Ten years down, I am a big binge watcher. I do extensive research on popular television shows and watch the ones I like in terms of theme. Binge-watching was largely popularized by Netflix with the 2013 release of the entire season of “House of Cards.” The company’s monthly subscription service reached 94 million customers at the end of 2016.
As the habit has become very common among millennials, people these days are writing listicles about best TV shows to binge watch. And the list of shows to watch has gone beyond British and American television. Here’s is a list of 6 Israeli TV shows to binge-watch.
Binge watching TV is the best, writes Rachel Adkins on The Daily Independent. “Streaming websites like Netflix and Hulu have simplified choosing what film or show to watch, displaying hundreds of options that include every available episode. They remove the waiting game of being able to watch just one weekly episode of a program, easing the anticipation that follows the ending of a show that makes you wonder what happens next. However, this can be both a positive and a negative. The instant gratification can become addicting, and before you know it, you’ve spent five hours glued to your computer screen, wandering where the time has gone,” says Adkins.
“Binge-watching feeds a home-grown television revolution: New viewing habits allow experimentation and creativity, and the BBC is joining in,” observes Emma Jacobs on Financial Times.
Recently, BBC opened up its iPlayer service and surrendered ‘linear’ exclusivity to compete with the hugely popular streaming service Netflix. “The BBC is abandoning linear exclusivity as it goes for broke to make the iPlayer a global Netflix rival. The corporation says it will throw entire series on to the on-demand streaming service before the first episode in a series is even broadcast on terrestrial TV,” writes this report.
As something become big there are always concerns about how it is affecting the culture, environment, human psychology and growth. Greenpeace says binge-watching all those TV shows is bad for the environment. “Streaming-video services like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video store their high-quality content on servers around the world and then deliver that data to customers’ devices. These services don’t just eat up customer data plans, they also require a lot of energy. And rarely does that energy come from renewable sources, a new report (pdf) by Greenpeace found.”
Some critics are concerned that binge watching is anti-art as it reduces appreciation for the show. “Televsion is a type of long-form art. Writers, directors and producers work diligently to bring their thoughts and imaginations into homes when making a television show. Bingeing might as well be known as anti-art. Imagine telling somebody they are defacing art by bingeing Game of Thrones. I bet that’ll get them to stop. Bingeing is anti-art. Don’t binge. There is a certain novelty to watching a television show from start to finish in real time. You build a relationship with the characters and even the places they visit and live. In The Office, Jim and Pam didn’t get together in one season; it wasn’t overnight, and there’s no way to fully appreciate that in one weekend,” writes Luis Rosario on The Bona Venture.
“How Binge Watching Ruined Network TV explains Kofi Outlaw in a Slideshow on Comicbook.com. “As with any significant change, there’s been a balance of gains and losses as old trends have ended, and new ones sprung up in their place. One of the most obvious losses has been the network TV zeitgeist – a space that all viewers occupied together, but has since fractured, as people now absorb TV programming on their own terms, and in their own time frames,” he writes.
However, in spite of the cautionary headlines about its negative impact, industry predictions are that binge watching as a consumer habit and entertainment business is only going to grow. Netflix Wants the World to Binge-Watch: The streaming service has a plan to expand everywhere, and it begins in São Paulo,” runs the headlines on Bloomberg Businessweek. “For Netflix, this Brazilian invasion is just the start. The company wants the attention of the world’s well-off cosmopolitan consumers, and is investing billions of dollars in a multifront effort to create a lingua franca of original programming, while also upgrading the world’s video streaming structure. It’s like a worldwide Marshall Plan for premium home entertainment.”
What more the Netflix’s binge-watching model is also set to take over TV says this report. “Traditional TV networks are following Netflix’s lead by releasing all new episodes of a series at the same time, a step to win over binge viewers who do not want to wait a week for the next installment. The move poses a direct challenge to Netflix and a way for more traditional networks to reach for younger, digital-savvy consumers who insist on watching on their own schedules. Walt Disney network Freeform, which targets a younger audience, put the entire 10-episode season of new sci-fi drama “Beyond” on digital and on-demand platforms on Jan. 2, a first for the channel. By Jan. 10, it was ready to order a second season.”
Over the least 3-4 years I have binge watched several shows, House MD remains at the top of my list. And recently Happy Valley absolutely blew my mind. But I have not followed the shows with mass popularity, like Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Game of Thrones. Instead I watched lesser known shows some old some new, Sherlock, Fleabag, Atlanta, Bojack Horseman, Chance, Broadchurch and more. I personally feel it is impossible for today’s time to follow the TV’s schedule and watch a show at a particular day and time. Especially people like me who get passionately involved with things, take it to the extreme and then quickly move on to the next passion. As I binge-watch a certain show for hours and days, I become another character in that story, I begin to walk and talk like those characters. I even pick up accent. The love for binge-watching is something I have not been able to explain to my sister and that pain really is the reason why I wrote such a long blog post.