Ken Levine on Binge Viewing

Not sure we agree with him here, but so what?

netflix-tvwriter.comThe Trouble with Bringing
by Ken Levine

No, this is not about eating disorders (in case you found your way here through a search engine or activist group that didn’t bother to read the post before linking to it). It’s about television binging. It’s about watching a hundred episodes of DEXTER at one sitting and then never being able to sleep with the light off.

Binging is the new way we’re watching television. Viewers now have to make a tough choice. Wait a week for the next installment of your favorite show? Or send the kids to boarding school so you’ll have time to finally catch up on SONS OF ANARCHY?

I have binge-watched on occasion. It is addicting. I think I burned through HOUSE OF CARDS in two nights. I found myself saying: “What time is it? 2:30 am? Okay. I can watch one more.”

There are however, a number of drawbacks to binging.

You can’t just hop aboard the moving train. You hear great things about a show but you really have to start from the beginning. So if a couple of seasons have gone by chances are you’ll just skip it and thus deny yourself a terrific show.

This is how I feel about THE WIRE. Never watched it when it was on.  I have all the DVD’s just sitting, waiting for me. People say it’s the greatest show in the history of television. But they also say it takes about a season to get into it and it’s hard to pick up the dialogue. You have to train your ear. But they say, “Fight through that and it’s worth it.” I’m sure it is. But the prospect of all that effort and all the hours required just seems so daunting. Instead I watch baseball plays-of-the-week.

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