I love a good binge watch. I often have to do it if I’m covering a show I’ve never seen for a website, or because I don’t want to be spoiled on a show. Right now I’m binge-watching everything under the sun because my better half is on the other side of the world for five weeks. After doing so much of it (13 hours of “Jessica Jones” in one day!), I have to say it’s the best way to watch anything! OK, I know the week-to-week anticipation is thrilling, but there is something insanely satisfying about crashing headlong through a season or a series and looking at it as a whole.
If you haven’t done this yet, let me give you some reasons to do it during the holiday break. First of all, it’s an excellent way to avoid family squabbles. (I’m kidding! OK, no, I’m totally not.) Seriously though, here they are.
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First, when watching a season or a series in a large chunk, you really get a sense of character development. You see it unfolding in “real time.” It’s not like a friend you check in with here and there and get updates on their life every week or so. It’s like you’re living their life with them. Watching a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” marathon, you really see the emotional turmoil her death and subsequent resurrection had on her. You feel the pain of her mother’s death and see it carried into the next episode with no time to mourn. She certainly didn’t. You watch the effect of Lily’s death on “Veronica Mars” day to day as though you were in school with her. You “feel” the effect the lack of control Jessica Jones felt after Kilgrave returns.
Immersion in something for a number of hours has the power to give you a completely different perspective. Following someone else’s story can create compassion. No, follow me here. Watching the effect of rape on “Veronica Mars” for an extended amount of time gives you a feeling of “being in someone else’s head.” When we allow ourselves to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, it gives us greater understanding of what it’s like to go through something like that. You do feel changed after a good binge watch.
On the flip side, it’s kind of a blast to look for inconsistencies in a show. While binge-watching “The Tudors,” I had as much fun talking about historical inaccuracies and little places they messed up as I did enjoying what was an excellent show.
Then there is that immediate gratification thing. Hey, it has fewer calories than pumpkin pie! What are you binge-watching this holiday?