Ah, the on-demand, commercial-free glories of Netflix — it’s my preferred medium for watching shows, now. But as much as I enjoy flicking through the virtual catalogue of titles and catching up on series I’ve missed, like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time, I’m reminded lately of two major issues that come up in binge-watching a series:
1) You become painfully aware of a show’s flaws — repetitive dialogue, overuse of plot devices, problems with production values as the popularity of the show waned and waxed . . . Even the music can get annoying when you hear the melody for ____ mood or ____ scene over and over. My apologies to my favourite shows, but the guilty parties include Chuck, OUAP, STNG, and yes, even Supernatural. If there’s anything that irritates me in writing (in any form), it’s unnecessary repetition. So what if your writing team has found a formula that works? It will only have an impact for so long, and then it will become tired and annoy the audience.
2) You become obsessed with finishing all available episodes, to the detriment of other shows you might be following. This has happened over and over to me — I’m behind again on Castle, Continuum, haven’t finished Parks and Recreation or started Orphan Black, and because I need to know how the binged series wraps up (so far), I’ve been neglecting my reading, too.
You’d think that having shows on demand would enable me to practice more self-control, and it’s true that I have been able to turn it off more and more. But when the next episode is waiting, and ready to go, it’s so easy just to slide right in . . .
Maybe that should be my next cosplay: something to do with Netflix. Hmm.