Before Binge-Watching Had A Name


So I must apologize for so  abandoning this blog for than a few months.  I got totally wrapped up in life and didn’t have the chance to come up with ideas and post.  Here’s my first foray back into pop culture blogging.

Binge watching.  It seems like it’s a trend these days.  Magazines are writing about it, podcasters are talking about it, and it’s just all around a real term now.  With the growth of Netflix and other online streaming services, and even earlier, the creation of TV on DVD, it seems like people are not only watching new shows, they are catching up on old shows.  But even with the lack of a term– binge watching was around in my life long before Netflix.

My first binge watching experience was at the age of 5.  My babysitter hooked me onto Saved By The Bell, and I discovered it was on from 5 PM-7 PM   Every day I would come home  from kindergarten and spend 2 hours in front of the TV watching Saved By The Bell.  I knew every episode.  I made my friends “play” Saved By The Bell on the playground.  At that point, the parents realized that TV was dangerous and I had to cut down.  Nevertheless, I think 2 hours a day counts a binge watching.

The binge watching died down until I made it to middle school.  There was the Boy Meets World and the Charmed phases there.  Again, multiple hours of TV available on cable TV for my enjoyment.  At that point, I had also acquired my own VCR, so I took to taping any episode I couldn’t watch in person.  I think I still have video cassettes with episodes of both of those shows and more…

My biggest binge-watching theme was that I always felt like I was just a little bit too far behind the times when I watched it.  For example, Saved By The Bell aired new episodes when I was barely a baby.  Boy Meets World annoyed me when it was on TGIF (how can a show about a boy POSSIBLY be back to back with my beloved Two of A Kind?).  The biggest just-miss of my life?  Dawson’s Creek.  I literally got into Dawson’s Creek the summer AFTER it went off the air.  I had even had episodes of it on my tv when I just didn’t get around to turning the TV off after whatever else I was watching.  It was at that point that I realized I was meant to be about 5 years older.

The theme of “catching on too late” continued throughout high school and on.  Beverly Hills 90210 made me say I should have been 10 years older (at least), I played PI with Veronica Mars only after it died on The CW.  I tried Friday Night Lights only after I learned my way around Texas (finishing the show only a few weeks after the last season aired on NBC).  The West Wing became a thing years after Jed Bartlett left the presidency.  The concept of binge watching wasn’t there for some of those– and others were encouraged by DVD’s and online streaming services.  Nevertheless, the world caught on too, and binge watching became a thing.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not claiming to have started a trend.  That being said, I do believe my habits came way before the majority of the rest of the binge-watching world.  And I don’t blame the world for copying me.  In fact, I think I’m kind of grateful that the world decided to follow me– now I don’t have to feel nearly as crazy for my previous actions.

So I think binge watching is here to stay.  We can indulge in the good, the bad, and the laughable.  That being said, don’t forget the new shows out there.  If we all kept binge-watching the old stuff, we’d never have any new stuff to binge-watch ten years later….