We’re all bingeing

All periods of time get remembered for something, whether they want to or not. Some examples: shoulder pads and blue eyeshadow mean the 80s; mods and rockers are the 60s; and grunge music is the 90s. So what about the 2010s? If we zero in on 2014 it, unfortunately, is likely to be Kim Kardashian’s arse, but there is something else I think the last few years are synonymous with: binge watching TV shows.

We’ve all done it, there’s no need to be shy. Some of us plan it out in advance, looking forward to a slovenly Saturday spent worshipping at the temple of Walter White. Others get sucked in unawares when what stars as a quick flick through the TV channels ends with 12 hours of your  life you’re never going to get back and a newfound appreciation of the junk some people keep hidden away (Storage Hunters).

What’s weird is that this is a relatively new phenomenon. Most will claim that’s because of all the great TV there is these days, reeling off lists of US shows which are 24-episodes heavy per series (Breaking Bad is the prime example). But there has been great telly beaming out of America for years – The Sopranos stared in 1999 and The Wire in 2002 – so what’s shifted?

Maybe it’s just now it’s OK to talk about sitting around in your comfy clothes doing nothing more constructive of a weekend than catching up with Orange Is The New Black. Or maybe it’s that there simply is a lot more TV on offer than there used to be; more channels, more things like Netflix meaning you don’t even need a TV to watch TV any more.

I’m also interested in this sort of thing being viewed as a positive. If you binge on anything else – food, booze, sex – it most certainly isn’t. I suppose the argument is all those cause some degree of hurt, even just to yourself, but plonking in front of the box for a 18-hour stretch doesn’t. If you think about it it’s quite grim though isn’t it? Just whiling away your life watching fictional things which have no importance happen. Especially when you consider the vitriol people who have this kind of mentality towards food are faced with. It’s a strange one indeed.

And to be clear, I love TV and I definitely spend too much time watching it. I might dress it up as having merit because it’s ‘real’ drama, but who cares? It stills boils down to spending too much time stuck indoors when I could be out experiencing new things. But then again maybe new things are overrated. Especially when I could be in my favourite armchair having a Twitter chat with someone about Alicia Florrick’s latest outfit on The Good Wife.

Posted on: February 4, 2015, by : hannahferrett

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