Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.
In the streaming era, binge-watching has become part of our everyday lexicon. The idea of sitting down and watching an entire season of a TV show in just a day or two can be really compelling, especially with Netflix shows like Stranger Things that seem like they were constructed intentionally to auto-play one episode right after the next.
But sometimes, I’ve found binge-watching just doesn’t feel right. I’ve found some shows are especially dense, and marathoning them can make entire seasons go by in a blur. With shows like that, I’ve found I still want to pour through the episodes much quicker than their natural release schedule, but I’ve found it can be tough to watch them back to back to back.
That’s when I institute what I call a slow-binge, where I set a schedule to watch several episodes per week and try my best to stick to it. I typically aim to watch one episode per day for weeks on end until I’ve completed a season or a show. That was how I initially caught up after season five of Game of Thrones and how I tackled The Wire, which feels especially literary.
It’s still a binge, after all, I watched five years worth of Thrones content in under two months, but watching one episode at a time gave me more time to digest the show and consider it before I moved on to another episode.
Binge-watching can be exciting, but it’s often hard to remember everything that happened or to recall separations between episodes. Next time you want to watch something and really savor it, try slow-binging it over days or weeks instead of sacrificing sleep to watch an entire season or series in just a few sittings.
I’m Evan Rook.