Sprint or marathon, the experience is up to you
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
There was a time when you would watch a show once a week until it was done for the season. If you missed an episode of the show, you’d have to wait and watch a marathon of it later—if the channel that airs it will show it again. With the invention of Netflix, and more ways to watch TV on multiple devices, you can watch a show anytime, even when the show is not on. You can watch an entire season without waiting for the next episode to air.
Binge-watching is when you watch an entire season of a show from start to finish in a few long sittings. Although binge-watching existed before Netflix in the form of season DVDs, it has become a more popular term as of late with the advent of the streaming service. If a show is on DVD, you can watch a season of it at your own pace, or you can watch the entire season from start to finish. Also, you can watch special features, which are something that you cannot find on Netflix. The difference between that and Netflix is that with DVDs, you will have to change discs every few episodes and with Netflix, you have all the episodes at your convenience.
Netflix started the idea of releasing an entire season of a show on the same day. This is similar to a marathon on TV, because some marathons air an entire season of a show all at once—except that it is shown with commercials. There is no wrong way to enjoy a show. Binge-watching is one way, while some people watch a season of a show in the traditional way: once-a-week. Others wait for a few episodes to air and they watch it all at once.
When I watch a show, I watch between two to five episodes depending on the length. For example, when I watch a season of Veep, I watch the first five episodes of it in one day and I watch the last five episodes of it the next day. As an experiment, my sister and I watched the first season of the Netflix show House of Cards to find out how many episodes of a show we could watch all at once. When we watched it, we were able to watch the first four episodes.
When you watch a few episodes of a show, the show flows well instead of having it split into episodes. Watching House of Cards and Orange is the New Black—which are both based on books—is like reading a novel. You can watch a season of House of Cards in chunks as four three-hour episode or six two-hour episodes. This experience turns watching TV shows into something similar to watching a feature length movie.