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How does Binge Watching change the way we watch or engage with "television"

With the popularity of online streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, who sometimes release an entire season worth of content at a time, how does this difference in presentation change how we watch and engage with entertainment. Just a few years ago, tv viewers had to tune in week after week to view the last hit t.v. show, but now, many famous and successful shows are released on Netflix at a season by season basis. For example, House of Cards, Marvel Shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage), and Master of None all dropped with their entire season available for viewing from day one of their release. What is the effect on our thoughts and perceptions of a show when we can sit down and view the whole thing in one sitting rather than having to wait week by week for the next episode. What is lost and what is gained in this shift?

  • Very interesting topic. Another facet of it that may be worth exploring in relation to this is how the binge-format is changing, not only how we watch, but also how content is created and structured. For example, something that I noticed while binging BoJack Horseman is that most of the episodes (especially in the later seasons) end very abruptly without a punchy joke or poignant conclusion to facilitate the landing. This would be incredibly frustrating if you then had to wait a week for the following episode to pick up where they left off, but because the show is conducive to binging by design, it works quite well. That's just one example that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are plenty of other ways in which this new form has influenced the content to be found if you take a closer look at it with this in mind. – ProtoCanon 8 months ago
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  • Queer film critic B Ruby Rich writes in her book "New Queer Cinema" that television and film used to be community activities. Everyone would gather around a TV and watch it as a family or as a community, but now, it's all personalized and individualized. While people still watch TV and movies together, services like Netflix and Amazon make it much easier to watch television by yourself and in copious quantities. – X 8 months ago
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  • Definitely an interesting topic... any polls out there to show what people prefer? Do young people who have grown up with netflix see it as normal? Does the availability make people watch more? What kinds of people prefer binging or prefer waiting? – Sboother 8 months ago
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  • This is a particularly alluring topic to explore, especially from a psychological point of view. The concept of binge watching shows has become extremely relevant with the advent of Netlifx and especially, as you mentioned, their originals. Just because the whole season is out doesn't mean that viewers have to scrap their whole Saturday or stay home from work to watch it. The fact that binge watching has become a phenomenon has really highlighted the matter that consumers are showing less and less self control in yet another facet of life. – gabyelan 8 months ago
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  • Binge watching would also affect how tv writers create stories because there's no more waiting around. Before Netflix we would have to wait for the next episode to air & there was a suspense/feeling of anticipation, but that feeling has disappeared now b/c all of these shows are now available under our fingertips – seouljustice 5 months ago
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  • There's also the new water cooler elitism of those who can afford to pay for up-to-date programming spoiling shows for those who can't afford paid shows. Can someone sponsor me and solve this catastrophic first-world problem? – Tigey 5 months ago
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  • Film Crit Hulk, an insightful if somewhat informal writer, wrote a column about this: http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/10/12/luke-cage-netflix-and-the-death-of-episodic-tv I absolutely recommend that any potential writer on this topic read Hulk's thoughts before writing. – bookstudent4 5 months ago
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  • I have found that the final episode of a series is much more bitter than sweet when I have binge watched the entire season. If I have waited week by week for episodes to air, the season finale is much more exciting. Being forced to patiently wait for the finale adds to the thrill of finally watching it. When I watch a show all at once, I usually arrive at the end of the season without even realizing it's the end. Then I am just left to reflect and be sad that the season ended so abruptly. – InvidaSin 5 months ago
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  • I really like to concept of TV shows as forming a community. Even if you sat in front of the TV Thursday night to watch your show at a certain time alone, you knew that many others were watching what you were watching at the same time. What's also interesting is shows "dropping" a whole season at once and then having to wait a whole YEAR to see the next season sometimes. You binge and then by the time the next season comes around you have to rewatch the previous season to recapture the essence of the show again and reconnect with the characters and their plots. – Gaby 2 months ago
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