I have a love hate relationship with Netflix.
Love, because it is my best friend I spend most of my alone time with (shh..sometimes even more time than I spend with my family) .Boredom is out of question in its company. Very loyal, and funny and comfortable to be with, Netflix caters to every mood of mine!
Hate because over the years I have gone through various levels of Netflix binge watching mania. I mean, bordering on crazy at times, I have forgone food and sleep just to keep up with the show of the hour (err..make it show of ALL hours). If I am hooked on one series, I will know it in the first 5 minutes of watching it. Once it happens, I am a goner. I mean, G.O.N.E.R.
But again, it is not a secret right? Binge watching is the new normal. Specially when you can watch any show you want in your own terms and time, why would it come as a surprise? Netflix users can watch an episode or complete an entire season whenever they want.
Netflix has recently released a Binge scale which I find very interesting. It also confirms some of my theories.
According to Netflix Binge Scale, while all types of shows are binged, not all shows are binged the same way – some are devoured and some are savoured.
I know I took my time binging on Homeland. I found it to be a type of show to be savored, enjoying each season and episode. I was cheering for Carrie (Claire Danes) from episode 1. I couldn’t get enough of her. I felt happy for her, cried with her and reveled in the success of her CIA operations. The first 3 seasons took me like 2 months to finish. Savoring all the way, yes!
And my happiness knew no bounds when season 4 started streaming (FINALLY) on Netflix just last week. Not so much savoring happened once I learned Homeland is back again with a new season. It was all about devouring, you see. I missed Carrie too much I had to know what happened to her after season 3. Yup! I killed season 4 in about few hours 🙂
But the show The Killing was completely different. I devoured all the seasons in no time. Too much mystery, too much darkness, I had to wade through it as quickly as possible. My mundane life held little meaning in the face of crime and passion. Solving the murder of Rosie Larsen and Stansburys were very important to me along with Detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder.
Netflix Binge Scale sort of proves what happened to me with these above mentioned shows in terms of binge watching.
The Scale sheds new light on what binging really looks like around the world, and the different ways viewers binge their favourite TV shows. Using a scale that ranges from Savour to Devour, the Netflix Binge Scale reveals that when members around the world are committed to finishing a series, they Devour the show, watching roughly two hours of a show a day, finishing a season in five days; when they’re committed to Savouring a show, the watch less each day, taking longer to finish a season.
Series like Sense8 and The 100 grab you, assault your senses, and as The Binge Scale shows, make it hard to pull away. The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead, Scream and The Fall towards the devour end of the scale. Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Orange is the New Black, Weeds and Grace and Frankie, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.’
It’s no surprise that complex narratives, like that of House of Cards and Bloodline, are indulged at an unhurried pace. Nor that viewers take care to appreciate the details of dramas set in bygone eras, like Mad Men and Narcos. Maybe less obvious are irreverent comedies like BoJack Horseman, Love and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But the societal commentary that powers their densely layered comedy paired with characters that are as flawed as they are entertaining allow them to be savored.
“As The Binge Scale indicates, the viewing experience of a series can range from the emotional to the thought-provoking,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “Netflix helps you to find a series to binge no matter your mood or occasion, and the freedom to watch that series at your own pace – whether that’s to appreciate the drama of Bloodline or power through Orange is the New Black.”
I now have a better understanding about my own binge watching habits.
Will it help me control my binging? Oh puuleese! Bring on popcorn 😉
Happy Netflixing everyone!
***Disclosure: I am part of Netflix Stream Team Canada and this post is written in partnership with them. However, all opinions expressed here are my own and it is honest***