To Binge Watch or Not To Binge Watch?


“Binge watching” is a phrase that, a decade ago, didn’t really exist. Now you will see it referenced constantly.

There’s no doubt that it’s the rise of online streaming platforms that have made binge watching a possibility. Rather than having to wait a week to see the new episode from your favourite shows, there’s endless options to watch through an entire season or two in a weekend. Shows that have long been off air have enjoyed a renaissance, binged through by viewers too young or too uninterested to notice them the first time around.

It’s easier than ever to indulge in a love of TV, especially if you figure how to get American Netflix and open up your options even more. However - should you? We’re so used to the idea of binge watching being a good thing, the most perfect way to lose a weekend, it’s worth making sure that’s a sound decision.

PRO: You Can Absorb Storylines All The Better

For a standard season of an American TV show, you’re looking at anything between 10 and 22 episodes. Often, these will go on hiatus when scheduling changes through the (American) autumn and the various holidays like Christmas. It can take you up to nine months to watch a full season of a show due to this.

It’s pretty much inevitable that, during this time, you will forget plotlines and relevant characters. We’ve all been in that moment where there’s a big reveal on screen, and you have to pause for a moment to Google and catch up. That doesn’t happen with binge watching; everything is still fresh in your mind, so it gives you the opportunity to always be in the loop.

CON: You Might Miss Things

When you are just crashing through episodes, you might miss some of the finer, nuanced details. TV shows like Breaking Bad thrive on their storytelling, which is often more visual than it is found in the dialogue. If you’re watching relentlessly, you can lose the ability to track the smaller things in favour of focusing on the overall plot. If you’re a fan of intricate details, then it’s sometimes worth having that space between episodes so you can absorb what you’ve seen.

PRO: It Feels Like An Event

A TV show is generally around 40 minutes long, which can feel quite transient when spaced out over a number of weeks. When you group them all together, it’s more like watching a series of films. You’re more immersed in the storyline as you have fewer distractions, meaning you can appreciate the narrative arc as a whole rather than one dissected into weekly chunks.

CON: You Might Be Ahead Of The Game

There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for your friends to catch up to where you are with a binge watch. You want to talk about the show and the developments you’ve seen, which is more difficult when everyone is watching at different speeds.

So which do you favor? Binge watch: yay or nay?