Netflix binging creates closer bonds

The most awaited part of your day draws close. School, chores, and homework are done. Jump to the computer, pull up Netflix and watch a month’s worth of television in a single night. This is the beauty of binge watching.

An entire series gorged upon in mere weeks and sometimes days. With Netflix, thousands of TV series are at the fingertips of 44 million subscribers worldwide. This started the phenomenon of binge watching.

Binge watching is defined as “the practice of watching television for time spans longer than usual, usually of a single television show.” The average number of episodes is two to six in a single sitting, as defined by 73 percent of Netflix users. In a month, Netflix users watch over one billion hours of television.

Binge watching has been around since the 1990s, but recently exploded into mainstream culture as Netflix began to release episodes of its exclusive series simultaneously. 61 percent of all Netflix users say they binge watch regularly. Some of the most commonly binge watched television shows are “House of Cards,” “Arrow,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “The Walking Dead,” “Helix,” and “Breaking Bad.”

For Parker Spurlin, a sophomore, this activity represents family time. His father is an accountant at the University of Pacific, while his mother is a librarian. He plays sports almost year round, so he spends very little time with them. So when they eat dinner around their TV and watch Netflix, he gets the family time that he doesn’t get normally due to their absence. To him, Netflix is a tool for bonding. “Binge watching is fun and I’m glad it brings my family closer,” Spurlin said. “How I Met Your Mother” and “Breaking Bad” are two family favorites, along with many others like “Two and a Half Men.”

Robert Tuckwood, sophomore, has a more casual use for Netflix. He binge watches for the sheer joy. He watches many shows with his friends on the weekends. Tuckwood and his friends head out to the store to buy snacks like potato chips and popcorn for their long viewing experience. “The Walking Dead” and “House of Cards” are favorites, though they endeavor to find more comical shows like “Psych.” “We’re always looking for a good time,” Tuckwood said. “We’re always looking for new and different experiences.”

In my own experience, it is strangely wonderful to binge watch TV. Two seasons of “Lost” are devoured in a single weekend with a dozen episodes absorbed throughout the week. The previous weekend consisted of the first season of “Breaking Bad” with about three episodes a night during the week. The most binge-worthy show I have viewed on Netflix is “Breaking Bad.” It was riveting and had me glued to my seat, always hunting for more episodes.

Binge watching is one of the best ways to spend quality time with friends and family. Hilarity ensues with episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Community” in the queue. More serious shows like “The Walking Dead” bring dramatic and riveting scenes to life. In any case, all genres are worth a look, even though Sheldon is so funny in a socially awkward way. Binge-worthy TV is everywhere, you just have to look. “Penny, thump, thump, thump, Penny.”