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Binge watch and learn

5/2/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

On the Mark — By Craig Marks

We’ve finally said goodbye to a cold and dreary April. We welcome May, with its warmth, floral beauty and, best of all, new TV shows to keep us inside all day binge watching.

Not everyone is up on this binge-watching fad, despite it making the cover of Entertainment Weekly. I’ll try to answer your questions.

What is “binge watching?”

It’s when you camp out in front of the tube and watch a block of episodes of a particular TV series. Popular programs to binge-watch are “Friday Night Lights,” “Downton Abbey” and “Breaking Bad.” Less popular is the Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s.”

Where do you find shows to watch?

Our family borrows DVDs from the library or watches shows on the streaming service Netflix, which we access on our Wii videogame system.

Isn’t that the game system you bought for exercise? And now it’s facilitating you spending your waking hours in a recliner?

Next question.

What shows have you binge-watched?

Last winter, we watched Season 2 of “Downton Abbey” over the course of one weekend. The DVD was due back at the library Monday, and we feared the next person on the waiting list would hunt us down like a pack of purebred bloodhounds pursuing a fox.

Did watching so much of one TV series have an effect on you?

It bloody well did not.

Isn’t binge-watching a waste of a weekend?

Compared to watching 10 hours of sports? In the time spent watching a football doubleheader and the Sunday night game, you can watch a child star go from “cute” to “awkward teen” to “completed community service.”

What’s this show “Arrested Development” I keep hearing about?

It was a sitcom that ran on Fox from 2003 to 2006. Despite its brilliant writing and acting, it had a viewing audience that would not exceed the maximum capacity of an Applebee’s.

But, better late than never, the show gained a following after its cancellation and is being brought back by Netflix for 15 new episodes. The episodes will be available all at once May 26, so you could run through the entire batch in about eight hours, less time if you watch them concurrently.

Is that how the creators want you to watch them?

Of course. Think of the joy Mom gets from watching her family wolf down in 3 minutes the dinner she spent hours preparing.

So you’ll be watching all 15 “Arrested Development” episodes in one day?

Not necessarily. I may stretch them out to two days. I prefer to binge in moderation.

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