By Muhammad Faiz
Do not watch too much television, they say.
It does not bring any good, they say.
Obviously, in my case, they are wrong.
Binge watching is not just an activity anymore. It is not just a mere activity when people are bored. It is more than a hobby as it is one of the ways for escapism. Some people would say it is a way of life.
Traditionally, watching television shows on television only allows us to watch it weekly and wait for another week for a new episode. Then, there is a hiatus between the midseason finale and the season finale. Not to mention the hiatus for a new season to be premiered. Safe to say, it is a waiting game.
Luckily, nowadays we have streaming services such as Hulu or Netflix. It allows us to watch movies without going to the cinema. Not only that, for a television series, it allows us to watch it back to back, or simply binge watching it. Binge watching also known as binge viewing and marathon viewing.
According to the World Wide Web, binge watching is an activity to watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming. It could take one hour or two or even the whole night. My personal experience is that I finished binge watching the entire 12 seasons and several episodes of season 13 of Grey’s Anatomy is in a month. I watched a minimum of ten episodes or more in the span of a day. The fastest is when I finished binge watching three seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in three days.
As an avid binge watcher, I could say I learned a lot by watching different kind of television shows. As time goes, without realising it I tend to micro-analyse the storylines from the television shows.
I crave for the character developments from an episode to another episode and from one season to another season. It is not a great situation when you found out that one character stays stagnant throughout the story or even keeps doing the same thing repeatedly. Nonetheless, I have newfound respect for the developers, showrunners, scriptwriters, directors and producers for their hard work in creating a storyline.
Besides that, I got myself invested in the characters’ storylines, character developments and lives. I wanted to watch how each character grows from each trial and tribulation they faced. Granted, it was just a storyline however, it got me excited to know the direction characters will go.
Interestingly, I found myself picturing myself in the characters’ shoes and it does not matter the gender of the characters. By doing that unconsciously, it helps me to become more empathetic. I laughed with the characters, cried with the characters, got frustrated with the characters, got anxious with the characters and felt happy with the characters.
Grey’s Anatomy, Teen Wolf, Suits, Pretty Little Liars, Criminal Minds, The Flash, Supergirl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Modern Family, The Vampire Diaries, The Mindy Project, Mom, Private Practice, Revenge, This Is Us, 13 Reasons Why, Prison Break, Smallville and Superstore are some of the television shows that I have invested in. They are a combination of drama, comedy, fantasy, crime, and thriller all mixed up together. From the shows, some of my favourite characters would be Meredith Grey, Laurel Lance, Alex Karev, Stiles Stilinski, Gina Linetti, Spencer Hastings, Spencer Reid, Barry Allen, Kara Danvers and Amanda Thorne to name a few.
Firstly, what I learned the most by watching different kind of television shows is that we need to listen. Listening is one of the most important skills for any human beings to have. We listen not to solve the situation but we listen to understand the situation.
When I observed the situation, I found it is much harder for anyone to listen to what other people are saying. Most people would often just jump into a solution without bothering to listen or pay sole attention to listening. Being a great listener is often lacking in people so I learned how to be one. Not only it helps us to understand the situation but we will also know where the feelings is coming from.
Second, I learned not to become a judgmental person. It is easy just to assume from the beginning without knowing the truth. Usually it is coming from our experience and we quickly to assume and judge, which is is not okay. Before making any judgment and assumption, we need to know the whole story.
There are three sides of every story, which is the first side, the second side and the truth. It is unpractical for us only to hear one side of the story. That is why instead of just believe in one side; I choose to hear another side of the story too. This is something that I still struggles to instil, as it is hard to grasp the situation fully without feeling biased.
Third, it might works differently for people but for me I feel grounded. Not only that, it helps me to refresh and rejuvenate in a sense that it allows me to release my stress. At that time, all problems and stress seems to disappear for a little while. It works to be my version of escapism. Even when I multitasking between doing assignments and binge watching, it helps to reduce the stress. Indirectly, it helps me to living my daily life with carefree and deals with any problems that come in my way with a level headed mind.
Briefly, everyone has his or her own way to deal with his or her own lives. The channel of escapism they use to reduce their stress and works for them. The routine they practice to help them cope their problems and such. Most importantly, their habits that can help them to improve their life. Binge watching works for me healthily.
Thus, it is important for everyone to find a healthy outlet for him or her to adopt while busy living our lives. ***