How does ‘binge-watching’ affect the way we enjoy TV?

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Friends, Sex and the City, How I met your Mother, Breaking Bad, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Vikings… Pick your poison, sit back, relax, and try not to watch an entire season in a couple of days. Difficult, isn’t it? In the era of the internet and availability of TV shows that previously took months to air, we now have the option to watch entire season’s worth of episodes in a day. Does that change our love for TV shows and rituals of watching?

What is binge-watching?

Binge-watching or marathon-viewing is a practice of watching television for a long period of time. The most common occurrence is for people to watch many episodes of a TV show, but you can binge-watch movies too. This is why people sometimes make Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter marathons. In the past it has been the practice to gather friends who are just as in love with a TV show of a movie and hang out while watching, but today it is not as common.

Why do we love it so much?

netflixIt seems that our brains are pre-wired to enjoy binge-watching, but why is that so? In the time when everything we need is one click away, and reading tweets on social medias has become a ritual, why do we spend long hours watching television? It seems that with all this speed that is in our lives and rush to finish everything at once, our minds crave long narratives which would allow us to get lost in wonderful stories with whose protagonists we can identify.

We dictate the tempo

There are people who love theorizing about plot twists and possible outcomes of their favorite shows, but there are also those who wait for an entire season to be available so they can watch everything at once. Sometimes people will wait as long as the beginning of next season to binge-watch the previous one, or make marathons of all seasons while waiting for the next one. The key here is that we’re in control, and if we are patient we won’t mind watching an episode a week, but for those who can’t stand cliff-hangers binge-watching is heaven!  

Discover something new

It’s easy to watch show after show of epic fantasy or detective series, but what about other genres? Did you even try watching comedy, mystery, genuine drama, or even anime? You would be surprised how many gems are hidden in other areas which may not spark your interest at first. Do some research online, ask your friends and family for a recommendation, and be prepared to be disappointed at times. Or you can try Cennarium, a Netflix but with theater, and watch skilled professional actors pull off a show without multi-million special effects. You may discover new genres, directors, or actors, or re-discover classics.

Don’t overdo it!

binge-eating

It can be difficult to stop watching once you are ‘hooked’ on a show, especially if it’s filled with witty comments, a bit of nudity, and plenty of cliffhangers. Nevertheless, this also means that you will be eating and drinking more than you usually do. Make sure that you binge-watching does not come hand in hand with binge-eating and binge-drinking. Change your habits, put a stationary bike or a rowing machine in front of the TV and exercise while watching a show. Your body will love the challenge, and you will love the result.

Watching TV shows can become a sort of addiction, and this is why it’s wise to limit the time you spend watching, especially if you have other plans, obligations, or deadlines. However, spending a day or a weekend comfortably snuggled with a blanket and a glass of vine and watching your favorite series is not a bad thing.

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