Joss Whedon Has a Problem with Binge Watching Shows and He Explains Why
Personally, I enjoy binge watching TV shows. I enjoy the fact that Netflix releases the entire seasons of their series for people to watch at their own pace. Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon isn't too thrilled about dropping entire seasons of TV series all at once, though. He has a problem with binge watching and explains why in an interview with THR, saying:
"I would not want to do it. I would want people to come back every week and have the experience of watching something at the same time. We released Doctor Horrible in three acts. We did that, in part, because I grew up watching miniseries like Lonesome Dove. I loved event television. And as it was falling by the wayside, I thought, ‘Let’s do it on the internet!’ Over the course of that week, the conversation about the show changed and changed. That was exciting to watch. Obviously Netflix is turning out a ton of extraordinary stuff. And if they came to me and said, ‘Here’s all the money! Do the thing you love!’ I’d say, ‘You could release it however you want. Bye.’ But my preference is more old-school. Anything we can grab on to that makes something specific, a specific episode, it’s useful for the audience. And it’s useful for the writers, too. ‘This is what we’re talking about this week!’ For you to have six, 10, 13 hours and not have a moment for people to breath and take away what we’ve done … to just go, 'Oh, this is just part seven of 10,' it makes it amorphous emotionally. And I worry about that in our culture — the all-access all the time. Having said that, if that’s how people want it, I’d still work just as hard. I’ll adapt."
I completely understand what he's saying, at the same time I'm an impatient guy who doesn't like waiting to see what happens next in a TV series if I don't have to. With Netflix releasing their seasons all at once, viewers can make the choice to watch it however they want, but I'm the guy that will blaze through it in one or two settings because that's how I roll. Whedon goes on to explain that doing that could diminish the power of a show:
"The more we make things granular and less complete, the more it becomes lifestyle instead of experience. It becomes ambient. It loses its power, and we lose something with it. We lose our understanding of narrative. Which is what we come to television for. We come to see the resolve. I’m fond of referencing it, but it’s ‘Angela Lansbury finds the murderer.’ It’s becoming a little harder to hold on to that. Binge-watching, god knows I’ve done it, it’s exhausting — but it can be delightful. It’s not the devil. But I worry about it. It’s part of a greater whole."
Whedon makes a compelling argument against binge-watching shows. The question is, do you agree with him or not? Let us know in the comments below!