In my experience, Netflix has always been a key important factor for allowing myself to watch as much television as I would like, without any commercials. I think this is key in the new-era of technology we are living in. The engagement with Frank Underwood I think is key as you can tell much of the show revolves around him. There are other characters of course that also caught my eye. Characters like Paul Russo and Zoe Barnes seem to be also a focal point throughout these first six episodes. One thing I think to be interesting and that I seem to like, is when House of Cards does this thing with Frank, they pause everything around him, and he gives a little 15-30 second statement about what he thinks is going on. I think this helps in the storytelling and allows the viewer to fully indulge themselves into the show. As McCormick says, “This hail to binge-viewing represents a drastic shift in TV distribution: by releasing thirteen episodes at once, House of Cards invites, its viewers to fully immerse themselves in the narrative world and allow the storytelling momentum to take hold” (pg. 101). I think that Netflix was one of the first pioneers to allow access to streaming TV shows online and this way of binge-watching has only helped them in their success. This was not my first time binge-watching House of Cards, this was actually my fourth time watching it. When I first watched it, I definitely think that I was caught in the Netflix trap of binge-watching their first original series. This most recent time, I think it was easier to not get caught in the binge trap, as once the six episodes were over, I went on with my day, not watching anymore episodes. I did though watch the episodes from my TV but I do believe that I was still able to sort of “screen intimacy.” One thing that I do when I watch Netflix, is that I have the subtitles turned on, this allows me to read what is being said while also watching it, I think this also preserves some sort of screen intimacy. I think it would be interesting to dive into the show House of Cards, the political climate seems to be similar with the one we live in now.
With the show calling its episodes “chapters”, I think it wants to grasp this idea that there is not only an overall plot to each season, each episode represents its own story within the overall story. This is something Netflix has noticed that has helped them gain more viewership and expand its business. While yes of course there is an overall storyline to the show, each episode seems to have its own plot while also in a way, connect to the overall plot of that season. I agree with both authors that binge-watching television can be good and bad for you. It certainly can be productive and a transformative mode of viewing, but I can definitely see how it can be an isolating experience. With binge-watching, I have noticed that I can get lost within a show for hours on end, I think this is something that we have been able to gain access to with the expansion of the internet. Many viewers of Netflix are binge-watching their shows in such fashion like the use of social media, that I can see how it could cause feelings like loneliness, depression, and anxiety. While binge-watching shows like House of Cards, we are not allowing ourselves the opportunity to go out and explore the world like having social interaction with friends or going on adventures. While I do see the bad effects that binge-watching could possibly have, I think I have fallen into the binge trap and will most likely binge-watch my TV shows because I like just being able to start something, and finish it not too long after I have started it.