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Question of the week: do you like to binge?

Posted on December 3, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Yes, 'Question of the week' is back… on a Thursday. Odd, hey? Well, in case you haven't noticed, I am odd, so that would explain it.

To be fair, I did say I was going to discuss this on Monday. I just forgot, that's all.

One of the current challenges of keeping up with all the latest TV is the arrival of binge watching. Obviously, back in the day, no one could binge watch. TV was transmitted and you waited for the repeats before you could watch a programme again. If you were lucky, there were repeats, anyway, but you weren't always that lucky.

Then video recorders came out and you could record entire series off the TV if you wanted. If you could work out how to program the video. And remembered to set it to record two minutes before an episode started in case it began early or your clock was wrong. And remembered to add 20 minutes afterwards in case the sport overran and your programme started late.

Then TV companies started to release all the episodes of a TV series on video once they'd been broadcast. The boxset had been born.

Then videos became DVDs. Then iTunes releases.

And then TV itself went on the Internet and suddenly you didn't have to wait for a weekly broadcast slot - the TV could be released whenever the 'broadcaster' wanted to, to your set-top box, your computer, your phone or your watch. Broadcasters started putting pilot episodes of TV shows on the Internet before transmission, hoping to drum up interest for the broadcast. Sometimes they'd put the pilot episode on TV and release the rest on the Internet immediately afterwards. Sometimes they'd put the whole show on the Internet in one go, too, hoping word would spread and attract actual viewers, particularly if they're a small broadcaster.

And then the likes of Netflix came along who only worked on the Internet and decided they were going to release TV shows whenever they wanted and entire seasons at a time, because people would watch the whole show in one go over a weekend.

Now, Netflix is pretty sure it's onto something, although occasionally, particularly outside the US, it goes with a weekly release. And it's model that others are emulating, too. Amazon Prime does the same and now Crackle's joined in, too.

Which is all well and good. Some people like to binge. And my first question to you is: do you? Do you prefer to have all the episodes in one go so you can watch at your own pace, or do you prefer the discipline of watching a TV series episode by episode, week by week?

But in the past month, we've had at a bare minimum - this isn't an exhaustive list - the release of entire seasons of Master of None and Jessica Jones on Netflix; The Man In the High Castle, Flesh and Bone, Transparent and Mozart In the Jungle on Amazon Prime; South of Hell on WE tv; and The Art of More on Crackle. 

Which is a lot. Now there's probably a few people with the time to watch all of those and, of course, there aren't that many people who are going to want to watch all of those shows - I can't imagine many of the people watching alternative reality period sci-fi Nazi drama The Man in the High Castle are alternating it with seedy ballet dancing drama Flesh and Bone.

All the same, here's my second question to you: are there now too many new shows to binge watch? Are you finding it hard keeping up? Would even prefer it if there were fewer new shows?

As always, leave your answers below or on your own blog with a link

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