According to Wikipedia, binge-watching, also called binge-viewing, is the practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single television show. Binge-watching as an observed cultural phenomenon has become popular with the rise of online media services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime with which the viewer can watch television shows and movies on-demand.
We’ve been Netflix members for about a year and recently joined the Apple TV universe and now I am an official binge viewer.
First, let me say that I’ve always been an avid TV watcher. It started in the 1970s with The Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver, I Dream of Jeanie, The Osmonds, Sonny & Cher. My family had the TV on often. I actually don’t think I was ever told to turn it off, to be honest (I don’t condone that, and I do have rules with my own children). Saturday nights were dedicated to watching The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. TV was just integrated my existence and continued to be until my adulthood. I’m a culture junkie, so anything to do with pop culture is embedded into my being.
When we had kids, I took time off work and there was a lot of time to catch up on TV shows during the day, as well as late nights at home after putting them to bed and I wasn’t so behind on my TV watching.
But since the creation of new original programming on Hulu, Showtime, HBO, Amazon, Netflix and elsewhere, I’m overwhelmed and constantly feel like I’m missing out on a show I would love.
And along came Netflix. In a short period, I have binge watched Scandal (I watched two seasons in a week), Orange is the Black (I watched all 13 episodes in a weekend) and now my husband and I are cruising through Breaking Bad.
And yes, we do have lives.
Binge watching is my new bag. I can watch these shows on my cell phone on the train heading to work, under the covers at night at the end of a long day on the iPad or on long car journeys. Wherever there is time, I am binging. I enjoyed my Scandal binge so much that I am sad that the binging party is over.
And thank god for binging and these new sources of programming. With Apple TV, I will watch Homeland. And if I fancy, some of the TV shows I grew up with, as well, and certainly all the black and white classics I have time to watch.
So, why does binge viewing work for me? Maybe I have an addictive personality. Maybe I’m type A and like to get things done quickly. Maybe I don’t like being behind on pop culture and want to join in the conversations at the water cooler.
Okay, all of those things! The question is what show is next on my list? What’s on yours?
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team and received a year’s subscription to Netflix and a free Apple TV convertor. I will be writing monthly articles as a member but as always, all opinions are my own.