Boxset Viewing Style: Eke Them Out Or Viewing Marathons, What Do You Prefer?
Is there even such a thing as just watching regular, scheduled TV anymore? These days it seems as if half of us are streaming or downloading episodes of our favourite shows, checking out podcasts of radio programmes and interviews, and buying the real must-have dramas and comedies that have snagged our attention via boxset DVD collections.
The real variation and distinctions between different types of viewer are evident in their style of response to getting the boxset of their favourite show through the post from Amazon or Play.com. So what do you do in those circs? Are you a binger or a nibbler?
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Personally I'm a box-set binger. If possible I will take a day or two off work in anticipation of the arrival of a particularly prized series. And if that should prove impossible... well, who needs to sleep anyway? Sleep is for wimps, not for televisual heroes! Instead I stock up on junk food (when it comes to a boxset marathon, all the major food groups come with E-numbers). Also I make sure to be well stocked up with instant coffee, turn on the DVD player and we're all set! The only thing that brings a viewing sesh to an end is involuntary sleep, generally conked out slumped in the middle of the living room floor. Ah, how many seasons of Buffy have I practically inhaled down like that, telescoped into a couple, perhaps three at most sessions of episode after episode after episode. Happy days indeed!
I must confess that I do find it hard to actually understand the opposite mentality when it comes to boxset viewing. This is in spite of the fact that my other half is my televisual Lost-loving opposite. How is it possible for anyone to ration out episodes of a dearly-loved show – new, brand-new, shiny never-before-watched episodes, at that – night after night after night, with work shifts in between, and not go gibberingly crazy? How can you think about anything else – at work, putting on the kettle, crossing the road? It's a health and safety hazard if nothing else, I tell you!
And yet I must give full respect to those of you of a stingy, miserly, bean-counting turn of mind when it comes to telly seasons. Your sheer self-control demands it. You are the champion dieters of the televisual world, the iron-willed marathon runners who leave the rest of us, polishing a series off at a greedy sprint, to shame. But I won't be joining you just yet: you see, the second season of Dollhouse is out shortly, and I think – I just think – that I might be able to polish it off in one sitting...