Do You Binge Watch?

LWH_2012_7_WomanReadingInBed

LWH_2012_7_WomanReadingInBed

It’s become a bit of a thing these days to binge watch a series. You wait till the series finishes, then you watch it all in one go. Facilitated by websites, both illegal (not saying which) and legal (netflix, quickflix) it is easy to download and consume a whole season of a show in one go. So many of my friends were binge watching Breaking Bad I almost wanted to join them just to see what all the fuss is about.

This naturally started a wave of articles on binge watching – was it good, did you get the enjoyment, the dangers of finding out what happened through spoilers. I know all these issues, I first started binge watching in 2003. I returned to Australia from one of my earlier stints in Japan, had 3 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD and no job.

Lots of vampire killing followed. I loved it, I didn’t have to wait, instant gratification. I did start to notice though, that in the last season, I had to take a break, the episodes were set a week apart, and if I didn’t stop, I couldn’t let the story or tension be absorbed.

I am watching Game of Thrones now. One of the most illegally downloaded shows in the world. It is easy to binge watch because of its structure, it’s in small bite sizes so the continuity is easy. It’s so good I started reading the books – binge reading even. I say binge reading because I sat down and read for 5 hours one Saturday. If I had done that with a TV show, it would definitely have been called binge watching, but it is how many people have been reading books for centuries.

It’s interesting how binge reading is not considered a stigma, yet the same people who binge books often also binge TV, at least in my experience. I have never felt like I have missed anything by reading an entire book in a day, whereas watching a movie trilogy, I could.

Maybe we don’t say “binge reading” because it is an active pastime rather than passive, we are reading and imagining, rather than being force fed. Maybe we miss less because of all the extra detail in books. I have no problem with binge watching good TV, but it’s funny we don’t have a name for a similar thing with reading… Maybe we should invent one, not binge reading though, too uncouth for the written word. I would suggest “feasting”. I am feasting on a book, or even feast reading. Now if you’ll excuse me, The world of Westeros awaits, and it’s always rude to be late to a feast.

Do you binge watch? Do you binge read? What are you currently addicted to?

  • Gary

    I love binge watching. This year I’ve watched all of Star Trek TNG, the first five seasons of True Blood and will soon embark on a rewatch of Dexter. It’s the best way to watch a TV series.

  • Sally

    I’m also currently binge-watching Game of Thrones. (But I cover my eyes over the really gory bits….) I’ve just finished the first season and I plan on starting the second as soon as I have a good block of time to devote to it. And next week, when I’m on holiday, I plan on feast reading by the pool. I’m currently re-reading the White Queen series by Philippa Gregory. :)

  • Casey

    I like to get really involved in whatever I’m watching, and binge watching is the best way to do that. I watched Orphan Black that way and it makes for a much better viewing experience. That said, I watch my favourite shows in real-time because I just can’t wait that long to see the episodes. I binge watched Breaking Bad seasons 1-3 because I’d missed the show when it first came out, and then watched the rest of the episodes as they aired because I just couldn’t wait to see them.

  • http://www.jfgibson.com.au/ Jodi Gibson

    I am so old school. I love the tension at the end of the episode and then being teased with the preview for the following week and the waiting. I think it would take all the enjoyment out of the show. But having said that, I haven’t tried it either!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Never??

  • Mitchell Osmond

    I’m into binge watching, mainly as I can’t wait a whole week for the next episode of something good, but I’ll make exceptions to this with shows that I want to be able to discuss straight away with friends/avoid internet spoilers.

    The only problem I see with binge watching is that it could lead to shows being cancelled, as they rely on good ratings week to week to ensure the show’s future which they aren’t getting due to bingers.

  • Faybian

    I have binge watched all of the Star Wars franchise as well as the Lord of the Rings one (extended version thank you). With series I don’t tend to binge watch, maybe 3 episodes per day or so. I’m part way through American Horror Story and American Gothic. I definitely binge/feast read, having read the last few Harry Potter books in a day..

  • Monique Fischle

    I’m pretty sure I binge watch/read A LOT. I just finished reading all 3 Divergent books in a week (not my best effort). I once read all Harry Potter books in 3 weeks while interning 9-5 (gotta love a good commute).

    I love to binge watch TV shows, there’s something enjoyable about it!

  • Mazi

    I do fear for the “loss of revenue = Loss of funding for the show” but I think if we bing watch legally, or watch then buy as I know many have done, this is no longer an issue, i am sure GoT has made a lot of money through its pirating by being available to people who would not have seen it at all otherwise.

    I see people wearing “Winter is coming” Shirts, buying the books, and if, like me, pining for the next book in the series! What will happen to Jon Snow? (no spoilers !)

  • http://www.kyliepurtell.com/ Kylie Purtell, A Study in Cont

    If I get a chance to binge watch I always do. My husband and I watched all 3 seasons of GoT back to back in about 2 weeks. I’d bought season 1 when everyone started talking about it and finally convinced my husband to watch it with me. Within a few episodes he was hooked and begged his brother to borrow his season 2 and 3 DVDs. I am now currently working my way through the books at high speed, certainly ‘feast reading’ if you will!

  • http://www.smaggle.com Smaggle

    I binge watch everything. I can no longer be sensible with my viewing. I have to be careful though. Binge watching Boardwalk Empire is exhausting.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      There are a few shows like that! I found Mad Men was really exhausting to binge watch.