Fans of Orange is the New Black have been eagerly anticipating the release of season 3 of the Netflix original series today, June 12th. Many of us got a pleasant surprise finding the series was “out on early release” last night.
We jokingly muttered something about calling in sick in the morning as we launched Netflix on our tv and settled in to catch up with our friends and foes incarcerated in Litchfield Penitentiary. We only watched 1 of the 13 episodes last night but I’m guessing we’ll watch the next 12 over the the weekend. Yep, we’ll binge watch the rest of the series.
There’s been a lot of talk in the media about how unhealthy binge watching is and stats do show that the average North American is now watching about an hour more of television per day than we did 30 years ago.
We certainly have more choice and control over our viewing than ever before. In the 1980s (when I was a teen) we had network programming and the VCR was starting to change our viewing habits. We could record a program to watch later. We could forward through commercials. We could rent movies to watch and I remember many weekends spent with friends having a “movie marathon” (that’s binge watching under a different name).
Fast forward to today we have 100s of cable channels, streaming video services, on demand movie rentals. We have the choice to watch educational programming, documentaries, cooking shows, children’s programming, reality tv, news, movies, network programs from CBC, NBC, etc. and original series produced by Netflix and Amazon Prime among others. And let’s not forget about Youtube and the many, many web series now available.
For me, binge watching an entire series over a few days is my preferred way to consume a series. My sister, also a fan of Orange is the New Black, disagrees. She’ll take weeks, if not months, to watch a 13 episode season. She prefers to savour it. To me, a 13 episode season is no different than reading a book. Each episode the equivalent to a chapter and I want to view it all to find out how it ends before I move on to a different one.
I do know that I will likely be binge watching the rest of Orange is the New Black season 3 over this weekend. I will also be having dinner out with friends and seeing a band Saturday evening, attending a collectors event in NY state on Sunday, spending time at home with family, and possibly (probably) doing a little work as well.
How about you – do you binge or savour or something else entirely?