1/23/2009

TV Binge

I have a new Flow column up today about binging on television. Here's a snip:

"As much as any narrative medium, television affords intense engagement with characters. We get to know the people on the screen so intimately that they become our TV friends. Sometimes we know them better than our real-life friends, because we get so much insight into their psychology, their secrets, their hopes and fears and dreams. Spending years with characters, they become regular visitors to our living rooms, like pals we see week after week at the same hangout. Binging intensifies the pleasure of this engagement by making characters all the more present in our lives. The relationship becomes more like a passionate but doomed affair, a whirlwind that enlivens us so well for a time, only to leave us empty and lost when it sadly, inevitably, ends."

1 comment:

Chris Becker said...

Loved your piece, Michael, especially because Six Feet Under was one of my most binge-y shows. During that run, I waited at the mailbox like a crack addict, desperately hoping to see the red Netflix envelope delivering my next fix. In line with one of the drawbacks you allude to, though, I think I've since forgotten the whole show, except for the series finale (which made me cry like a child). I took it in so quickly that I probably didn't really mentally process it, like when you drink a lot in a short period of time and then pee clear. My apologies for the crudeness of that analogy, but it makes some sense to me.