Confessions of a Binge Watcher

Gather ’round, binge-watchers. It’s time to organize. What are your criteria for binge-watching? Here are Mindy Newell’s:

by Mindy Newell

Binge-watching is defined by the Urban Dictionary website as a “marathon viewing of a TV show from its DVD box set.” Wikipedia adds that binge-watching has become an “observed cultural phenomena with the rise of online media services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.”Television-Set

A lot of cable networks have gotten in on the act. Cloo includes on its schedule “marathon” showings of HouseCSI, Monk, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent; yesterday (Sunday, July 27th) the channel brought onBurn Notice. The original Law & Order runs on TNT, Sundance, and WE, although I can’t figure out what it’s “thematically” doing on WE, unless it’s because Chris Noth is hot and Jerry Orbach is just so damn watchable. And Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is on USA right now.

Verne Gay of Newsday (yes, the paper at which Ray Barone ofEverbody Loves Raymond toils as a sports writer is an actual real-life Long Island institution) recently listed 57 shows that are worthy of your couchpotatoing the weekend away. It’s all a matter of the viewer’s opinion and genre bias, of course, but here are Gay’s (paraphrased) qualifications for shows that are “binge-worthy,” withmy examples.*

  1. A story arc, i.e., a storyline that continues throughout the season, notwithstanding one or two stand-alone episodes that nonetheless always contain either at least once scene related to the season’s overview or is in some way related to the overarching theme of the season. Examples: Breaking Bad, Angel, Orange Is The New Black, Scandal, Friends, Mad Men, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy The Vampire Slayer (you didn’t think I wasn’t going to mention BTVS, did you?), Dallas (original and new), Game Of Thrones.

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