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Thread: Binge watching vs. traditional once-a-week viewing

  1. #1
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Binge watching vs. traditional once-a-week viewing

    Okay, so almost everyone on the board knows that I'm no spring chicken -- a/k/a "Olesker's 'the old guy'." So I know I'm an aging dinosaur when it comes to a lot of things. But I can't help but be opposed to binge watching. What I dislike about it most is spending a day or two blasting through a series I really like and then having to wait six month or longer for more episodes. There's something about the anticipation of waiting all week to watch one episode of a series that I find delicious. And when it's only once a week it just keeps my excitement about the series going rather than it waning during those long waits between binge watching. I've tried not to binge watch, spreading it out to one episode a week, but I'm not strong enough to resist when it's there.

    Again, I know I'm probably in the minority on this. What are your feelings, orgers?

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    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
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    I actually draw out the episodes a few weeks at a time and rotate shows. I watched 3 seasons of Voltron in a couple of days and had to wait months for the next season, but they started to put out half a season, so it helped to hold out. If I had to catch up with something, probably binge, but if it's new episodes, only watch it once or every other week.

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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Ok. Not sure how old you are. Our Alex is 19 and he and all of his friends just blast through an entire series in a night and they're done. I'm wondering if this is a generational thing -- like draining a 12 ounce glass of Coke without setting the glass down once you've started.

    Quote Originally Posted by manowar View Post
    I actually draw out the episodes a few weeks at a time and rotate shows. I watched 3 seasons of Voltron in a couple of days and had to wait months for the next season, but they started to put out half a season, so it helped to hold out. If I had to catch up with something, probably binge, but if it's new episodes, only watch it once or every other week.

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    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
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    I'm 44 for the time being. I actually don't watch a whole lot of TV except for a few shows I like. So to watch a whole series over hours isn't something I necessarily have time to do so I guess I'm just used to the whole 1 episode a week. I have binged on a few shows, when it ends on a cliffhanger, and you really want to know what happens, but then the whole experience is over and you have nothing to look forward to.

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    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    I'm in my 30's and don't watch much TV anymore. The only series I binge watched was Stranger Things as it was very captivating with its cliffhangers.

    I don't think I could binge watch much else, especially a longer series as I'd get a headache sitting in front of the TV that long.

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    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    The only part of binging I don't like is the long wait between new seasons. Otherwise I enjoy it much more than the once-a-week method. Some shows like sitcoms are fine for that method, but complex shows with ongoing continuity are better enjoyed all at once, as it's easier to keep track of what's going on. You can easily forget from week to week....or at least I can.
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    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    If we're talking shows on DVD, I LOVE binge-watching. That's especially helpful if there are several seasons! But if I watch a gem that only got 13 episodes, then I do like to space those out more to "keep it going" longer (or at least the feeling, lol).

    But I don't have all this fancy "Netflix" stuff that most folks seem to, so if I watch a current show (of which I do very few), I just keep up with it week-to-week ("The Goldbergs").
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    Heroic Warrior manowar's Avatar
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    Yep, don't have all the movie channels on cable, so I miss out on a few shows. I got the West World series on Blu-ray season 1, and season 2 for Christmas. It seems like a total waste to buy a series and binge watch it in a few days.

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    Heroic Warrior IceyCat's Avatar
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    Oh, I love binge watching! I do not watch live TV at all. In fact, I have not had cable in over a decade (probably closer to 15 years now). There is only one show I watch weekly, Walking Dead. I forgot about it recently though with all of the house stuff, so I had three to watch. It was great! If the show is good enough I would hate to have to wait a week. That being said, there are very few shows that interest me and I usually find them long after they no longer air or have been canceled. I just recently found Person of Interest and I love it. I wouldn't say I am binge watching it, but I love that I can go to the next episode if I want to. We have been far too busy to binge anything since we moved into the house.
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    I watch mostly online now on Netflix or Amazon and I sorta have a middle ground. I watch 2 or 3 episodes of a show and then leave it for a few days / a week.

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    Heroic Warrior depp76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne-klops View Post
    The only part of binging I don't like is the long wait between new seasons. Otherwise I enjoy it much more than the once-a-week method. Some shows like sitcoms are fine for that method, but complex shows with ongoing continuity are better enjoyed all at once, as it's easier to keep track of what's going on. You can easily forget from week to week....or at least I can.
    THIS exactly is true for me as well. I couldn't have said it any better.

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    Heroic Warrior moltak's Avatar
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    Not a fan of binge watching. Such a time waster, and I don’t feel I enjoy the series.

    I liked the days of once a week only, where scarcity made me savor and appreciate the show.

    Once digital content became ubiquitous and endless, I binge watched with the best of them. Now I’m burned out and don’t really like TV anymore.

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    Chris here...

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfsfang View Post
    I watch mostly online now on Netflix or Amazon and I sorta have a middle ground. I watch 2 or 3 episodes of a show and then leave it for a few days / a week.
    Yeah, that pretty much describes me, although it's more lifestyle influenced rather than a choice of how best to watch episodes.

    Back in the 1980s and 1990s I used to set aside special "marathon days" where I would spend the whole day watching episodes of a particular show that I'd taped off TV (He-Man, ThunderCats, TMNT, etc) - so I guess that was kind-of like the forerunner to binge-watching for me!

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    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    I binge 2-3 episodes at a time for most shows. But if I am really into a show I will watch it whenever I can such as waiting at the high school for my daughters to get out of rehearsal, eating lunch at work, etc.

    That said, I appreciate it when some shows still release weekly episodes so I HAVE to wait a week between episodes like the DCTV shows and Star Trek Discovery. Sometimes I will wait a few weeks if I am busy and then blast through the 3 to 5 that I am behind on, but there is something to be said by waiting a week between episodes. It allows me to digest what I watched, think about the overall arcs of the season plot threads and characters, etc. That processing time doesn't exist when binging and I think decreases the enjoyment for the show.
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    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moltak View Post
    Such a time waster
    Only if you're not enjoying what you're watching.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    Only if you're not enjoying what you're watching.
    In the old days Friday and Saturday nights were "tv" nights for me. DVR'd episodes all week and then watched them in bunches.

    Now days I don't watch many shows. But I also can't binge watch more than like 3 hours total of anything. I get burned out.
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    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Depends on the show and how it's designed.

    To put it another way, it's like reading a book. Some books the chapters flow into each other quite well making it very easy to read through the whole thing in smaller sittings. Where as others they don't quite flow like that and it's Ok to break the reading up. For example the Harry Potter books very easy to read either way really but the chapters do flow into each other better than say Game of thrones which are jumping from perspective and often can have fairly significant jumps in time frame.

    Basically it depends on how episodic the show is at the same time how redundant watching multiple episodes can be.

    I tried to go back and watch the hercules and xena shows at one point, and they weren't really designed to be binged at all. Where as something Stranger Things or Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are almost designed to be watched in few sittings as possible. I know there is a difference in time between when those shows were made but point still stands.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyldman11 View Post
    Depends on the show and how it's designed.

    To put it another way, it's like reading a book. Some books the chapters flow into each other quite well making it very easy to read through the whole thing in smaller sittings. Where as others they don't quite flow like that and it's Ok to break the reading up. For example the Harry Potter books very easy to read either way really but the chapters do flow into each other better than say Game of thrones which are jumping from perspective and often can have fairly significant jumps in time frame.

    Basically it depends on how episodic the show is at the same time how redundant watching multiple episodes can be.

    I tried to go back and watch the hercules and xena shows at one point, and they weren't really designed to be binged at all. Where as something Stranger Things or Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are almost designed to be watched in few sittings as possible. I know there is a difference in time between when those shows were made but point still stands.
    This is how I feel too.

    Lost, Heroes, Alias, These were shows that I can't imagine watching one episode and waiting a whole week to see the next one. They were more 'one show' then multiple shows. Modern shows seem designed to be binged

    That said, I think there is a lot lost by doing that. I can wait 2 years for a season of Daredevil and be through it in 2 days then need to wait another 2 years for some more... In the old days, it never was like that. The most you'd have to wait was a couple months in the summer maybe and then your shows were back. there was a constant entertainment (including reruns and syndication or whatever) for 8 months and it became part of your schedule and habits... now? Shows come and go so fast they're barely felt anymore.

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior moltak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mer-Man's Minion View Post
    Only if you're not enjoying what you're watching.
    Sometimes enjoyment enables waste. People can binge watch a day away and miss opportunities to make money, develop relationships, etc.

  20. #20
    Cheap Repaint FAKER II's Avatar
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    Before I had kids, I used to binge watch. This was even before we had Netflix. We had so many shows recorded on our DVR that we could watch one season of a show straight through, then go on to the next show. Now I have kids, I can't even binge watch Netflix. I don't have the time. I think it took me 2 months just to get through Punisher. And that was the only show I watched in the last two months and there are only 13 episodes.
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  21. #21
    Hang in there, Bow! Mer-Man's Minion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moltak View Post
    Sometimes enjoyment enables waste. People can binge watch a day away and miss opportunities to make money, develop relationships, etc.
    Just depends on priorities and desires and outlook. I like Jim Henson's comment, "No time is wasted time."
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  22. #22
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    I want to be sure that this doesn't come off as judgmental because it's not. It's simply an observation on my part:

    My thinking, and I certainly could be wrong on this, is that it breaks along generational lines. Many young people want instant gratification (binge watching all episodes) -- I was certainly that way when I was young -- while many older people realize that there are many things, watching an episode of a show each week television being just one, that are more rewarding if we take it slow and spread out the pleasure.

  23. #23
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    I want to be sure that this doesn't come off as judgmental because it's not. It's simply an observation on my part:

    My thinking, and I certainly could be wrong on this, is that it breaks along generational lines. Many young people want instant gratification (binge watching all episodes) -- I was certainly that way when I was young -- while many older people realize that there are many things, watching an episode of a show each week television being just one, that are more rewarding if we take it slow and spread out the pleasure.

    I'd offer that many times, it depends on the show. There are plenty of shows where you can watch one episode and it will come to a resolution by the end of the episode. There may be a cliff hanger or a part two, but most of time you reach a conclusion. Those shows are much easier to watch one at a time.

    Other series however run continuously and I find it hard to not binge watch. It's like reading half a book and then setting it down for a week. I need to know what happens!! Just waiting for Avengers Endgame has been killing me
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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Yes, Dice, but isn't the fact that it;'s killing you exactly the point -- i.e., that it builds excitement and anticipation which is good for the show and, ultimately, for you because the payoff was worth waiting for?

    Why does so much have to be resolved instantly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dice View Post
    I'd offer that many times, it depends on the show. There are plenty of shows where you can watch one episode and it will come to a resolution by the end of the episode. There may be a cliff hanger or a part two, but most of time you reach a conclusion. Those shows are much easier to watch one at a time.

    Other series however run continuously and I find it hard to not binge watch. It's like reading half a book and then setting it down for a week. I need to know what happens!! Just waiting for Avengers Endgame has been killing me

  25. #25
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker! View Post
    Yes, Dice, but isn't the fact that it;'s killing you exactly the point -- i.e., that it builds excitement and anticipation which is good for the show and, ultimately, for you because the payoff was worth waiting for?

    Why does so much have to be resolved instantly?
    For me it's an almost obsessive need to know. I hate reading half a story and not knowing how it concludes. It drives me nuts. I like multiple stories! I love my Sherlock Holmes volumes where I can read a single story and enjoy it, put the book down, and then have a new story to enjoy the next time. I've always loved books like that.
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