Why I Love Binge Watching

Lisa writes: I didn’t know about Mad Men until last year (I know, what planet am I living on?) and then I watched SIX YEARS in a matter of weeks. And suddenly, I had discovered binge watching. With Season Two of House of Cards due to be released tomorrow, I thought I would look at a few reasons to love watching a series straight through.

House of Cards

TV is getting better and more complex.

Directors are delving deeper with plot and character, using visual references to episodes past. But who can remember these events if they happened weeks ago? With binge watching I remember enough to get all the visual and script references that would have been long forgotten with weekly watching.

With binge watching there is no waiting and wondering.

Adult life calls for maturity and deferred gratification. A little instant gratification is nice for a change. Binge watching is a guilty pleasure, we somehow should be able to consume the story line all at once. Everyone needs a little guilty pleasure in their lives.

Everyone is watching TV.

All those lines people say, “I hardly watch any television” “We never even turn the thing on” just fall away. I was one of those high horse people but it is hard to lie to yourself when you watch six straight hours of House of Cards.

Binge watching is more like reading a book.

We read books straight through, come to know the characters, look for the plot resolution. Why shouldn’t we do the same with television?

No more cliffhangers.

TV producers love the end of episode cliffhanger, that moment when, as a viewer, we think…don’t end it here! As a kid I hated those moments, and now I don’t have them. Pretty much cosmic revenge for a childhood spent waiting seven days to see what would happen next.

Remembering character relationships is easy.

There is no need to try and remember who some of the minor characters are and what their relationship is to each other. As plots and scripts become far more complex, the cast of characters expands. This can be confusing from week to week, but is manageable over a couple of hours.

No commercial interruptions.

And there are the lack of commercial, nothing needs to be said about how much their absences improves our viewing.

Perfect snow day activity.

Sitting here stuck in the house with snow pelting at the window, what could be better than a cozy fire and four episodes of your favorite show?

Ready, set, go.

Netflix is releasing 13 hours of House of Cards programming all at once. Bragging rights for anyone who has finished the season by Saturday morning?

Comments

  1. Becky says:

    OMG! I love this post! I just binge watched my way through four seasons of Parenthood in the month of January! I stumbled upon your blog last fall, after my younger son went away to college. My husband and I are brand new empty-nesters, and we are loving it! I have enjoyed so many of your posts. When I read them, it feels like I am talking to a friend who really understands me. Of course I miss my boys, but it’s been so much fun being just a couple again. Hands down, the biggest perk has been many extra hours of sleep!

    • Becky you are making me feel much better about myself. There was a touch of guilt watching TV straight through for hours (who could do this when the kids were small) and it is so great to hear how much everyone else enjoys doing the same!

  2. I LOVE television, always have. I’ve only binge-watched a few series – Downton Abbey, Girls and one other that seems to escape me right now. But there are so many I’d like to watch – House of Cards sounds interesting, I hear Homeland is great, I really want to see Portlandia. Yes, I agree with you – sitting down and watching quality television is like reading a really good book. I’ve never felt guilty for being a fan of television. To really binge-watch though, I guess it helps to have a streaming service. That’s something I need to get up to speed on.

    • I guess that was the change, one day the boys got Netflix, and all was altered. Not sure I would have ordered it, but I am so glad that they did. Great fun.

  3. LL says:

    I’ll race you to the finish! Going to be very tired on Saturday.

  4. I once watched every season of the office in 2 weeks. It was amazing. I felt like I got nothing done in those 2 weeks but hey, It was entertaining.

  5. Yes, yes, yes! We just blasted through three seasons of Downton Abbey and wonder what’s next?! So Mad Men has been on for six years? I feel an another binge coming on.

    • Loved watching them plow though the 1960s with world events running side by side with those of the characters…cannot recommend it highly enough. Don’t know how I missed it.

  6. I love a good binge watch too! Recently finished Dexter. The only problem is you can kind of end up in a fog, but I love not waiting between episodes. Looking forward to diving into the new House of Cards season!

  7. I am a huge fan of binge watching! It’s sort of hard to do with a toddler. I’ve always loved television — good television — and it’s exciting that we’re living in a kind of golden age of fantastic TV. It’s so true that watching a well-written, intricately plotted, and complex series is much like reading a novel. I’ve only watched one episode of the first season of House of Cards a couple days ago, and I’m thrilled to find another great series!

  8. Regine Kelly says:

    The first show I binge watched was Slings and Arrows.
    I was working as a public librarian and watched videos based on what patrons ordered them from around the Westchester Library system! The women who loved Slings and Arrows I considered a top recommendation and I did really love it (still do) and for all the reasons you mentioned Lisa.
    So, I became a fan of Paul Gross and wished that my sons were still young so we could watch Paul Gross in his “Dudley Do-Right” role in Due South. A really silly & wonderful family show that is on DVD.

  9. Eileen Gerspach says:

    Binge watching is something my husband and I enjoy together! I watched Dexter with him. Hoping to get him into House of Cards. Did anyone see True Detective yet????

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