The Perks of Binge Watching

Jiayi Zhu, Staff Writer

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There is nothing quite like the feeling of sinking into your sofa and curling up with a bag of junk food as you turn on the television to see the episodes of your most anticipated TV shows lined up neatly, ready to be devoured. You have waited weeks, but it is all worth it because the reward is the unmatched satisfaction of binge watching.

Among the most valuable benefits of bingeing a show is the drastic improvement in the flow experience. Flow experience, the effect of being engrossed in a story due to lack of interruptions such as commercial breaks and weekly waits, only adds to a fictional story’s entertainment. Constant interruptions raise the chances of getting disinterested or distracted from the show as well as reminds viewers that the characters and world are not real which can prevent us from becoming fully immersed in the show. For many people, watching a good TV series is a way to forget daily pressures and relieve stress so if the characters and world seem more real, the better the viewers can escape their troubles.

In the past, spending too much time in front of a TV screen may have had health risks, but as modern shows present plots that become increasingly complex, watching TV shows can actually improve cognitive sophistication by forcing the viewer to follow numerous storylines at once and juggle a variety of characters and relationships. Watching dozens of episodes back-to-back also helps one to notice the small details between episodes like call backs to previous episodes, running gags, and subtle changes that show a character is slowly developing as a person. While these minor details may not seem important individually, they add up to create a more satisfying viewing experience and a deeper understanding of a story.

Another practical benefit of binge watching is that you can decide within the course of a few hours whether or not a new TV show is worth your time. Otherwise you would have to hold off on the decision for at least a month to get a clear view of where the series is going. If a new show does pique your interest, there is no need to suffer for a week or longer wondering what fate will befall your favorite character or if the killer is going to get away because the answers to these questions are only a few clicks away. With binge watching there is no such thing as pesky cliffhangers and while we are taught to suppress our desire for instant gratification, there is no better time to loosen up than when you’re treating yourself to a good show.

While it may be difficult to find the free time to binge, the wait is well worth the great satisfaction of marathoning a show and becoming completely engrossed in the story. With a clearer picture of all the little details a series has to offer and without those nerve wracking cliffhangers, binge watching is by far the best way to enjoy your TV experience.

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About the Writer
Jiayi Zhu, Staff Writer

Jiayi Zhu is a senior excited for her first year as a part of the Plano West newspaper staff. She is also involved in Academic Decathlon, Art Club and...

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The Perks of Binge Watching