellasleepwatchingadvd.com (VOLUME AUTOPLAY WARNING)


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