Here’s a simple question for you: do you binge watch TV shows? With things like Netflix it has become a lot easier to do so. As most of you know Jessica Jones is on Netflix now and I decided to make the conscious choice to not binge watch the series, and right now I’m thankful that I didn’t.
Jessica Jones has been out on Netflix for almost a week now. Many people have finished the series, some even did it in a couple of days. When Daredevil came out, I did binge watch it. By the end of the weekend I had finished almost 13 hours of the show. But comparing my experience watching Daredevil, to watching Jessica Jones, I’m enjoying Jessica Jones a lot more.
First of all what is binge watching? Technically binge watching is defined as (according to Netflix) watching around two to six episodes of a show in one sitting. Basically anytime time you watch a few episodes of a show non-stop you’re binge watching.There’s been plenty of “studies” that suggest binge watching causes depression, diabetes and is super unhealthy etc, all of which I think is bullshit. They’re all incredibly loose studies that are based on correlation not actual cause and effect. It’s like saying that one person died in a car crash therefore all cars will kill you. Instead what I want to look at is, does binge watching affect your viewing experience?
I enjoyed Daredevil whilst I was watching it, that’s for sure. But because I watched it so quickly the episodes have blurred together. I can’t remember half of what happened. Of course I remember the major plot points and scenes, but those important little moments have faded. Important little moments in character development that are key in Jessica Jones.
Currently I’m up to episode 10 in Jessica Jones, watching 1 or 2 episodes a day. And by watching the series slower, taking breaks in between the episodes, I know it sounds corny but it allows me to reflect on the episode. Kilgrave seems even scarier when I think about his power, what he has done. Jessica seems that more broken when I think about what she’s been through, witnessing and taking in those moments where she’s about to reach breaking point.
The mystery seems greater. As I take longer to watch it, the mystery lingers on longer. The suspense grows, I genuinely feel like Kilgrave is a threat who could cause a lot of damage.
Watching Daredevil in a rush, I didn’t gain that great of a sense of suspense or anticipation watching it. Binge watching Daredevil it was just: meet Matt, meet Kingpin, Kingpin and Daredevil fight, Daredevil wins. Now I’m not saying that Kingpin wasn’t a great villain, he was. But I feel like if I took the time to spread my viewing of Daredevil I would have appreciated him more. Felt more intimated by his threat.
We live in such an instant gratification culture that we just want to know the answers, the outcome, the conclusion straight away. But there’s something special about not knowing what’s going to happen. To let the suspense grow. To take time to reflect on what you just saw and what that means for the characters and their world.
By not binge watching Jessica Jones, I’ve been able to do exactly that which is why I feel more connected to these characters and this world.
Of course the big con of not binge watching a show is feeling the need to hide from the rest of the internet as many people are ahead of you. However social media etiquette is typically quite good for Netflix shows, with many people not tweeting anything spoilerish because they’re not dicks, which is great.
Of course viewing experiences are totally subjective and some people may find they genuinely enjoy binge watching TV shows. So is binge watching bad? For my viewing experience it is, I prefer to let things simmer in my brain for a little while before I go on to the next episode. But that can’t be said for everybody, and as long as we’re all enjoying these great TV shows that’s all that really matters!
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Categories: Comic book tv shows