Sunday, April 21, 2024

ERA OF THE BINGE WATCH

When streaming services like Netflix premier an entire season of a show at once, there’s a high likelihood you would binge watch those episodes on your next days off. How many of you remember a time where you checked the newspaper for the program listing for the handful of channels you could access without needing cable TV?

Speaking of Netflix, there’s no doubt of its success, earning record profits and better than expected subscriber counts. There’s something to be said about consuming media like this though; a certain ‘rush’, a ‘pressure’, to be caught up all at once, before the next big thing hits. It could give the impression of rapid obsolescence of these releases: if you don’t see it now, you’re missing on that surge of attention of this media cycle.

What then, does it mean for media released in such a manner? When you binge watch, how long does it stay ‘relevant’ in popular culture? There could be something to say about that typical week-long wait for a new episode, keeping you speculating – therefore, invested – until it drops, then the cycle repeats up to the season finale. The sense of anticipation has been lost, the scramble to share mad theories rendered moot when the ‘answer’ can already be ‘found’.

It would feel that what’s left is merely instant gratification.

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