Legions of television watchers have turned into binge watch freaks that rely on accurate information, spoilers and the next big episode. But why?
Back in 1982, cartoons were my Saturday escape from a hormonal sister, my “work 90 hours a week” father, and the best way to avoid negative neighborhood influences. I wouldn’t say I was the ‘binge watch king’ of my class, but I was always abreast of what was going on in the Tiny Toons world. When Transformers, He-Man and G.I. Joe became popular shows, the frequency which I kicked my sister out of the living room steadily increased, officially making me a serial binge watcher.
Today, the cartoons haven’t exactly improved, but the ‘binge watch’ buzzword has bled into nighttime dramas, comedies and real-life accounts of what a given family does each day. So what turned us into a society where NCIS and Kardashians are more important than game nights?
We’re enamored by others’ shortcomings
There’s nothing actually interesting about how much makeup Kim Kardashian puts on. Nor does the consensus care why flesh eating zombies just won’t go away. We’re an odd breed of living organism that thrives off others’ misery. Their relationship statuses. We want someone to die a miserable, horrific death because we know it won’t be us when it’s time for bed. In other words, if we binge watch enough television, we essentially get our fill of the misery we set out in life to avoid. Keeps things in perspective, if you will.
It’s safer than society is becoming
Binge Out, an exciting new hub where people can read and rate today’s hottest ‘binges’, suggested a few shows I’d never heard of. I mention this because if I fill my nights with new shows and my days full of work, I can dismember myself from a society that seems mere inches away from total self-destruction. I can totally immerse myself in a scripted life, become totally miserable (or happy) for an hour, then sleep the episode away. Unfortunately, we’re living in a world where there’s no reset button or pausing real-life drama; I’d rather binge watch old BBC than get blown up by someone on a mission assigned by Allah.
To binge watch is to become educated
Homer Simpson (pictured) is the most notorious binge watch king today. Sure, most of the action takes place away from his coveted television set, but the gist is this: Homer watches anything and everything without prior planning or predetermined purpose. He simply likes it. And in due time, many binge watchers become self-educated in something they previously never cared about. It’s true: just ask those wives who became chefs by watching Julia Childs.
Honestly, nobody knows why we get down on Netflix or YouTube, but it’s a growing epidemic. We quote sayings, have parties and even role play based on shows that are growing on us like a cyst. One thing is for sure: the buzzword will not fade away, and the shows we add to our armada will only grow wilder.