Unless you have cable television, you are most likely not tuning in week after week for your favorite TV series. The rise of streaming services — from Netflix to Hulu to Amazon Video to Disney+ — has led to an increase in what is now known as “binge-watching.”
Before this, people would have to wait seven days, at a particular time, to watch the next episode of their show. Nowadays, people are impatient; they don’t “have the time” to wait an entire week.
Now, they can finish an entire show in a span of a few days since streaming services are dropping entire seasons at once.
This, however, does not mean all shows come out at once: Cable television still releases shows on a week-by-week basis. Still, a lot of people say, “I can just wait a few months for Netflix to drop the entire season and binge-watch it.”
But what if streaming services still dropped episodes weekly?
You may not know it, but some do. And some people are not happy with it.
Season 2 of Amazon’s Prime Video original series “The Boys” recently released its first three episodes on Sept. 4. After that, the dark, satirical superhero show would release one episode at a time each Friday at midnight. Many “fans” of the show did not take kindly to the change.
Still, people nowadays are impatient. This led many people to “review bomb” Season 2 of “The Boys” before the entire season was even released. This involved giving the show 1-star reviews for not releasing the entire season at once — which Amazon did for Season 1:
“OKAY SERIOUSLY!!!… NO FULL SEASON AVAILABLE?!?!?!?!?!?! I give up, where is my Netflix!”
“This is 2020…. we don’t want staggered releases of episodes !! what a shame, I was looking forward to watching it.. now I’ll just skip it and wait for it to be canceled, then I can watch them all without any interruptions.”
“The best thing about Prime TV was the binge factor. What a joke, you guys just set sail to fail.”
Currently, Season 2 of the show has a 2.8 out of 5 stars rating, with 48% of the reviews being just 1 star — mostly from people who want to binge-watch the series without having to wait an entire week between episodes. With only four episodes out, “The Boys” is only halfway finished with the season and already having “bad” reviews.
But weekly releases aren’t even all that bad. Have you heard of the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian”?
The “Star Wars” standalone series had rave reviews and 15 Emmy nominations even though it was released the same way Season 2 of “The Boys” is being released now. No one seemed to complain about it then but somehow, the otherwise critically acclaimed “The Boys” is getting heat for doing the same.
While I do enjoy getting the chance to watch my favorite shows in one sitting, I personally think weekly releases aren’t even all that bad.
One of the more obvious reasons why I sometimes prefer episodes to release on a weekly basis is that I have more to watch. Most recently, Season 2 of the Netflix original series “The Umbrella Academy” was released last month. Being a fan of the first season and the last episode being a cliffhanger, I wanted to know more. Quickly.
This led me to binge-watch the entire second season in less than two days. And just like that, the season was over. Now, I have to wait a year — or even longer (darn you, coronavirus) — for the third season and to find out what happens to the characters next. Had I paced myself and given myself more time in between episodes, I would have more to savor.
Binge-watching could also mean forgetting certain plot points throughout the season. In the case of “The Umbrella Academy,” when I first binge-watched its first season, after a few weeks, I forgot what the show was about. Perhaps this may happen to others as well. Maybe binge-watching will give viewers a better sense of closure over the season, but they could also forget about it later on — as I did.
I believe having episodes released on a weekly basis would give viewers time to process and digest what they just watched. They could even rewind or rewatch the episode to catch things they did not see in the first viewing.
Spoilers are also something many, if not all, television viewers want to avoid. When streaming services drop an entire season at once, not every person has the time to watch it all as soon as it is released. Some people have to wait days, weeks and even months to finally get the time to watch their show.
In the meantime, those who already watched the entire season may feel the need to spoil the show for those who have not yet seen it.
Having episodes released on a weekly basis would mean everybody has the same amount of time before getting to watch the next episode — thus, reducing the number of spoilers one may come across. I personally have had to avoid Instagram and Twitter on occasion to avoid certain shows or movies I have not had the chance to see get spoiled by those who already had.
The most fun part about waiting a week to see the next episode of your favorite show would be getting the opportunity to speculate on what will happen next. On occasion, shows would end episodes on cliffhangers, which leaves the imaginations of the fans to go wild. They now get to make crazy theories about the next episode, which is always fun. I used to watch the superhero show “The Flash” with one of my closest friends and we would always message each other at the end of the episode and guess what would happen next. Some fans even go as far as making huge Reddit threads to do the same thing on an even bigger scale.
Binge-watching is always fun but waiting a week for your favorite show is not as bad as you think. As mentioned above, there are many reasons why you shouldn’t have to hate the weekly release schedule some shows have. And to those who hate waiting and just want to watch it all at once — just wait: No need to review bomb.