Before taking this class I was never a television watcher, on occasion I would watch certain shows like Ellen DeGeneres or the occasional movie. However, I am bad at sitting down for an hour or so to watch a show when I know I could be outside with my horses or doing something active. The first ‘binge-watch’ assignment that was assigned to us was tough for me, as I don’t like to engage in television if I am being honest. Zachary Snider argued in his chapter that binge-watching “serves to illustrate different cognitive functions ranging from one’s general beliefs to strategies”(pg 117). He goes on to talk about how media consumption is beginning to change the emotional and behavioral characteristics of a person. I would think like to believe that this is true. Just a couple days ago I was talking to a co-worker and she was telling me how she turns on certain narrative television while home alone and she gets so invested in the show that she feels like she actually knows the characters. As this is something that Snider argues in this text, “television narratives shape real-world perceptions and personal values”(pg 118). Again this is something that is a real thing. I have seen this in many cases where people think that because it happens in the movies it will happen in real life. For example, when I was younger I would watch High School Musical and expect my love life/ high school experience to be like this but in reality, it wasn’t anything like that, and probably never will be. It’s almost like television gives us a false hope for how our lives will work.
Like mentioned before, I personally am not one to binge watch television or watch television at all. I can not sit still for that long and have a hard time becoming interested in the shows. I find myself on my phone and looking/reading about other things in the world and having the show as background noise. My mental state is never in the right one to simply sit down and watch shows for that long. With that being said, I honestly did not develop a strong attachment to any of the characters because I thought the show was too intense/ political for my liking. For me to be able to concentrate, I would watch a lot of the shows on the stair stepper at the gym and then take notes on my phone, while the show was playing on my Ipad. Because I was not able to be at the gym for 6+ hours, I watched some shows at night before I went to bed on my computer. The concept of “screen intimacy”, which frontiers between the private and public sphere was not a thing for myself. This is because I knew that these characters were nothing like a person I would see myself friends with. In other show, I think that this concept comes into play for me because I think that a man is physically attractive. Essentially falling ‘in love’ with the character, how they look and act in the show but not them in real life.
This is the first show I have watched where the episodes are called chapters, I think that this British based show does this because of the plot line it follows. Being a very political show they do this so that each episode is like a new chapter in a book, making it easy to follow. Casey McCormick argues that 2% of all Netflix users all watched the entire season in the premiere weekend. She argues that binge-watching “is a productive, often deliberate, and potentially transformative mode of viewing”. I think that this argument is not true. In an earlier comment in her text, she says “viewers would binge the season quickly and potentially ruin key plot points for those lagging behind”(pg 112) I agree with this comment much more. Simply because I think that television shows are not going anywhere, especially on Netflix and sitting down for extended amounts of time is a waste of time. The amounts of technology and programming that have been released in the last 10 years has allowed America to become lazy and have time and emotion much more invested in the media rather than in the real-life relationships. Although I think that Francis played by Kevin Spacey is an amazing actor and he did a great job of playing the democrat in season 1. He is able to draw in many Americans to watch the show and stay hooked, this type of television watching is not for me.