I did some binge watching this weekend and I discovered that it can make the show less enjoyable.
Normally I binge watch something I have already seen. However I started to binge watch The Arrow and I found myself getting restless. Perhaps season 5 is not as good as season 4, but I was losing interest in it after mostly watching it all weekend.
You can easily get through a season of a one hour show on a weekend. The problem is that you find that the writers are often repetitious, and watching them like this shows their flaws and plot devices.
It is not easy watching TV or movies. When you have seen many movies/TV shows like most of us have, we have a certain level of knowledge and experience. We can start to see the “surprise” plot twist. This is one of the disadvantages of having experience or being smart. Sometimes it causes you to enjoy things less than people who don’t understand what might happen.
In a way, I think we watch certain kinds of media because it reinforces the kind of world we believe in. One of the reasons I watch the Arrow is that I like the idea of social justice. I don’t think it comes out of vigilantism but I like the volunteer spirit that it often has. One of the episodes featured people cleaning up a dirty beach. All of that kind of activism is clearly pro-social.
This is not to complain about The Arrow or any specific show or media I’ve consumed. It is difficult to be creative, and I appreciate attempts to be creative. I think of what Carol Burnett said about criticism of some of the pieces of her show. She said “It is not easy to write something that will be loved and funny for an hour regularly.” I agree. I think that when they do get it right with writing, it can be something even funnier than they imagine. I have clips of funny Carol Burnett sketches that are just timeless.
The bottom line is that when we live our live with a balance instead of trying to binge watch, I know I am happier. I think I will stop binge watching because you can appreciate thing more when you forget things.