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Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

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Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Old 08-09-16, 10:26 PM
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Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I'd like to hear some honest opinions here.

Why is it easier for some of you to binge watch a show on say a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu, yet struggle to keep up watching a series week to week for the 4-8 months that it's on TV. Or some stockpile an entire season (13 to 22 episodes) on the DVR and wait until the season is over to binge watch.

I see so many people here struggle to keep up with shows while they are on the air and end up with massive DVR backlogs that are months long and lose the motivation to watch it. Yet, when something new appears on a streaming service, they can easily devour it in a few days or sometimes even all at once.

Any thoughts?

Is it just the type of content that's being released on streaming that makes it easier? Like the Marvel TV content on Netflix? Is that just more attractive to watch all at once? Or is stockpiling episodes all at once on the DVR and watching a bunch consecutively a lot easier than waiting to DVR and watch it week to week?

I see some here watch like Daredevil, Jessica Jones or House of Cards in like 2 or 3 days when all the episodes are posted. Yet, some here struggle to keep up with Better Call Saul, The Americans, Agents of Shield or The Flash week to week when the season runs from Sept to May or January to May even when DVR-ing them to watch later. I keep seeing comments every new TV season saying shit like...."I have 25 episodes of Arrow unwatched and absolutely no desire to watch them." Really?

Could another reason be that you only have a limited amount of free time for TV viewing and you can only binge watch on certain days of the week when you're free with no distractions?

Last edited by DJariya; 08-10-16 at 01:20 AM.
Old 08-09-16, 11:08 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

For me, I hate being tied to a schedule, having to stop my life at the same time every week to watch a TV show. Admittedly, I only do this with one show these days (The Amazing Race), but I remember the '90s, when my wife and I scheduled our lives around the TV.

I guess that I just enjoy not having to do that anymore; I prefer that the watching be done when I want to do it, not when some programming executive in Los Angeles or New York tells me I have to watch.

Additional bonus: no (or quickly skipped, in the case of stockpiled episodes on the DVR) commercials.

As for bingeing, with shows like 24 and Lost, it's great to be able to watch several in a row, keeping the momentum of the plot going without having to break for a week to get back to it. 24 is the show that opened me up to the joy of bingeing.
Old 08-09-16, 11:36 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I also find that a lot of shows available to binge on netflix and amazon usually end each episode with you wanting to see what happens next.
Old 08-10-16, 12:53 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Contrary to the thread, I don't like to binge. There's a reason that the word "binge" has become associated with this mode of watching, and binge-ing is not a positive thing.

If a show is really good, I want to savor it. I've re-watched entire seasons of Game of Thrones over a weekend, but the first time out I want to enjoy it over time, anticipating each week.

If a show is not good, then forcing it on myself is just punishment. Some people say they want to watch a trash series (like Scream Queens) but just want to get it over with in a hurry. WTF kind of attitude is that?

I am getting ready to cut the cable and just go to Netflix/Hulu/Amazon, so I will see how my habits and attitudes are effected.
Old 08-10-16, 01:07 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
For me, I hate being tied to a schedule, having to stop my life at the same time every week to watch a TV show. Admittedly, I only do this with one show these days (The Amazing Race), but I remember the '90s, when my wife and I scheduled our lives around the TV.

I guess that I just enjoy not having to do that anymore; I prefer that the watching be done when I want to do it, not when some programming executive in Los Angeles or New York tells me I have to watch.

Additional bonus: no (or quickly skipped, in the case of stockpiled episodes on the DVR) commercials.

As for bingeing, with shows like 24 and Lost, it's great to be able to watch several in a row, keeping the momentum of the plot going without having to break for a week to get back to it. 24 is the show that opened me up to the joy of bingeing.
That sums it up nicely.

I can hardly stand live tv as it feels too controlling and I like quite a few shows that I watch on my terms. Plus skipping past the ads is a bonus. Six hours of tv is really four. That is a lot of wasted time.
Old 08-10-16, 01:12 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I was binge-watching long before the term existed. There were a few short-lived series in the 80s that I ended up taping every episode of and then watching in one day after they were cancelled. Pity I didn't keep any of them. The problem of course is that the production values of a TV series rarely equal those of a movie, and some characters might wear out their welcomes after a few hours of seeing them.

I've been watching Bates Motel on Netflix, despite its flaws it's held my interest and it's less frustrating getting to see what happens next without waiting a week. Of course once you reach the season finale, you have to wait about a year to continue on.
Old 08-10-16, 03:04 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

No show was more improved by binge watching for me than Hell on Wheels. It's a show where it usually ends on something emotional, characters fade in and out, and you can avoid spoilers. These are the keys for binge watching because then you want to watch the next one right away, you can keep track of which characters are relevant, and there's no urgency to join a discussion.
But I watched that in 3 episode bursts. The last several years I've watched whole series around this time of year when TV is shit. Game of Thrones 1-5 this year, Dr Who last year, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad (that I scheduled around the government shutdown/series finale), and Smallville the last few years. X-files and 24 someday. The thing is either its on against football so I can never pick it up, or I don't have AMC HD or HBO, or by the time I want to watch it there's no way to catch up and that's the only way it's going to get watched, main lined before football comes back. I'd have preferred to not have to avoid spoilers but then it's like there may never be an experience like the next 12 hours of TV I'm watching is Breaking Bad season 5.

Last edited by cleaver; 08-10-16 at 03:22 AM.
Old 08-10-16, 06:17 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I enjoy watching a show that I have to wait week to week for each episode. Now I don't have to watch it live the night it's shown, but I will watch it from my DVR sometime during the week when there is a night with nothing on.

I am not a huge fan of binge watching simply because I zip right through the season and have no willpower. When a show comes out week to week it, I can enjoy it more as I may watch that episode again before the next comes out. When I binge watch something I plow through the season and sometimes I don't appreciate it as much.

A perfect example is Breaking Bad. I regret binge watching it and not slowing down and enjoying it more. I zipped through the whole series in a few weeks (because it was so damn good). If I watched it when it came out in 2008 week to week, I definitely would have been able to really soak it up and watch each episode multiple times like I am doing now with The Americans.

Plus I love week to week shows because you can still talk about them at work. Shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are the last of the water cooler shows that everybody talks about. When shows come out on Netflix, everyone goes at their own pace so you can rarely talk about it with anyone anymore.
Old 08-10-16, 07:55 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I can't tell you how many times I've heard of a series after it's first season has run, and then rented it on DVD or Blu-Ray watching the whole season in a day or two. Then I start watching the next season in the regular fashion and it seems to lose a little something. "Damages", "Broadchurch" and "Mad Men" are just a few that went that way for me.

I watched the first season of "Game of Thrones" as it aired and was never fully sold on it, -I watched it, appreciated its quality, but never got invested in it. I ended up buying the BluRay sets and didn't get back to them until Season Three. I then re-watched One and then Two and Three. The difference was the BDs have an option that you can click on in every scene that tells you all the players in that particular scene and their backstory/connections, where the scene is taking place and how it figures in, and additional deep backstory that informs the scene. That feature kept me from getting lost and helped me enjoy the series that much more. Now I watch it day/date because I want to avoid spoilers.
Old 08-10-16, 08:38 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

For me it's free time and the opposite is true. I don't have time to binge watch because my free time is typically in pockets of 2 hours here and there (usually around the kids nap or bedtime).

I haven't binge-watched a show in months and typically 'chip away' at them on a weekly basis.
Old 08-10-16, 09:05 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I feel like this is self explanatory.
Old 08-10-16, 10:01 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I'm a big fan of binge watching. With binge watching, watching a show has become like reading a book. When I read, I don't read one chapter per week and mix in a bunch of other books at the same time. I read the entire book and move on to the next. For that short period of time that I'm binge watching the show, it allows me to completely immerse myself in that world.

Some shows are indeed better week to week though. Game of Thrones is the big current example. Those type of shows generate so much discussion between episodes that you're missing out on a lot if you binge watch. But most shows don't fall into that category.
Old 08-10-16, 10:10 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

For us it's all about priority and likelihood of spoilers. We have shows that we like far more than others, and make them a priority to watch week to week. But above even that is the priority we give a show because it's likely the outcomes will be spoiled the next day... some how... some where. Survivor falls into the last category. Pretty much the only show we watch the day it airs. But we still record it at watch it later that night. Just can't stand to watch commercials now that we are used to watching content off discs or the DVR.
Old 08-10-16, 10:10 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

What I don't like about binging is the lack of discussion. I really want to talk about Stranger Things, but I haven't seen all the episodes yet...and anywhere to talk about it will be full of spoilers. Whereas a week-to-week show everybody is on equal footing and folks can discuss it as they go.
Old 08-10-16, 10:20 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Bing watching is more forgiving IMO for a few reasons. One being you don't spend all week building up expectations only to be let down when it's a "setup" episode. Another is available time to watch. Maybe I'm home sick and I have 12 hours to throw at a season of something. But over 12 weeks I don't really have the desire to carve out that time on a weekly basis. And of course there's the instant gratification of not having to wait to see what happens.
Old 08-10-16, 10:22 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by rbrown498 View Post
As for bingeing, with shows like 24 and Lost, it's great to be able to watch several in a row, keeping the momentum of the plot going without having to break for a week to get back to it. 24 is the show that opened me up to the joy of bingeing.
24 and Lost were also two of my earliest binges. Sailed through S1 and S2 of 24 on DVD each in a weekend, same with Lost S1. 24 S3 and Lost S2 were a big letdown in real-time watching for me.
Old 08-10-16, 10:25 AM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
What I don't like about binging is the lack of discussion. I really want to talk about Stranger Things, but I haven't seen all the episodes yet...and anywhere to talk about it will be full of spoilers. Whereas a week-to-week show everybody is on equal footing and folks can discuss it as they go.
Very good point. I'm one of those people who likes to read "recaps" on the Entertainment sites and visit message boards like this, and I can't really read threads for the Netflix originals and others like them. Sort of like "The Magicians" (which was a regular cable show), -I just finished that one (over the course 10 days or so) and now I'm looking up the threads.
Old 08-10-16, 02:49 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
What I don't like about binging is the lack of discussion. I really want to talk about Stranger Things, but I haven't seen all the episodes yet...and anywhere to talk about it will be full of spoilers. Whereas a week-to-week show everybody is on equal footing and folks can discuss it as they go.
That happened when the 1st season of Hard of Cards started 4 years ago and essentially the whole binge watch phenomenon began. People here were watching episodes in 2 or 3 days and no one really wanted to talk about specific episodes and specific plot plot points.

Most were like:

"Finished the season, Awesome show, (some general non-specific thought) (and maybe something in spoiler tags that isn't set up), looking forward to the next season"

I don't know I guess taking the time to post your thoughts on specific plot points for these kinds of shows takes too much time and energy for some here. When some here actually bother to use spoilers, they don't even set up what they're talking about. So I have no clue whether I should click it or not. Season or Series threads for shows here do kind of suck, but I get that not every popular show on the air gets watched here let alone right away. And those kinds of threads for binge watch season shows like the Netflix originals can't really be discussed episode to episode.

And I don't like looking in these Netflix show threads because I'm not watching them at the same pace as others. So that does hinder discussion a lot. And the Netflix series threads are usually dead within a month or two.

I find a show like Game of Thrones, which I try to watch week to week, really difficult to run to the computer or tablet to talk about shortly after the episode airs. As DWilson said, there are so many little things that I don't get right away and too many names to remember. I have watched a few episodes on HBO Go and on that medium, HBO posts an episode recap with interviews from the creators and that helps out a lot comprehending the episode and some details I might have missed.

I find a show like 24 or Prison Break or any serialized action show much easier to discuss week to week rather than gobbling it up as a binge watch.

Last edited by DJariya; 08-10-16 at 03:08 PM.
Old 08-10-16, 03:06 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I feel binging helps keep the momentum of a show going. Sometimes that's lost having to wait week to week.
Old 08-10-16, 03:48 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

DJariya, I find it easier to watch some shows week to week knowing I will probably give up on them if I do not take the time to watch the episode before the next hits my tivo, but some shows like Madame Secretary, for some odd reason I find myself able to sit down and binge watch 4-6 eps in a row (and I really do enjoy bingeing this show). I actually do not find it easier to binge watch, as I am much more likely to give up on a show I like if I let them pile up. To prove my case, I am a big fan of Blindspot but for some reason I ended up letting 10 eps in a row pile up on my tivo...and this along with other shows in the same boat is what caused me to buck up and purge a bunch of shows from my season pass list (see my posts in the what shows have you stopped watching thread) because I knew I would not take the time to catch up...even 6 months to a year down the road.

Maybe I will catch up on Blindspot when the latest batch of eps hits netflix, but I am more likely to binge a netflix original like Stranger Things than a network show that has added a new season to watch on Netflix.
Old 08-10-16, 05:06 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by devilshalo View Post
I feel binging helps keep the momentum of a show going. Sometimes that's lost having to wait week to week.
I was thinking the same thing. Binge Viewing is a "flow". It's easy to go with that flow.
Old 08-10-16, 05:32 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

If it's a show I watch with my wife, week to week. No time to binge. For me, I'll binge the shit out of shows during the week when I work from home.
Old 08-10-16, 07:52 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
That happened when the 1st season of Hard of Cards started 4 years ago and essentially the whole binge watch phenomenon began.
You think it started 4 years ago? Maybe the phrase was coined then but I was "binge watching" shows as soon as TV on DVD became reasonably priced. I doubt I am alone in that.

"Why" is a harder question to answer. Simply because it's there and I want to watch I suppose. "Keeping the momentum" going was mentioned and for me that is certainly a factor. It is easier for me to recall little factoids that drive events and motivations if I see them over the course of a few days rather that several months. Online discussion helps with that as well... why did a do b? Oh, because c happened in episode 5... usually someone remembers. I have fewer questions when binge, I assume because of the shorter time and I have retained more information.
Old 08-10-16, 08:26 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

Easy, you are correct that when TV on DVD was a much bigger draw than it is now that I would do things like watch a full season of The Wire in one weekend (I did not have cable, would pounce on the DVD set and watch it toot sweet). I also did this with Deadwood, several seasons of Entourage, and to a lesser degree with Network shows that would hit DVD (new or old series). Now that it is easier to watch so much tv via so many different methods I barely buy TV on DVD/Blu.
Old 08-10-16, 09:33 PM
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Re: Why is it easier for you to binge watch vs. watching week to week?

I also started the whole binge watching things once DVD's hit the libraries. Quite a few people likely did, just under a different name. Oh, can we say, "we were binge watching before it was cool" (please know I'm joking!)

I have no idea how I even found the time, no way could I watch stuff as fast as I used to.

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