In the article “Binge watching shows kills what makes TV special,” Summerson (2018) argues that watching an entire show detracts from the experience. The viewer does not develop a relationship with the characters and does not have an opportunity to discuss each episode. However, online platforms, for example, Netflix, provide the convenience of accessing a TV show at any time, which is what the viewers prefer. In the contemporary world, binge-watching TV shows is the new normal behavior, and production companies will have to adapt and adjust their approaches to creating different series to suit the new preferences of the viewers.
When watching a show on TV, the network broadcasting it creates a schedule with at least one week of a break between the episodes. Summerson (2018) argues that this time allows people to discuss the episode with their friends, think through the events, and recall everything the following week. However, modern technology allows people to watch their favorite shows when and where they want to because online platforms provide instant access to all episodes. The constraints of this convenience that Summerson (2018) mentioned are correct, but the understanding of this will not lead to a change in the policy of these platforms or viewers’ behaviors. The platforms receive good profits from this new business model, and the viewers do not have to adjust what they want to watch based on the broadcasting schedule.
Binge-watching deprives the viewers of the ability to experience the show and its gradual plot development. This lack of gradual plot development means that the viewers are less interested in this production, and Summerson(2018) notes that “binge-watching devalues a show” (para. 15). Due to the fact that one is able to watch all the episodes in one day, there is no bond between the characters and the viewers.
The production companies should change the way the shows are written, filmed, and delivered to online platforms. For example, the producers and directors no longer have to film episodes of a specific length to fit them into the broadcasting schedule. This freedom allows creating shows with long episodes that are an hour or several hours long. This adjustment is necessary because although there is no way to de-incentivize the viewers from binge-watching, this behavior devalues the shows. Moreover, a study revealed that people who binge-watch shows do not remember the plot after 140 days (Summerson, 2018). Hence, if the production companies want to continue making popular and memorable shows, they have to change the way they develop and show their work.
In summary, this paper is a response to Summerson’s (2018) article “Binge watching shows kills what makes TV special.” The author argues that contemporary viewers are less attached to the shows they watch because they do not have the time to develop a deep understanding of the characters and the plot. While this statement is true, the new reality of watching TV shows provides many new opportunities for the show makers.
Summerson, C. (2018). Binge watching shows kills what makes TV special. How-to Geek. Web.