On Binge Watching

Over at Slate Jim Pagels is advocating the end of binge watching.

Slow down. Even if you aren’t taking crystal meth to fuel your rapid consumption of the best series of the last 10 years (yes, I have seen The Wire), you’re still ruining much of what makes the show—and all TV shows—great.

I seem to recall Neil Gaiman saying years ago, about The Sandman, that at the same time he was writing individual issues he also kept an eye on the over all story arc because he wanted an arc to fit in a graphic novel. And that future readers wouldn’t reading the individual issues, that they would be reading the collections. So he played a long game and played to the future audiences who would be reading multiple collected issues at once.

There can be a certain appeal to watching a show on a weekly basis but I think that the best of today’s tv shows, the ones that allow a story to play out over a season, are designed to be watched all at once, or as near to it as possible.

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