So a week or two ago I watched the pilot episode of Breaking Bad, figuring to finally catch up a bit on what is apparently, to judge by online reaction, the single greatest Artistic Endeavour in the history of the television medium. (And that isn't remotely hyperbole on my part -- that is an accurate summation of opinion.) My reaction? I didn't like the episode, so I decided not to bother with the rest of the series. (Please don't try to talk me into going back into it. I'm really not interested.)
Now, this goes into my general sense of ennui with pop culture's current (and, to my way of thinking, disturbingly ascendant) fascination with villains and antiheroes -- what I've come to think of as Awful People At Work And Play. But I'm also interested in this whole phenomenon of binge-watching teevee series. I see people online talk about watching an entire season of some show or other over a day or two, and my mind reels -- after one or two episodes of something, I'm ready for something else. Even things that I really, really like, such as Battlestar Galactica or Arrested Development (which The Wife and I are watching now). I find that I am simply not wired for binge-watching.
I also discover that a common argument for teevee series is, "Well, you gotta give it five or six episodes before it hits its stride." And that is true, to an extent -- but when confronted with an entire series on DVD or streaming, my eyes glaze over at the prospect. "I gotta watch six hours of this thing just to know if I like it enough to keep going?" That can't be right.
I'm encouraged by the existence of teevee series that are intended to tell a single story, instead of being open-ended unto an inevitable limp toward cancellation. But by the same token, a lot of such series constitute way too much of a time investment for me. With movies and teevee, I don't get to control my rate of experiencing the narrative, and in any event, a teevee series is really built around a weekly schedule. Binge-watching just doesn't feel right to me.
How about you folks? Do you binge-watch teevee series?