• Television,  Watching

    Binge Watching The Flash

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    Image result for the flashSkimming through Netflix a few nights ago, I paused on one of those “because you watched this thing, you’ll like these other completely unrelated things” categories. Sometimes it actually does recommend things I’d like to watch, particularly in the area of stand up comedy. In this case, however, it had nothing to do with stand up. Netflix wanted me to watch The Flash.

    Now you know me, you know I’m sometimes all about superheroes, but you also know that I’m much more of a Marvel guy than DC. Never really read The Flash, although I have a little bit of basic familiarity with the comic mythology involved, and we did watch the 1990s series, but on the DC side of things, I was more about Green Lantern, Justice League once in a while, Aquaman sometimes – hey, I like fish – but the Flashes was never really my thing. Still, I have heard good things, and thought maybe I’d give it a try. It’s attached to the so-called Arrowverse, since Arrow was the first series, but we never got into that when it first started.

    Not wanting to spend hours flipping through Netflix to finally watch nothing, I clicked on it and watched the first episode. And it was surprisingly not horrible. Cheesy, silly, and very comic book in almost a classic sense, but not bad. A few days later, I find I’m binge watching it.

    Now before anyone gets too excited over the phrasing, binge watching doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it does to most people. I can’t sit down and devour a season of something in a day. The closest I’ve ever come to that was while looking after my sick wife, and sitting (mostly) through half a season of the Big Bang theory in one afternoon. That was very, very difficult for me. I think most normal people consider binging something to be sitting down watching five or six episodes in a row then maybe doing that again the next day as a sort of weekend relaxation exercise. For me, it’s more like sitting down and watching five or six episodes of something in a week. I watched the first half of episode four this morning over breakfast. Having discovered the show three days ago. That’s binge watching for me. Much faster than that, and really, even at that speed, I risk overdosing on something and putting it away for a long, long time. That happened to me this year with the original Battlestar Galactica, which I do want to get back to, because I did loved it as a kid, and last year when I finally sat down here so ago to start watching the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series. In the first case, I watched six episodes in a week, and into the break that’s still going on. In the latter case, I did half a season over about two weeks, and took a break that’s still going on. I’m trying to do a watch through of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which I had a hard time getting into when it originally aired, because I think I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for its method of story telling; at this point, I’m a few episodes into season two and have been watching it for about three months. A much safer pace.

    Long-term, if I do much more than two episodes a week of something on a regular basis, I eventually end up putting it down, sometimes for years.

    So, after episode four, I’m going to try to slow down The Flash, after all, there’s theoretically lots of it to enjoy. It’s in season five right now on network television, so, if it stays enjoyable, at the average 22 or 23 episodes per season these days (they’re at episode 100 right now – I checked), I should be able to stretch that out over a couple of years, at least, before getting to what will be the present. And while I’m doing that, I should be able to enjoy several other shows, too, maybe in their complete runs.

    There’s plenty of enjoyment available there, and I actually want to enjoy it rather than kill it for myself.

    Be well, everyone.

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  • Life

    Binge Watching

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    Last weekend, tired after a long week at work and trying to get too much done on Saturday, I dove into my first ever binge watching session.

    Well, binge watching as most people define it.

    I always thought I couldn’t just sit down and watch a dozen episodes of a show in one go. I don’t have the right kind of patience, needing more variety in my activities. Binge watching to me was watching half a dozen episodes of the same show in a week, not a day. Really, who has time for that.

    Just the right mixture of exhaustion and wakefulness is apparently the key. I started the first episode of Season 8 of the Big Bang Theory around 9:30 in the morning, and kept watching, with brief pauses for calorie consumption here and there, until the end of episode 24.

    Yes, I watched an entire season of a show in one day. And when it was over, I had one overriding thought.

    There’s nine hours of my life I won’t be getting back.

    Seriously. While I enjoyed each episode, some of them more than others, at the end of things I couldn’t believe I’d wasted an entire day mindlessly in front of a screen. And it wasn’t for a film festival or a family event or some form of higher entertainment like Star Trek or Babylon 5. I spent nine hours watching the same sitcom.

    Now before any Big Bang Theory fans get upset at the s-word, let me say I like the show. It’s fun, it’s nice to see geeks doing (mostly) well dealing with geek problems and real life problems, and I love that it’s written on more than one level, but it’s still a sitcom. I like to smile and I like to laugh, but it’s still a sitcom. I like that it has guest stars like Wil Wheaton, Leonard Nimoy, and Stephen Hawking (lots of other spring to mind, but you probably don’t want to read a list of famous geeks and geek idols), but it’s still a sitcom.

    And there’s more to life. I’ve got way too much to do even though, yes, there are other shows I want to watch. (Current habits include Mr. Robot, The Shannara Chronicles, The Expanse, and a starting-from-the-beginning run through The Venture Bros.)

    So I’ll be watching Season 9 at a slower rate. A much slower rate.

    Well, of course I’ll be watching. It’s the Big Bang Theory. One of the levels it’s written on is for me specifically (sometimes it breaks through into hilarious. I mean, spherical chickens in a vacuum still makes me chuckle). I may not have gone into physics or engineering, but I’m a geek, and I get every character on that show in some way.

    I’m going to go quietly hum the theme song now. You should too.

    Be well, everyone.

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