Are you a Streaming Binge TV addict?
Take control of your remote
Has Netflix changed our TV viewing habits forever?
Since becoming a Netflix subscriber, I have become a TV Binge viewer. I freely admit it. Once I start watching a TV show, I get hooked and watch one, two or three episodes in a single sitting. I can't help it. Each show ends with a "hook" to the next episode and it is not a week away, but right there in the streaming queue. Ready to play immediately. So you take a peek at the next show and before you know it, you've watch it and then...on it goes.
By the end of the evening, you've binged on a few episodes without even giving it a second thought. It is only after a few nights of this that you realized, why did I ever watch TV any other way? Why wait until next week for the next episode of this gripping story? Netflix (and other streaming, on demand services) have gripped the TV addict in each of us.
The Delight of Discovering Hidden TV Gems
If you are like me, you don't have time to check out each and every new show when they are broadcast on the TV Networks. Then there are cable networks which compete for subscribers, cost a lot of money and so, you're only going to watch a few of them. Inevitably, there will be shows you've completely missed. Until now, they were lost to you, perhaps even cancelled for lack of an audience because time is short and who can watch everything all the damn time.
When you scan the listings on Netflix and see the "suggestions" it provides based on your past viewing choices and ratings (you can rate shows after you've viewed them and the Netflix algorithm will search for similar shows you've already rated highly), there is always something to watch and feed your addiction for more content. These are TV shows you never knew existed. So, new shows you've never seen or even heard of start popping up in the listings and you discover great TV shows. I mean, I've found spectacular shows that appeal to my quirky, sci-fi taste buds, shows like "Life of Mars" (both the US and British versions), "The 4400", "Flash Forward" and my new addiction, "Fringe".
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Mad Men made me madly addicted to Netflix
So the one month free preview that Netflix offered was certainly enough to check out the service and see what was offered. But once I started the first few episodes of "Mad Men", a show I never watched before (certainly heard about but never checked out because it was on AMC), I tried to catch all the episodes before my free month was up. No way. Too many hours. So I became a subscriber, a TV binge addict.
I have since binged on many TV shows and watched movies as well. Movies are easy because they are only two hours. You can watch and leave. TV shows go on and on, for hours. I am a former "24" viewer when it was all the rage back those many years ago. Jack Bauer was my weekly obsession, to see what horrendous terror he was up against each week and what he was going to do (cross the line) to stop those bad guys. Now, I can condense seven years of addition into one endless stream of binge episodes. It is intense in a whole new way. The plots make more sense when you see them back to back. You can tie all the hints and sub-plots together with ease. You are engaged as much as you want to be.
So, thank you Mad Men for starting me on this new viewing habit that I cannot break. I am a binge TV addict now. I will never go back to broadcast TV and the dreadful wait for a week for the next episode, and then watch it with those annoying commercial breaks. Come on.
I can't believe I'm still watching Fringe!
Okay, this is getting completely out of hand! I'm 62 hours into watching Fringe and I still don't know who the bald-headed guys are or what the heck they are up to! And Peter is now a time travelling anomaly and no one knows who he is even though he's practically saved two entire universes.
I am going to stop and reclaim my life. I have to stop watching. But they have this hook at the end of each episode and I'll just take a peek and...oh crap, where did the last hour go? What time-warped parallel universe am I in? Where is my remote? Who are you? Why do you look like a shape-shifter and how could I even tell if you are or not?
Help me, I'm trapped in a parallel universe where TV shows just go on and on forever without stopping! It is the future and it is pleasantly terrifying, and only $8 dollars a month...
Binge TV watching Articles
- Go Ahead, Binge-Watch That TV Show | TIME.com
A Slate essay argues that TV is not meant to be watched all at once. But TV has become a thing you can consume much more like a novel, a portable pleasure. And bingeing on all four seasons of Breaking Bad at once is not going to spoil your appetite.