Why I Can't Live Without The IMDb App

IMDb webpage on the browser

Photo: Getty Images

Do you remember encyclopedias? Encyclopedias were a set of books, broken down in to 26 individual volumes, one for each letter of the alphabet. Twenty-six heavy, leather-bound books that are filled with everything there is to know up to that moment in history. I'm pretty sure the set I used in middle school was the same musty-smelling set my Dad used when he was a senior in high school. If you had encyclopedias in your home then you know they took up at least one, maybe two shelves in the book case. You also, most likely bought them from a door to door salesman who got you to commit to receiving one new volume a month until the set was complete. You also know your parents never let you forget how expensive that set was (hundreds of dollars) and that gave your Dad the right to answer every question you had with "Look it up! You've got $15-hundred dollars worth of encyclopedias in there, use them"!

With the advent of the internet, encyclopedias went away. Why limit your research pool to 26 books when you have the whole world at your finger tips? Anything in this universe that you are curious about can be found on the internet. Nevermore are you lying in bed trying to remember the name of that guy that did that one thing that changed the course of history. No! It's just a few clicks away. Which brings me to my favorite online source of all things movies and television, The IMDb site or app. The Internet Movie Database!

Nearly every night I'm watching a show and I spot an actor that I recognize from another show. Well, come on! I have to find out who he or she is and what other show's he or she has been on or I won't be able to fall asleep. The IMDb site has the answer. I start, as I did just last night, with my channel guide to find out the title of the episode I'm watching, what season number and what episode. For example Criminal Minds S12 E10. I search for that in IMDb and once I'm there, I see every actor that starred in that episode. You tap on the actor you recognize and find every single thing he or she has ever starred in. You can look up a series such as Law & Order SVU and see every actor who's ever starred in any of the series' 24 seasons. This is particularly fun with any of the Law & Order franchises and the Chicago franchises (Med, Fire and PD) that air on Wednesday evenings. They are all created by Dick Wolf and what an amazing stable of actors he's assembled. I imagine it goes like this: You sign a contract with Dick Wolf and for the next ten years you'll appear, time and time again, in any one or more of the Dick Wolf shows. For example the actor who plays ADA Dominick "Sonny" Carisi, Peter Scanavino. Scanavino first appeared on Law & Order SVU as a prison inmate. A few years later he joins the SVU squad as a police detective and for the last several years he's been a prosecutor.

NBC's 2015 New York Summer Press Day

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Peter Scanavino attends the NBC's 2015 New York Summer Press Day at Four Seasons Hotel New York on June 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)Photo: Getty Images

The IMDb site gives you other background on actors and shows including awards won, seasons aired, video clips, still photos, IMDb ratings and more. This site is perfect for answering the questions I get from Mom like "Who's that guy who was in that show about that thing?" "It was on in the 60's!" "What's he doing now?" I will admit that at some point I'll have to jump over to Wikipedia to answer the "Is he dead or alive?", Who was he married to?" and "Did they have kids together?" questions.

IMDb is also a great source for new movie trailers and cast interviews about hot tv movies and tv shows. There's more information on this site than in any volume of the encyclopedia. It comes without the musty old book smell, paper cuts, outdated information and the eye strain.

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