Love it or hate it: Binge-watching

by David Holub

Love itIt doesn’t get better than a wide-open afternoon and evening, an array of comfort and junk foods, and six to 12 to 24 episodes of a show you and your viewing partner love equally. Given this formula, I could binge a number of shows: “Seinfeld,” “Arrested Development,” “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Office (U.K.).” The smarter, the funnier, and the shorter the episodes, the easier to binge.

Intense dramas I almost have to binge: “Breaking Bad” or “The Wire,” or even light dramas: “Weeds” or “Big Love.” I have to stay in that mindset, that emotionally-taxing, at-times-distressing, roller-coaster, one episode after another. Break the chain of episodes and I’m apt to look for something sugary sweet.

Beyond basking in TV brilliance and the ever-joy of being lazy, binging feels satisfying, like at the end of a marathon you’ve accomplished something. It’s like getting through a critically-acclaimed 3.5-hour movie: It’s an achievement.

And then you get to the end of a series unexpectedly. You wish you would have had the patience to spread your viewing out like a normal person. And it makes you love the show all the more.

David HolubHate itI’m not gonna be the falsifier who sits here tippy-tap-typing pretending she doesn’t binge-watch TV. Entire seasons of “Peaky Blinders” slip inside me. “Glow”? Yup, watched that in two days. “Better Call Saul?” Tore through it faster than Gwar attacks a blood bag.

But I mean, come on, does anyone like themselves after watching six hours of TV? Your metabolism and circulation slow after that much slugabuggin. There’s a certain point during a movie marathon where I feel like crap. Instead of fun, this has turned into a black hole of couch time. There are friends I could be hanging with, French I could be studying, the walk I could be taking, or about 30,000 pounds of books still waiting to be read.

Life is so damn short and I find it slightly horrifying how much of it I have spent binge-watching bullshit like “House Hunters,” especially after finding out that studies have found TV benders lead to increased rates of inflammatory diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

::turns off TV::

::goes for a walk with “The Dollop” podcast instead::

Patty Templeton


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