A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Monday, September 28, 2015

Binge-Free and Lovin' It

In the last post, 'Not Tonight, Dear--I'm Not Binge-ing'--we took a look at TV Binge-watching and considered the negative side of devouring entire seasons. I laid out what I think are the main advantages of watching episodes on a weekly basis.

If you work and have a life, you may be interested in my own recovery program. 


1) I do not subscribe to cable. 

Image result for cable tv images

Yes, I know this means that I'll have to wait another full year to view the 5th season of Homeland. But I also avoid the massive temptations that come with having DVR--and feeling the need to watch every damned show I've recorded.

2) As a working writer who also works, I've had to devise a strict budget for my viewing time.

3) Though I can easily obtain full seasons of shows on DVD, I need to be highly selective, since seasons run anywhere from 8-22 episodes. There are only so many shows that I can fit into my schedule--and there are next to no long-running shows that I have the time to follow through 6 or seven seasons.


Well, yes, that's all well and good. Perimeters are groovy things. But what exactly does MacRath Way, my own form of recovery, entail? 

1) Ample Ammunition

No, no, don't be alarmed. I don't suggest that you actually buy bullets--though some shows deserve a quick shot in the head. Substitute images of DVDs for the ammo above. The larger the selection, the better--ideally, something for any mood. Also, some network shows can be watched on Amazon's Instant View the day after they air. Add Netflix or Hulu, and you've got a broad base to select from.

2) Variety

Image result for variety images

Your weekly viewing diet may include one or two 2-hour films (split up into halves, if required), one or two 1-hour shows...and a half-hour episode from a classic series for when you're pressed for time.

3) Pacing

Yes, and watching a story should be like listening to a symphony. We don't speed forward to the Good Parts or attempt to devour it whole. We enjoy it as it unfolds. And if it's a long one that plays in three parts, we attend on different evenings as the composer intended.


Here's my lineup, entering October:

1) 1-2 films weekly, broken into halves, and chosen from a collection of roughly 90 DVDs: everything from Mel Gibson's Hamlet to Rear Window to the Lethal Weapon Collection to Apocalypto to Diabolique to James Bond...
2) Two favorite shows I'm rewatching: one episode of each per week.

Prison Break: Season 2House of Cards: Season 1

3) For my 'short night', one half-hour episode from this classic Western series:

Have Gun Will Travel - The Complete First Season

The Payoff of MacRath Way

I enjoy a rich sense of rhythm and fullness. Prison Break, in its entirety, would take over 90 hours to binge watch. The second season's 22 episodes will take me five months to watch--and I look forward to each one, as I did when the show aired (with no down time between shows). House of Card's 13 episodes will take me three wonderful months, Furthermore, I'll prolong my pleasure through anticipation--taking time off between seasons to watch a different show. 

Some might say I'm missing much. But I'm prepared to pay that price, controlling what, how and when I watch. 

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