Stinge Watching Is the Opposite of Binge Watching

a screencap of the cast of Schitt's Creek walking with a pause symbol over it

Last weekend, my daughter and I watched all 8 episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+. We binged it. That’s how people watch TV shows now: streaming services have entire shows available at the click of the “next episode” button. Many shows are uploaded a whole season at a time for maximum bingeability — no need to wait more than the time it takes to skip the credits to continue the story. It’s an all-you-can-eat media buffet. The mechanics and economics of streaming media have changed how we watch TV and movies — the binge watch reigns supreme.

But recently, I’ve found myself watching some shows in a much different way. When I find a new show I really like or I’m digging into the newest season of a favorite series, instead of getting hooked and then blasting through all the available episodes, I’ll slow down or even stop watching so as to prolong the pleasure…or to delay the end. I feel like a squirrel, hoarding nuts for the winter. It’s stinge watching instead of binge watching.

Schitt’s Creek was the first show I recall stinge watching. I just didn’t want to stop spending time with those people and so I went from watching 1-2 episodes per day to a few a week. The final season’s 14 episodes probably took me longer to watch than the first three seasons put together. I’ve also done this with The Great British Bake-off, The Expanse, and Silo. And it’s gotten worse — right now, I’m in the middle of four different shows that I am loving but cannot bring myself to actually watch: Reservation Dogs (love those shitasses), For All Mankind (haven’t watched the last episode of the most recent season), Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (stalled out on the second-to-last episode of s01), and The Great (I stopped in the middle of an episode where something Very Dramatic happens and I just can’t seem to continue).

Wondering if anyone else has been stinge watching and curious about what their motivations might be, I asked about it on Instagram and found that dozens of others swim against the fierce current of binge watching…and even stinge read books.1 The Sopranos, Ted Lasso, The Wire, Firefly, Escape at Dannemora, Fleishman Is in Trouble, The Bear, Griselda, and Brooklyn 99 were all cited as shows too good to keep watching. One reader told me she still hasn’t watched the end of Schitt’s Creek “because those characters all grew so much and I knew the last episode would be really emotional and I wanted to avoid crying”.

This was a common theme amongst the stinge watchers, particularly with series finales. Digital media producer Micaela Mielniczenko didn’t want to finish Gilmore Girls “because I loved the characters so much and I didn’t want the story and world to end”. I felt the same way about The Expanse — I wanted to live in that world and with those characters forever, a testament to the world building and character development by the writers, directors, showrunners, and actors.

My friend Adriana X. Jacobs, a professor of modern Hebrew literature, poet, game designer, and long-time stinge watcher, says she has trouble with denouements. She told me:

They put me in a melancholy mood. I prefer the build-up, that long stretch when a character is tunneling (literally or figuratively) their way into or out of a problem. But the story interests me a lot less once the issues start to resolve. This is why it took me YEARS to finish Oldboy (dir. Park Chan-wook), a movie I kept pausing and abandoning when the protagonist was still trapped in that unholy hotel room.

I knew that the story would take him out of the room but I wanted to remain in the mess and confinement. It’s the same thing with Normal People. Even though I’ve read the book and know that the ending is (thank god) open-ended, by not finishing the series, I leave these chaotic characters even further suspended in that beautiful, very human state of uncertainty and possibility.

Wow, yes, exactly.

Andreas, who normally hoards shows to watch in the “dark days of winter” in Berlin, said that he had trouble finishing Wednesday on Netflix: “God I loved that so, so much, I could not bear the thought of it ending so soon.” He rewatched the entire first season immediately after finishing the show and even “did a whole keynote speech only with [Wednesday’s] quotes as slides”.2

Courtney Walsh, who is holding off on finishing Brooklyn 99, told me:

Delaying the finale keeps the characters in stasis and delays me feeling sad when it’s over. By keeping it in the queue, I’ll be happy when I watch, not sad.

Several other people told me they hold off on watching certain shows until they need them. When I asked her when she was going to watch the rest of Brooklyn 99, Walsh said:

When I need a guaranteed, bittersweet day. When I’m thinking about the past and I know that these 8-10 episodes will fit the bill. Probably in the next year or two. Bittersweet is a hard emotion to plan for and keep for later. When I can, I do!

Ryan N said that he keeps a stash of Queer Eye episodes because they’re “like soothing medicine in dark times”. Mielniczenko keeps the last episode or two (or sometimes a whole season) of a show in her queue because she likes “the idea that I can finish these shows at any point”. I definitely held back on the final episodes of Schitt’s Creek until I was emotionally ready and on GBBO episodes until I needed a guaranteed pick-me-up on a particularly gloomy day.

Josh Puetz is portioning Firefly out in drips and drabs — he last watched an episode in Dec 2022 as a treat to himself for being sick — and I asked how he was going to decide when to finish the rest of it:

I think…when I’m ready to let go of the characters and story on my terms. So many endings and changes in life are out of our control, but this one little thing (ending a series, saying goodbye) happens when I need it.

Puetz said he’s not a binge watcher at all (one-in-a-row is the most he can muster), but I both binge and stinge. Several of the shows I mentioned above (like Reservation Dogs & ST: Strange New Worlds), I binged several episodes at a stretch before slowing down when I realized, oh god, I’m going to run out! I loved Succession and could not wait to watch the series finale last May. The second season of the Gilded Age aired over two months last fall and I gobbled up each episode as it aired on Sunday nights.

Mielniczenko said she doesn’t horde every book or show; her stinge watch candidates “usually have a world that is unique/exciting or comforting/wholesome”. Like I said above, for me it usually comes down to the characters and the world and whether they overcome my need to find out how the plot wraps up. When something is soapy or sensational, like The Gilded Age or The White Lotus, I have to watch to find out what happens. But if my desire for the company of beloved characters and the comfort of a familiar place outweighs my desire for plot closure, I slow down and bank those shows for later.3

Streaming services are definitely geared towards binge watching, but the creators of particular shows have worked their magic so well, creating realities that feel unusually real, that some of us want to stay in them for as long as we can. My Brilliant Friend, one of my favorite shows of the last few years, is returning this year for a fourth and final season on HBO, and I am at once deliriously excited to meet those characters again but am also already bracing myself to have to say goodbye to them. At least I’ll have fellow stinge watchers to commiserate with.

Are you a stinge watcher? Let us know which shows you’re stuck on and why in the comments.

  1. I hoard books too, but it’s more difficult to do with audiobooks and ebooks. Sometimes I’ll get to the end of an audiobook without realizing it and the “Audible hopes you have enjoyed this program” trods on my spirit a bit.
  2. I don’t know about you, but I would love to see that keynote deck! (This reminds me of the time I suggested to my daughter that she do a school project about the philosophy of The Good Place because she’s seen that show seven times. She did not take my advice.)
  3. Several people said that they don’t hoard shows, they just rewatch them, sometimes just after they’ve finished. I do that too, but rewatching doesn’t feel the same. Knowing what happens is comforting in a different way, but the novelty is important to me in terms of spending time in worlds with characters.

Discussion  46 comments

Bill Connell

Yes, we definitely do this, especially with 30-minute shows and those with few episodes. Currently we're doing this with Fisk, a wonderful comedy from Australia, that would be fine to binge but also wonderful in small doses.

Mary Wallace

I just binged Fisk. I'm going to wait a while and then watch it again one-by-one. So so good.

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Eric Nevin

I'm stinge watching so many shows (and books) right now that I haven't even started any of them. Genuinely excited about discovering many of the stories and worlds that I've read about in these pages, and am letting my imagination run wild with anticipation for a bit longer. Potential can be as juicy and as nourishing as its realization.

Nick Vance

I'm anti-binge because if I watch that way it makes a long story feel so compressed in my brain. I don't remember the individual beats and progression, just the ending (I think this basic human psychology not an individual quirk). Good shows deserved to be savored slowly like a good meal, and binging is like going to a fancy restaurant and trying to finish the food in 10 minutes.

I don't consider myself a stinger though because I don't hold off watching the end of things, but if I hear a show has a cliffhanger ending I might wait to start it in the first place simply because when I do start watching I don't want a years-long break (for example I'm waiting on Silo). I think this started when I read lots of fantasy books where many authors seem to be good at starting a story but not finishing (looking at you Robert Jordan, George RR Martin and Patrick Rothfuss).

Paul Josey

While I rarely get through tv series, I'm definitely a binge fantasy/sci-fi reader with the exception of never finishing reading Return of the King in my early twenties because an ending would have been too upsetting. I remember being surprised by the final boat ride when I watched the movies - "wait, is this in the books?!" (also, Sanderson's work ethic must demoralize so many writers)

Nick Vance

Yeah, bless Sanderson for finishing up Wheel of Time for Jordan (which I still need to read) along with his many other projects.

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Dan Richman

I usually like watching one episode per day or week like old TV. Often I ‘phase shift’ shows so that I start and stop episodes midway through, basically rewriting them so the cliffhanger is in the middle and something is resolved when I turn it off. If you can’t keep me interested without the gimmick then it’s not good enough writing. But cliffhangers have become pretty normal.

Leon Barnard

I thought I couldn’t relate until you mentioned The Wire, which brought back memories of “saving” episodes so that we could savor them more intensely. We also did this a bit with Fleishman (not Friedman) Is in Trouble.
I guess it is a bit like having a box of truffles and knowing that the anticipation of eating one adds to the experience. The flavor of a second one is just as good, but the delight or enjoyment is just a bit less.

Nick Vance

Yeah, I was thinking of The Wire as a show that should *not* be binged also.

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P

S01E08 of Strange New Worlds is not very good. You can just skip it if you’re stalled out.

Andy Sturdevant

I can't think of another show I enjoyed so much where I was still totally comfortable with skipping whole episodes. I definitely bailed on S01E08 in the first season, and in the second season, I thought the musical episode and Lower Decks crossover episodes were ridiculous, so I blew past them with no regrets!

I think that's the thing I liked about SNW so much, is that it didn't feel like it was locking me into "I have to watch every single episode or none of it will make sense" mode. It's a TV show about people flying around in spaceships, they do a bunch of different things, not all of it will be that important, watch the parts you want and come back whenever!

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Alesia Clear

I'm currently stinge watching Reservation Dogs. I put off watching the final 2 episodes of Killing Eve for over a year. I just didn't want to say goodbye to the characters.

David

Lots of mine were already mentioned in the post. But I would add Atlanta & High Maintenance. There's also a whole bunch of movies that I really want to watch, but I gotta be in the right frame of mind to enjoy them to the utmost.

It's sort of like a delicious dessert. Consuming it too quickly diminishes the experience, which I want to savor. And, unlike a dessert, these movies or shows will still be fresh whenever I'm ready to indulge - unless someone spoils them! (I should also add, I'm the weirdo in the movie theater who puts his fingers in his ears and closes his eyes and hums loudly during the previews)

David stychno

I totally started stinge watching these last few years! It seems like the true measure of a *great* show for me now is the inability to stinge it. The last one I couldn’t stinge was Scavenger’s Reign, finished in about a week (which is basically binging for me).

Greg Hill

Binge & Stinge: Reservation Dogs and Our Flag Means Death are two recent shows I devoured. Because I was (apparently loudly) obsessed, my wife wanted to watch them and we are now going back at her much slower pace. There was so much I didn't see on first viewing (esp. Reservation Dogs, you have no idea, on first view, of the connections you're missing in Season), and because I'm not preoccupied with finishing, I feel like I'm really sucking the marrow out of them.

DQTran

Whenever I binge watch a limited series, I can't help but think that it was an overlong movie. I also feel pretty shitty after being sedentary for so long. Afraid of blood clots.

Lisa S.

I am not a binge watcher. TV has never really been my thing, and so I've never been able to binge more than two episodes at a time. There is ONE huge exception to this, which is the BBC's "Pride and Prejudice". (The minute I start that, I'm in for the whole night and well into the early morning hours. But it's also not that many episodes.)

We might binge watch "Babylon Berlin" if Netflix would ever get the latest season.

We're currently stinge watching "Succession" -- we're only a few episodes in. They're great episodes, but I can't really binge it. I probably also hold the record for longest stinge watch ever -- Borgen. I had to stop during the divorce in the second season because it was too close to other things going on in my life. Then we came back to it after some months, and I still love the show but somehow we just haven't gotten that far in. I WILL come back to it...at some point.

Paul Josey

My toes curl with joy when I hear Mrs. Bennet say “Ooooh, Mr BINGley!”

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T. Shirbert

Well there is also the thing where lots of outlets only release one episode per week, so you are forced into old-tv style watching. I'm thinking of HBO and FX at the moment, where I am watching one episode per week of their latest limited series because that is all I get!

Beyond that, who has time to binge? I can't sit in one place for 6 hours and even if I could I've got stuff to do! I don't even have the bandwidth to watch one episode of anything every night. So if I'm really absolutely crazy to binge, I still only get through 3-4 episodes a week.

Joe Holmes

I'm a stingy-watcher by default -- I watch a lot of TV shows on my phone on the subway (AirPods in Noise Cancellation mode).

It's about a half hour into Manhattan from Park Slope and the same home, so that's perfect for hour-long episodes. That's how I've watched entire seasons of some series.

Reb Butler

We resisted binge watching for a long time, just because we didn't want to pay for streaming services (lol), so were pretty much captive to the weekly release schedules, but since we have a dvr, we could amass episodes, which we would then catch up on when it appealed to us. Two shows in particular were really hard to watch the last episode of - The Good Place, and even more so, Better Things. I got to love those people so much that I just didn't want their reality to end for me. On the other hand, there are some shows that we can't resist watching quickly (now that we succumbed to streaming) - Slow Horses and Only Murders in the Building. The serial nature of them really made me want to see WHN (What Happened Next). The Expanse, well, I just thanked the powers that be when they gave us 5 seasons.

David Horn

Stinge watching is a default I have tried (and largely failed) to introduce to our household. I tend to feel like it's a bit disrespectful to the writers, the performers, the crew ... everyone involved in a show that could take years and years to make, arcs that take serious resolution, journeys that are embarked upon, thwarted, re-engaged with, etc. etc. only to have it binged in a weekend and then met with a 'sure, it was okay' kind of response. Grrr. Let's enjoy things a bit slower, a bit longer.

Jason KottkeMOD

FYI, I wrote this post yesterday afternoon and treated myself to an episode of Reservation Dogs afterwards.

Nick Husher

I have been sitting on the ending of The Good Place for two years now. I cannot bring myself to watch the ending.

Paolo Palombo

Two years is a long time. Do you go out of your way to avoid spoilers, or do you know how it ends by now?

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Jerm

I watch The Bear one episode at a time. It's so intense...I can't imagine doing more than one.

Which makes me think of the first show I ever binged. 24. At Tower Records, you could rent a non-new title for $1.50 for three days. And for the TV shows, they gave you the whole season. So I had three days to get through the season. And back then...that was pushing the limit of human endurance. Each episode ends on a heart-stopping cliffhanger. And I HAD to watch the next one. And the next one. And so forth.

I don't see how you people can watch The Expanse slowly. I have a very small window where I understand what's going on and the next episode will make sense. After that...I'm wondering who all these people are and where they are going.

Reb Butler

It helps if you've read the books, although there are quite a few differences between the books and the shows timelines.

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Jared Crookston

I don't binge watch things often, for some reason I fall asleep halfway through the third episode of anything when I try.

Justin Michael

Several people said that they don’t hoard shows, they just rewatch them, sometimes just after they’ve finished. I do that too, but rewatching doesn’t feel the same. Knowing what happens is comforting in a different way, but the novelty is important to me in terms of spending time in worlds with characters.

I've found interesting observations from fandoms (read: Tumblr) can bring a surprising amount of novelty to a rewatch.

For example, I recently came across a post about Back to the Future which theorized that Doc Brown and Marty's relationship—which seems unusual if you think about it—makes total sense if they worked retail together prior to the events of the film. Rewatching the movie with that theory in mind made many familiar scenes fresh and interesting.

If you want to breathe new life into something you've seen a dozen times, have a look around the associated fandom for a new lens or two to view it through. Just be careful. Fandoms are sometimes... well, you know... there be dragons!

Joe S

I’ve been doing this the last few years too! With shows, I took a break after The Expanse season 3 just because I didn’t want the end to come. Eventually watched the rest quickly and wished I’d stretched it out more.

I’m also spreading out two book series: I loved Death of a Red Heroine by Quinn Xiaolong (great murder mystery set in late 20th century China) and am waiting to read more by the author. Silo (the books) are the same, I loved book one but want to spread out the joy.

I also do the phase shifting that someone described above - watching the first few minutes of the next episode to resolve cliffhangers, so that I can wait a few days to finish the rest of the episode.

Joe S

Qiu* Xialong.

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Tom Robertson

We have no self control. When Mr and Mrs Smith came out on the weekend, we watched on Sunday, we liked it and were like, ooh let’s save these as our Sunday night show! Reader, we didn’t last the week.

I kind of prefer for that reason when streamers release them weekly. It forces us to wait in a way that makes it feel like a fun event. I love the anticipation of waiting for a Strange New Worlds or For All Mankind to come out.

When Picard was airing, this was kind of messed up in the first season by the pandemic, but a group of Trekkie friends and I tried to get together each week to watch, at the very least for the premier and the finale. Again it made it a fun event that I don’t think we could have really recreated if we just knew they were all available. And it added so much fun to talk about and research theories between episodes because there wasn’t as big a chance of being spoiled.

Kelsey P.

It’s such a joy to read all these voices and perspectives on stingeing — with an e, right? Because bingeing requires one…

I haven’t binged a TV series since I was pregnant with my first kid seven years ago. There’s so much laying about and connecting with babies that I didn’t at first notice that I was no longer laying about and connecting with TV characters. Then, when I started watching TV shows with any regularity again, the most I could do was 1-2 episodes a weekend. Suddenly I couldn’t stand anything without enough depth or intelligence to keep my attention at that slow speed, especially because my partner and I end up discussing whatever we’ve watched afterward for a while. Halt and Catch Fire was delicious for that; My Brilliant Friend too. Pachinko! The best. Le Bureau was the only show to break through this pattern of slowness and we ended up watching on weeknights when we could.

I don’t hide from the final episodes of anything, so perhaps this isn’t stingeing but just savoring? I’m curious at what point my kids watching things will change this pacing for me. You can imagine I’m not including their Helpsters episodes in my weekly tally.

Rob Turpin

I'm certainly guilty of both binge-watching and stinge-watching, but it does remind me that I'm very much not a 'completist' when it comes to TV. There are quite a few TV shows I've enjoyed, but not continued watching because I didn't want to spoil them. So I've only watched the first two seasons of Stranger Things, the first three seasons of Game of Thrones, and only the first season of The OA (perfect in every way).

Also, I still haven't watched the 24th episode of the very first season of '24'. I just assume Jack didn't survive and we never hear from him again. Right?

Kat

Ah, 24! It's funny that you bring it up. It's probably one of the few shows I have "binged" (if watching anywhere from one to three episodes at a time over the course of a month or so is bingeing.) I watched the first season on DVD, which was, for me, an odd experience: no commercials? I can watch an episode EVERY night of the week? I can watch TWO EPISODES IN A ROW?!
Mind. Blown.
(Jack Bauer's daughter made maddeningly stupid decisions, and it's one of the reasons why I stopped watching. You stopped in a good place with that show.)
I'd like to hear more about what the transition from watching shows in broadcast form (with commercials, once a week, at the same time as everyone else) to streaming (no commercials, every episode anywhere all at once) was like for people who went through that (GenXers and Millennials, mostly).
For me, I still haven't quite made the transition. I still only watch one episode at a time, for the most part.

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Paolo Palombo

I don’t normally binge shows. I grew up in the 70s and 80s watching TV series with a weekly cadence, and I like the idea of waiting in between episodes, wondering what will happen, making theories and mulling over them for a few days while I wait for the next episode.
For the same reason, I guess, I don’t stinge watch (I did not even know that stinge watching was a thing until I read this post). On linear TV, you HAD to catch the seasons finale when it aired, unless you were ready to wait for several years.
Closest I came to binge watching was with Breaking Bad, but it still took me two months to watch all 5 seasons. Not sure that counts as binge…

Ross Bell

I watch a lot of television but I neither stinge nor binge. I am fairly fortunate in that I have been retired for the past seven years so I have something most readers here do not — time on my hands. My TV habit includes watching online streaming programs after the 11:00 pm news or during my afternoon coffee break. I watch one episode at a time until I finish a series whether it be six episodes or six seasons, which means I have now watched somewhere north of 170 different (mostly good) shows. Call it slow bingeing.
I don’t get why you would stop watching a show you really like because you don’t want it to end. That’s like watching a really exciting football game until the fourth quarter because you don’t want to see your team lose. Spoiler alert! They’re going to lose anyway. Or not! If sports analogies aren’t your thing, consider that when the time comes that you want to see how the show ends, it may not be there anymore. The TV powers-that-be are constantly shifting programs from one platform to another and I for one refuse to pay for a Paramount+ subscription so I can watch the final few episodes of Yellowstone. Get it while you can, I say.
Then there’s the longest slowest binge of all — Coronation Street. My wife and I started watching nearly 25 years ago when it had already been on for 40 years. It’s not great television but for us it’s a great bonding experience. At our age, that’s nothing to be sneezed at.

Philip Graham

I don’t watch that much TV, though my wife and I are just beginning the third season of Only Murders in the Building (from there we’ll probably move on to The Bear). We never watch more than one episode an evening, and then spend the next day discussing Who Might Have Done It, etc.
This pattern began years ago when our son and I would read the same book together, a chapter a night, and then immediately discuss what we’d read. I came up with this idea to help him (he was 13 at the time) ease into the pleasures of reading adult books. We had some great conversations. I had never before restricted my reading to one chapter at a time, preferring to gobble a book as though it was an extended meal. But the go-slow method changed my reading habits. By reading a chapter and then pausing for a while, considering what I’d just read and anticipating what I was about to read, took the act of reading to unexpected depths.
Here’s an essay I wrote on the subject:
https://themillions.com/2013/10/silently-side-by-side-reading-with-my-son.html

Kat

HOW do people have the time to binge watch an entire series in a weekend? I just don't have that kind of time. I also find that more than two episodes in a row is too much. It's like overindulging a delicious meal: it becomes too much for my mind to digest. I felt that way about double-feature movies, too (when that was still a thing.) After watching any one movie, I need time to digest it, mull it over in my mind. Sometimes I need an evening to mull over a movie. Sometimes a few days. Sometimes, the rest of my life.
Now that I know what stinge watching is, I suspect I might be stinge watching the last season of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel".
I've found that when it comes to books, I definitely spread them out if I adore a series. I need a "spacer" novel between two other novels in a series that I'm loving, so that I have something to look forward to.

Dominik Unger

woah. theverge links to this post (https://www.theverge.com/2024/2/9/24068063/i-love-the-concept-of-stinge-watching) does that regularly happen, @Jason?

Dan Martinez

My first deliberate stinge watch took place a few years ago, when my better half introduced me to Galavant. I had been completely unaware of the show during its actual run of two seasons: since we were starting after its cancellation, I knew exactly how much of it there'd be. A few minutes into the opening of the first episode, I sat wide-eyed and giddy, amazed and delighted. The show was self-aware and self-referential. Delighting in its silliness even as it played deftly with clichés.

https://youtu.be/hBipJg6WFss?si=MWYv4PqMZg8Jz_vV

I turned to my better half and said something to the effect of, “OK, I’m absolutely in. But I want to watch this slowly, so that I can savor it”, knowing that there wasn’t any catching up to do, and that the end might come before I wanted it to.

Reb Butler

That was a good one!

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CW Moss

I feel like it's easier to do things we don't care about than it is to do the things we do care about.

When I care about something or have been told I should care about something, I want to approach it with the right mindset (aka fully receptive, thoughtful, et cetera) — and that often means I never seem to watch the movie or the show. Instead, I'll put on something I don't care about, so that way I won't have the residue of guilt that sometimes follows when I'm looking at my phone while the show plays in the background.

There is another thing I do that feels connected to everything we're discussing. I'll sometimes put a movie in my calendar half a year in advance, and then not go in the first couple weeks it comes out. I love the anticipation and the idea that something good is on-the-way, but actually experiencing it feels less important. I like the waiting.

CW Moss

Also, Jason, would it be possible to have an option to be pinged in some way if someone replies to a message you've posted on here? If we're able to request future features, that is something I'd love. Ty! Hope you're having a good one.

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Katie O

My partner and I recently re-watched all of LOST in a binge-y way. When the show originally aired we tuned in every week and it was part of our lives for years. When the series finale came we hated it. But! We both loved the ending this time around, I think because we weren’t experiencing the incredible loss and sadness that we experienced when the show ended. So, to the people out there who just can’t stand to bring themselves to stream that last episode- you may enjoy the show more the second, third, or forth time around!

Tim Gerdes

I mostly blame it on my ADD but I simply can't stinge watch. As with books, I need to keep my attention on one story at a time, otherwise I forget what was happening and generally lose interest. Obviously before streaming made this possible there were shows I greedily lapped up as soon as a new episode was out (eg. Mad Med, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad) but even in those cases, I find I appreciate the writing and plotting much more when I revisit them in long uninterrupted blocks.

In the era of streaming, when revisiting some of my favorites I usually watch 2-4 episodes a night and watch nothing else on TV until finished with a show. And that's really the thing for me, if a show is great I don't mind so much that it ends because I can always revisit it. I've rewatched some of my favorite TV shows the same way people will rewatch their favorite films.

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