The Plugged In Show, Episode 129: Should We Cringe Over Binge-ing? (Plus Bridgerton!)


Back in television’s dark ages—and we’re talking waaay back, like the early 1980s—most folks watched their favorite shows a bit at a time. They had no choice: Episodes came out weekly, and recording devices were for rich people. So if you wanted to watch The A-Team back then, well, you had to park yourself by the family TV set every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Those days are long gone, thanks to streaming services and our on-demand world. Instead of stretching television seasons across several literal seasons, viewers can digest one in a weekend (or even in one night, if they drink enough coffee). A show’s entire run can be consumed in just a few weeks. Or even days.

We’ve probably all binged a show or two like that. Some of us may binge most everything we watch. It helps us chime in on pop culture conversations and stay in the know. Some might even find gobbling up a show in its entirety improves it. After all, it’s a lot harder to forget the previous episode’s twists and turns in a matter of seconds versus a matter of days.

But we know that bingeing on food or alcohol isn’t exactly good for you. Does binge-ng on entertainment come with some pitfalls, too?

We’ll talk about that issue on this episode of The Plugged In Show. And then, after that stirring conversation, Emily Clark and I will turn our attention to a show that surely plenty of people have binged: Netflix’s period drama Bridgerton. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ll play our usual game of Pop Culture Connection.

Please join us. And after you listen, chime in with your own thoughts on Facebook, Instagram or, of course, via email ([email protected]). And, after listening, if you decide to binge on a few more episodes, don’t worry: We won’t tell.

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7 Responses

  1. -I don’t have time for binge-watching because TV has to compete with parenting, work, socializing and reading, which are all more important to me.

    I think the larger issue is the way contemporary TV shows are structured. Modern media is a competition for attention, so today’s shows are drawn out to maximize the time you spend watching them. Their goal isn’t so much to entertain or enlighten as to “engage” you for as long as possible.

    That structure is fine if a series has the scope and ambition of a 19th-century novel, like The Sopranos, The Wire or Game of Thrones. But if you’re adapting a 300-page airport thriller or whodunnit into an 8-hour series, you’re inevitably going to end up with episodes where not much happens. That halting rhythm of three filler episodes followed by a really eventful episode isn’t as bothersome when you’re binge-watching, but it becomes glaringly obvious and annoying when you’re watching one episode at a time.

    The Handmaid’s Tale, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Undoing are examples of overly long and uneven shows that were made for binge-watching but would have been more effective as two-hour movies.

  2. -I don’t suppose you could call what we do at our house “binge-watching” since we only really get 90 minutes of TV time a day. But that time is mostly spent all watching the same show. Hubby and I are currently making our way through our long-running series watchlist and have been since COVID started. We watch 3 episodes per night until we finish a season and then rotate to a different show, and repeat. We eventually cycle back to the beginning of our list. I should probably mention that these are all anime series, so when I say long-running, I’m talking 100+ episodes. Our cycle currently includes Detective Conan (we’re on episode 669 of 1043), Bleach (70 of 366), and whenever the next season of MHA comes out, with shorter series being completed in between.

    We also watch Spy x Family and Komi Can’t Communicate weekly, so can’t really binge those. 😛

  3. -Hi!! I was wondering if you could do a review for the new video game Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security breach? I’m a huge fan and would love to hear what you have to say about it! Thanks, have a very blessed day!!!

  4. -Thanks for saying this. We all understand that overeating does not lead to something good. But we should also look at the reasons for this state of people who have this problem. Nothing is done just like that, and we all understand this very well. Therefore, the cause of overeating should be sought in something deeper than just the desire to eat. Therefore, do not judge superficially.

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