Every year, Netflix releases (sorry) a new video of chimneys. It is a custom that should undoubtedly yield interesting viewing figures, because they return without missing the appointment. Currently, the platform has three traditional chimneys, all of them one-hour videos in which slightly Christmas music is listened to and you can see a fireplace (in one of the videos, even in Ultra HD 4K) where some logs are being consumed. But this year there are news.
This season a renovated fireplace adds to the trend, and what we have is a massive iron brazier in the video ‘The Witcher – Fireplace‘. The soundtrack that we can hear along with the creaking of the logs also has a Christmas air, but in a key already more openly typical of the fantasy of the series starring Geralt de Rivia. In other words, Netflix has reused the traditional Christmas idea to turn it into a video with the same function as traditional fireplaces but loaded with fan-service.
It is not the only non-narrative or documentary video with relaxing motifs that the platform has. Also on Netflix we can find the three seasons of ‘Moving Art‘, videos that reproduce paradisiacal views from all corners of the world. But It is not a phenomenon typical of the era of streaming: like so many other fashions, its birth comes from before, from long before. Specifically, from the sixties and local television.
Fireplaces on TV
‘Yule Log‘is an original television program on the New York network WPIX, which broadcast images – for a period of between two and four hours without advertising breaks – of a fireplace with Christmas musical background, on Christmas Eve and the morning of the same day. Originally aired between 1966 and 1989, it experienced a second stage from 2001. The original idea for the program came from Fred M. Thrower, president of the channel, after seeing an animated advertisement for Coca-Cola in which he was seen Santa Claus by a fireplace.
Thrower thought the show would do double duty: to provide a Christmas break for its employees, who wouldn’t have to watch the broadcast in precious hours to spend with their family, and provide a chance to enjoy a fireplace to New Yorkers living in seedy apartments. The first log was filmed at the Gracie Mansion, the residence of then-New York Mayor John Lindsay.
The impact of ‘Yule Log’ is difficult to quantify: since the 1960s, countless televisions have broadcast images of Christmas fireplaces, but they have not only reached that format. As the book ‘El almanaque del video’ by Xavi Sánchez Pons tells, in 1981 the VHS ‘Video Fireplace’ became popular, a domestic fireplace hour advertised with the phrase “No logs to be transported! No need to clean the ashes! ” The success leads the creators to release a similar video with images of an aquarium.
And VHS (and its DVD equivalents, where wonders like ‘Ambient Fire DVD‘, with nine fireplaces to choose from) to YouTube, where videos like’Fireplace 10 hours full HD‘are the star of channels with 63,200 subscribers, and adding almost eighty million views. A trend that it is far from disappearing because, after all, who can refuse the heat of the fire, even if it is digital. Let’s see who is encouraged to launch a ‘Brazier on a stretcher table 10 Hours 4K’.