Maybe it is possible for me to binge watch something after all.
I’m specifically referring to The Flash here. Last Sunday afternoon, I caught up to current, and now I have to wait for new episodes with everyone else. In some ways that’s interesting and some ways it’s annoying.
It’s interesting, because up until very recently, if I tried to actually binge watch something, I wound up overdosing on it and then setting it down, in some cases never going back, in some cases going back after weeks or months to see the next episode. In this case, I seem to been able to watch an episode every couple of days, or even two or three episodes per day on the weekend, with the ultimate result being that I was able to watch four solid seasons, and I guess we’re about halfway into the fifth, in a couple of months.
It’s also alarming, because it actually means that I do have the possibility of deep diving into something and not coming up for air until it’s done. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I lean towards not liking it. It could turn something into a major distraction when I’m actually trying to get stuff done.
Still, after four and a half seasons in a few months, The Flash. So far, at least, I like all the primary characters, and the growth and direction of them has mostly made sense in terms of the overall storytelling. And I like the overall storytelling, the characters have memory (and so do the writers), there’s an overarching story arc for each season, it’s layered, and there are things in the first handful of episodes that are still affecting what’s going on now. And while I have, more than once, had to remind myself that I’m watching essentially a visual comic book, once I settle back into that realization, it’s a lot of fun.
But now I have to tolerate the teasers and cliffhangers along with everyone else and I can’t just finished watching one episode, be annoyed at one of those teasers or cliffhangers, and watch the first scene or two of the next episode to clear things up a bit.
I think that’s okay. After all, it’s the way the medium is actually designed, right?
Much as I enjoy The Flash, I’m probably still not going to do Arrow. I don’t really do dark and gritty for the most part. Not my thing. I prefer things to end or stand on an uptick, and for there to always be hope. It’s nice to have small appearances here and there by various characters from different shows, and I like that it reminds us we’re watching a show that’s part of a larger universe, but I don’t see a need to explore all the parts of that universe.
Actually, sometimes I don’t like a reminder. Every year in the first half the season there seems be a giant crossover adventure that involves as many heroes as possible, spread across three or four shows that are too focused on showcasing everything all at once so no one really gets enough screen time to flesh things out. And not all of the shows are available on Netflix, so I have to go hunting for various parts story. Giant crossovers like that are one of things I don’t really like about comic books, but I get why a set of linked TV shows is going to do it. Really, it’s the same reason comic books do it: eyeballs.
But still not my thing.
I am, although movie much more slowly, and deliberately so, about halfway through the first season of Supergirl as well. I am curious to find out whether this show is going to be as addictive for me as The Flash in the longer run, because it is very much in the same heroic, hope-filled vein, and that’s working for me so far. I do feel like they’ve skimped a couple places on the special effects. A lot of her powers, only showcased when fighting villains, look really, really good, but the bits of things where she’s just flying look much more primitive to me, and not very impressive. It’s stylized, but I don’t like the style.
And then there’s Legends, and Black Lightning. I’m not sure how much potential Legends has for me, though I like several of the characters involved, and I’m concerned Black Lightning is in the same dark and gritty tone as Arrow, but I will probably check both out at some point.
Be well, everyone.by
by Skimming 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.by