#19: The Age Of Binge Watching
I don’t remember the last time I frantically slapped my remote to life to switch on the TV to land on Star World, just in time for Masterchef Australia. With the advent of Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar, the set top box is just sitting there, gathering dust.
It all started off when baby me would only ever open her mouth to eat when watching the theme songs of Tamil serials. As a kid, a lot of my time would be spent with my grandparents, watching these elaborate and excessively dramatic Tamil serials. We’d line up with predictions at the end of each episode, and lo and behold, at least one of ours would end up happening, aligning with the gross predictability of these shows. At one point, most of my post dinner time was spent with my family drooling over the assortment of dishes presented to us in Masterchef Australia. You’d think the sight of scrumptious platters was enough, only to be topped off by the descriptions of these by Gary, George and Matt. The first proper show I watched on TV was Castle, a murder mystery story. It follows a crime writer who joins the NYPD and helps them solve murders in addition to being the annoying sidekick. I also watched House, two times to boot, I was so glad that there was a rerun. House is an eccentric, problematic albeit brilliant doctor whose unconventional methods lead him to diagnose extremely rare conditions. This certainly fuelled my interest to take up medicine.
I was also introduced to the world of rom-coms thanks to the channel Romedy Now. Although most of them are riddled with problems(we’ll tackle that in another issue), teenage me was fascinated. I remember seeing my favourite ones for the first time - 27 Dresses, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Mamma Mia, It’s Complicated, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and much more. Up until now, whatever one wants to watch was controlled by the broadcasters, along with the timings. As the days passed, Tata Sky came up with a recording feature which revolutionized the way we watch TV. Now, one could record any programme and watch it at a later date, whenever convenient. While this may have been highly advantageous, I feel like it sort of disrupted the act of gathering and revelling in the show together. I distinctly remember going through a ton of channels at top speed right before school in the morning, determining and narrowing down what to record - keep in mind that you can only record a set number of programmes!
Right now, streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hotstar dominate the sphere. We’ve all shared or secretly used someone else’s Netflix account, there’s no point in denying it! The era of binge watching has washed upon everyone and while the agony of waiting for the next episode to come out is eliminated, binge watching has its fair share of negatives as well. Personally, I’ve noticed that when a brand new season comes out, I’ll drop everything and run through the episodes and finish it on the same day that I started. In addition to this habit being unhealthy, I’ve realized that not only do I not recollect bits and pieces of the shows, I fail to remember major plot lines as well! This might be a good and a bad thing at the same time, as when I rewatch the show, it’s kind of like I’m watching it for the first time again, with the same amount of interest and fervour.
To tackle this, my cousin and I restricted ourselves to only two or three episodes of Outlander (10/10 would recommend) each day, and it worked wonders! I could bring back to mind the major outline as well as niche details.
While I am happy that I can watch my favourite movies and TV series at my convenience and pace, I sometimes look at my old TV that my grandfather still uses to watch his regular shows and feel a little twinge of nostalgia for the family that gathered sharp at 9pm every Monday to watch Masterchef!
Links you’ll love
Change your closet, change your life - don’t let the candle melt!
Hundred ways to get stuff done - and we still don’t. PS - all you have to do is physically write it down.
here’s to hoping you get things started on your to-do list,