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Paige Six: Does Netflix cause binge watching?

23 April 2014 By Paige Whipple, Columnist No Comments

I’m not much of a binge watcher, but thanks to my boyfriend’s Netflix account, I’ve been obsessed with “One Tree Hill” for the past month. I did “Gossip Girl” too, but that took me more than a year for six seasons. You can only handle so much scheming in one day! Once, I watched probably 12 episodes in one day, and I dreamt Gossip Girl. I dreamt that I was in a scheme, and that I was in love with Chuck Bass (but really, who isn’t?). The overload was just a little much, so I’ve slowed down on my binges.

I picked OTH because after the scheming, drama and pure insanity of “Gossip Girl,” I wanted something a little slower to recover but still not as boring as “Golden Girls.” It has definitely lived up to my expectations, with a little more drama than I thought. I recommend it. (Side note: “Gossip Girl” was the best show ever on TV, so I seriously recommend that one.)

What is it about shows now that we feel like we must binge watch? I feel like no one ever sat on the edge of their seats after an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” thinking “I must have more!” It’s not that “Everybody Loves Raymond” wasn’t entertaining, funny or quality television.

I’ve never seen “Game of Thrones” or “Scandal,” but I’ve heard they’re both pretty juicy. (I think I’m going to get into “Scandal” after “One Tree Hill.”) My boyfriend went crazy trying to watch “Breaking Bad” in like two days, so it really had to be intense.

Are shows that much better now, or do we just binge because we can? If you set a pizza down in front of me, there’s a chance I may eat it all. Not necessarily because it’s delicious, but because it’s there, available, and why not?

All you habitual binge watchers — is it the edge-of-your-seat moments that keep you pressing play, or is it the readily available content?

Side note: something totally crazy just happened in the last 30 seconds of “One Tree Hill,” but as I write this, it’s 12:19 a.m. and I’ve got class in the morning. So I am showing some serious self-restraint and I am turning in for the night. After I finish pondering our addiction to Netflix, of course!

Maybe, just as a suggestion, we try to stop ourselves from binge watching shows just because we can. Self-control is a virtue, and it can be hard to have. But the more you practice it, the better you get at it, right? So maybe one day when I’m really in need of self-control, I will already have it because I showed restraint from Netflix overdosing.

Although I am advocating less binge watching and more controlled viewing parties, I want to know what shows you guys are currently obsessed with. I’ll be done “One Tree Hill” soon, and then what should I watch? Tweet me @paigewhipple.

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