Generally speaking, binge-watching is considered as watching a specific TV show to the exclusion of all other shows, one episode after another, ultimately completing a single season or whole series.
Viewing duration is based on a combination of choice and juggling real-world demands – two to three episodes per weekday is considered do-able for the binge-watching majority, with weekends offering the possibility of more. This is where the subject of health comes in – if you’re considering a marathon stint of binge-watching, always take regular screen breaks – particularly for your eyes, but also for the rest of you!
Ultimately, binge-watching is about choice and a movement away from the traditional broadcast TV model; sometimes one episode a week of that great show just isn’t enough. If you’re drawn to serial immersion, escapism and dictating your own viewing rules, you’ve come to the right place.
In the old days…
The concept of binge-watching has been around since the advent of video recorders. If you liked a TV show you had the option of recording episodes as each was transmitted, maybe even chronologically on the same tape. Then, at a time of your choosing, you had the option of watching as many episodes of that one show as you fancied, one straight after the other. Cool!
This was followed by the concept of the video box-set – packaged, pre-recorded tapes of a show, comprising either one season or the complete series if it had concluded. The quality was better than taping off the TV, plus the lack of commercial breaks, but the price was high and restricted widespread take-up.
The advent of DVD and Blu-Ray disc box-sets offered a more affordable price-range (and offered significantly better quality), leading to more and more people being able to realise the simple truth: “I like this show and I don’t want to wait to watch another episode!”.
To the present, and the notion of high quality streaming video is a reality. Whether known as ‘catch-up’ or ‘on-demand’ TV, the result is usually the shows you want, when you want them: a binge-watcher’s paradise. Grab some snacks and a tasty beverage, sit back and enjoy your viewing!