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Binge Watching

Binge Watching

February 19, 2019 11:52 pmComments are Disabled

It’s so easy. The episode ends, and the counter starts, and before you know it, you’re already watching the next episode. These shows run for seasons and seasons. In a couple days you could get through eight years of programming.

I remember when commercial breaks afforded a moment to get up, use the bathroom, grab a snack, maybe even turn off the TV for an episode and catch some sun. But now there’s no break. Not between acts in episodes, not between episodes, and not even between seasons.

I don’t know if anyone has done a study of the effects of binge watching, but I can only imagine that it makes us stupider. I know after long binges my brain is jelly.

I suppose binge watching is also going to change how TV is produced. Since you can get through eight years of programming in a matter of days, there’s going to need to be a lot more programming to satiate audiences. And that programming is going to need to be cheap to produce and designed for snack-sized consumption. Episodes will likely get shorter to accommodate this snackability. Commercial promotions will become increasingly inline to the content, or subliminal altogether.

Whereas all television today is virtually assured to be made with binge watching in mind, some shows seem as if they were made for it, even though they predated streaming altogether. ArrestedĀ Development and BreakingĀ Bad come to mind as cult classics that really only took off as binge shows.

This interests me, because it means that older shows can have renewed appeal, especially if the concept is sound and they may nearly need a reboot. This probably explains why The Twilight Zone and Are You Afraid of the Dark? just so happen to be coming back right now in the age of streaming: great, solid concepts that just need to be reworked for the era.

What are you binging tonight?

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