Hey all! There’s a really important topic that we need to discuss this week. And that is:
Why are TV series so much easier to binge than movies?
Seriously, why is it that I can sit for days — and I literally mean days — watching a series while I can’t even sit still for a single hour-and-a-half movie? It’s like while watching a movie I become some five year old waiting for dessert but while watching a series I become this nasty swamp creature that only emerges to eat the souls of the good and pure.
You all know how I feel about going to the movies already (if you don’t, feel free to go back and read my post about it. Spoiler alert: it’s the worst) and, while watching a movie from the comfort of my own couch is infinitely better than watching at the theater, the fact still remains that it’s a movie, and therefore takes up way too large a chunk of my life.
I’m not sure if I’m the only one that feels like this, but I feel like movies take up, like, my entire day. Like once I start a movie and watch it through until the end, it feels as though my day is wasted. Most likely because somewhere in the middle, I’ll hit my daily window of “10 minutes of motivation to do a thing,” but by the time the movie is over, the window has passed and it feels like it’s basically time for bed anyway.
Even if it’s only 3 in the afternoon.
And not only are movies physically draining, but they’re also emotionally draining. You just spend so much time watching, and get so emotionally invested, and suddenly the toys are headed towards the furnace, and you’re sobbing uncontrollably wondering why sentient toys are making you so emotional (damn you, Pixar!).
No? Just me? Okay then…
With a series, whenever that window might come, more often than not, I can hold out until the end of an episode to do whatever thing I needed to do that day. Then once that thing is done, I can continue to binge the rest of the show for the next 6 hours.
In fact, episodes can give me a good stopping point. I’m sure you’re familiar with the wait-until-the-end-of-the-episode bargaining: “Okay Renata, you can watch the rest of this episode, but once it’s over, you need to do the thing.” And then you go back and forth with your depressed self until you either do it or you’re too engrossed in the next episode to move.
Oh well, one more episode couldn’t hurt! After all, I just have to know — is Victoria really “the mother”? Just kidding, I already know, I’ve seen How I Met Your Mother 17 times.
Either way, you can’t do that with movies. You can bargain with yourself to do something at the end, but let’s be honest, the time after a movie is reserved for a two-hour nap then a one-hour ice cream binge. Even if I watch a TV show all day, odds are that I’ve completed some of the things I wanted to get done that day, even if I did them while sitting in front of the TV. I even struggle with shows with episodes that last longer than 30 minutes!
I can’t tell you how many times friends have recommended shows to me and the conversation went something like this…
“Sure, I’ll definitely watch it!”
“Great! Each episode is 45 minutes long…”
And then I make that noise where I suck air through my teeth and make a face that says I’m about to deliver some bad news.
Which leads me to the next part of the problem: my millennial attention span. You want me to pay attention to ONE SINGULAR THING for two hours? Are you insane? I can hardly watch TV without playing 4 different games, checking 3 different social media applications, and googling the supporting actors in the shows at the same time!
Did you know that Leslie Knope’s mom on Parks and Recreation also plays Eli Stone’s mom on Eli Stone? Crazy, right?
It’s just easier to pay attention to something where the plotline is constantly changing than the same plotline over and over. My life is one, long, ridiculous plotline. Shouldn’t my entertainment offer me more? Isn’t the whole point of entertainment to escape from reality?!
I’d venture a guess that this is also why I really enjoy movies with several different plotlines that run together. Then, it is more like I’m watching a series, and it is captivating enough to keep my attention until the very end. Read as: I only look at my phone about 20 times and play only one game so that my attention isn’t taken away too much. #millennialfocus
Case and point, the entire time I was typing this, I was watching The Office for what has to be at least the 8th time. Except for the last episode. Because it makes me sob.
The only time I can watch movies comfortably is if I’m rewatching a movie that I’ve already seen. And as you all know, I am a chronic rewatcher…
Now, if you’ll excuse me, an episode just ended, so now is the time to go do a thing!