My Issues with Binge Watching

I don’t know about you, but I have never been a fan of binge watching. It’s partially because it’s a thing that I cannot do easily, but I also feel like it’s not how tv shows should be watched. Maybe that’s just me and my somewhat old-fashioned type of thinking, but I know I might not be completely right. Netflix has changed the landscape for how tv shows are watched. This is by helping the change of tv programming from standard cable and satellite to internet streaming and producing entire seasons of tv shows at a time that allows people to watch them all in whatever pace they feel like. Netflix may not have been the singular voice of it all, but it was the fastest and strongest horse in that race. A race that involves so many other varieties of streaming platforms that are still trying their hardest to catch up to. What does this have to do with my opinions on binge watching? Loosely based on it, I was talking a friend about episodes on Voltron season 3 and since I didn’t binge watch it and she did, she didn’t know what happened in either episode. That’s where the idea of this blog came from.

The first thing that bothers me about binge watching shows is the fact that episode titles and what goes on in them matter. You can make the argument that books have chapters too and they get thrown in together under one binding. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think a chapter of a book is comparable to one episode of a television show. A chapter usually tells the audience one segment of a story and what is going on in it. This could be any sort of page length, which is up to the author writing it. TVs are much more laid out and uniform. With some exceptions, they either thirty minutes or an hour with time for commercials in between. No matter what life of time they are, they also tell a complete story in their own right. They have their beginnings, the drama builds up, the drama releases, and a cliff hanger for the next episode. That’s what makes them special. If you want to let go of episode titles and things, then you might as well be watching extremely long movies.

The next thing that bothers me is finding the right show to binge watch. I know so many people that can binge watch any show and that is alright for them, but it doesn’t work for me. I’m too much of a scatter brain to watch one show for an extended amount of time. I get bored extremely easily and need to keep changing things up in order to keep my attention span in check. My idea of watching a lot of anime in one day is watching two or three episodes of a lot of shows until I fall asleep. If anything, there are three shows that I ever binged watched because they locked me in and made me want to keep going. These are Fate/Zero, Ping Pong: The Animation, and Lupin the Third Part 4. What makes them special? I don’t know. I really don’t.

I don’t know about you guys, but it’s hard to gauge the quality of a show during a binge watch. I’ve tried rewatching Fate/Zero ever since I did binge watch it and I didn’t feel the same way about it afterward. This makes me wonder if it wasn’t as great as I thought it was when I was in the zone for it or something. It’s not like I didn’t like it, I just some a lot more of its flaws then I did the first time. Ever since I became a blogger, I stopped binge watching shows on purpose. When I review a show, I need to make sure that I nail down all the things that I consider good and bad about a show, so it’s a balanced review. As much as other people love a purely positive review, those aren’t what I try to do because those aren’t who I am. How did I get this far into watching a show when I was reviewing a thing?

Everything you have read before this paragraph is just my personal opinion. I have never said my opinion is the end all be all. Everybody has their view point and everyone’s opinion is on an equal level as mine. If you want to binge watch anime or anything else, then go ahead and do it. Who am I going to tell you to stop? That’s not what is important here. As much as some people like ramming their opinion down other people’s throats, I will never do that. Why? Because everyone’s opinion matters here.

With that all aside, what is your opinion on binge watching? Do you enjoy doing it or do you prefer watching something weekly like I do?

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Jon Spencer says:

    I can relate. I can go through a whole show in a day, while other times it can take me months just to finish 12 episodes. It really depends on how well the anime (or any show really) engages with me. Other shows become draining to watch for extended periods, but I do really like them. It’s one of those play-it-by-ear things.

    Thanks for your thoughts! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I’m way too consistent for all of that. I watch a show about two to three episodes a night and that hardly ever changes unless I want to complete a series instead of watching for another day, so I watch four episodes instead.

      Curse my bad attention span.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jon Spencer says:

        At least 4 episodes is usually an arc, so that isn’t all bad. Like you said, you also appreciate some of the smaller details you may overlook in a marathon session 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        I try. Sometimes I get distracted. I’m too much of a scatterbrain sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Jon Spencer says:

        I think everybody gets distracted sometimes, happens.

        Like

  2. Karandi says:

    I love binge watching. Even before streaming and Netflix, as kids we’d borrow out the VHS’ for entire series of shows like Lost in Space or whatever else was available and school holidays would just be a binge watch. Then DVD box sets became a thing and to be honest, some shows are better when binged. Buffy Season 4 was painful week to week as it felt like she was depressed forever and it too long for the villain to show up. When you binge it, you realise it isn’t that poorly paced and the story moves along nicely. Then, due to lack of anime watching options, when I first got into it, the only shows I had access to were ones that had finished and that people had helpfully shared because there was no access, so binging was pretty much my standard.
    It has only been a few years since access to episodic viewing has even been possible for me, and at first I found it quite frustrating having to wait for the next part of the story, but I am now remembering how fun anticipation and predicting can be and what it can add to the viewing experience.
    Okay, basically I’ll take stories in any form. I do know that some stories work better for me in binged form (pretty much anything slow paced will end up dropped if I’m watching week to week but I may end up binge watching later and love it) and some keep me really entertained episodically.
    Sorry for the super long comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Don’t apologize for a long comment. It’s good to see people’s opinion’s expressed.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oishi says:

    I’m fine with either binge watching or weekly views. However, for me, I know I can call a show good when I end up binge watching it, because if it isn’t, I end up leaving it for weeks before eventually dropping it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I wish I had that ability thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Arria Cross says:

    I prefer the term “marathoning” rather than “binge watching”. But yeah, I’m a marathoner. That’s why I don’t usually watch airing anime and I wait for all episodes to be released before I start watching. Each person has their own watching preference, so I don’t think there is right or wrong way of doing things. Jusy fo what works for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Yup, everyone is different.

      Thank you for commenting Aria 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. railgunfan75 says:

    I do both honestly. It all depends on what new shows are on that day or just my mood. Some days I need that change of pace, others I feel like getting sucked into a show. I have binged watched shows that I love and watched shows weekly that I love or sometimes both. If I discover a show that is completed that hooks me, then I will try to watch as much of it as I can. Or if I get hooked by a show that is airing I will watch it weekly since I don’t want to wait to the end. In both cases my curiosity just wins out.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      No problem, thank you for reading and providing your input.

      Like

  6. Irina says:

    I usually just watch a few episodes of one show at the time and then switch to another but isn’t it the worse when you really want to find out what happens next and you have to wait a whole week? Maybe it’s just cause I have the attention span of a fruit fly mind you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Eh, I don’t really mind waiting to be honest. I can be patient when I need to be.

      Like

      1. Irina says:

        I have a lot to learn from you

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        I don’t know about that, I might be a lousy teacher…

        Like

      3. Irina says:

        That’s perfect cause I’m a terrible student!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. animesunday says:

    I’m the SAME way. I waited to watch One Punch Man, LEGALLY, on Adult Swim, EVERY Saturday night. Or was it Sunday?

    But it helps give me something to look forward to! When I get too invested in things that aren’t “REAL” then I start feeling… kinda… kinda MEH. Like I’m not LIVING life.

    I gotta live my own life and have my own story and also live vicariously through other’s and keep my imagination happy.

    Moderation and balance… that’s my philosophy!

    I did binge Tora Dora WAAAAY back when in high school, illegally :/ lol

    But a binge is kind of the exception.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I don’t really have to worry about anime taking over my real life, because I’m doing a lot besides sitting Infront of my TV and watching anime all the time.

      Still, I agree with moderation. That’s a philosophy I go along with as well.

      Like

      1. animesunday says:

        I USUALLY don’t have to worry about it… I USUALLY compel myself to enjoy everything in doses. Savor it… then next thing I know, I’ve knocked out a whole season of Orange is the New Black, or whatever, on my day off… ahahaha kinda depresses me. Whole day gone and all I did was laze about.

        I love fiction so I have to remember to go do my own thing.

        But at the same time, story telling and living vicariously through heroes and immersing ourselves in fantastical revery seems to be ingrained in the human experience. But all of that used to be a treat pre-industrial revolution… now though… throw in all the stimulation from video games and tv and movies and the internet and even books…

        Seems all too easy to forget about ourselves in this sea of media.

        Maybe it’s just me. *shrug*

        Great post, thought provoking stuff as usual!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. magicconan14 says:

    I used to subsist off Detective Conan for long periods of time (at my most extreme, I’d eke out most of a day to watch Detective Conan movies back to back in order of release year, and back then, there were 14 or 15 movies out). When it came to watching seasonals though, I found I had to severely limit myself (both in number of series and number of eps per day). Now when I tackle backlog, it reflects that change – now there’s so much stuff out there, you feel a compulsion to finish it all (or as much as you want to, which tends to be too much for one lifetime).

    Seasonals have really demonstrated how the anime landscape has changed as the world moves online.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yeah, it’s crazy how simulcasting has changed our fan base. Life seems so different then it was before hand.

      Like

  9. Honestly, part of my knowing that an anime is (for me, personally) a favorite or good/great title is when it grabs me and makes me want to binge watch it all at once, like Yuri on Ice or FMAB. Granted, these shows grab me for different reasons, and I place them at different ends of the spectrum regarding WHY I enjoyed them and he level said enjoyment reached, but usually binge watching means I’ve really~ liked what I’ve seen. (But, again, I’m that person that reads hundreds of pages in one setting and does like to view whole seasons on Netflix as really long movies. I mean, Husband and I would both sit through a massive movie if it was the right one.)
    In any case, different strokes. 🙂 I’m glad you chose to write on this and share your opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Awesome! You guys sound people who watch all of the Lord of the Rings extended editions in one day.

      I’m too much of a scatterbrain…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. amaranto es says:

    I’m too much of a scatterbrain… I watch a appearance about two to three episodes a Nox and that hardly ever changes unless I require to complete a serial publication instead of watching for another daytime, so I watch four episodes instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Scatterbrains unite!

      Like

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