House of Cards has been in my “to watch” list for a while now but I never actually watched an episode of it until I was assigned to watch the first six “chapters” for an assignment. Unfortunately because it was an assignment to watch the first six episodes and I had to take notes on each of them I felt as if I could not engage in the show. It felt like I was only watching so I could take notes and whenever I was writing the notes I could not pay attention to the show itself and so I feel as if I was actually missing out on really watching the show and enjoying it. This is really upsetting to me because like I said I have been wanting to watch this show for a while and now that I finally have and I couldn’t even get immersed in the show itself, it’s really upsetting. I feel as if I read a summary of every episode that told me what happened and so now if I go back and try to watch them I already know everything and I cannot actually enjoy the show anymore. It was also not very easy to connect or engage with any of the characters because I cannot even engage in the show itself. I only felt a little connected to Kevin Spacey’s character because sometimes he would talk to the screen and let you know what was going to happen but even then I only felt connected to him because it felt as if he was talking directly to me.
I do not feel that it is very significant to call the episodes, “chapters”. This is because when I watched the show I never even knew they were called chapters at all. When I pulled up the show on Netflix there is an option to “play episode one” and you never even needed to look at each episode and see that they were actually called chapters instead. I also feel that even if I knew they were called chapters before I began watching the show it would not have changed anything for me because other shows also have called their episodes chapters before and I never really thought anything of it.
McCormick talks about surrogate characters and how all of them relate to the audience in some way. Peter is talked about as a surrogate of addiction because he is addicted to drugs, alcohol, and sex, while we are addicted to the show. Peter is told he can and has to talk about his addiction publicly which is what Netflix wants us to do, such as posting to social media how we are addicted to the show and saying how much we love it. He also talks about how Zoe is a surrogate for information because she is a reporter always looking for the next story and more information. Just like how the audience is always looking for what is going to happen next and will continue to watch each episode so they can find out.
I agree with both authors on some of their points but I feel as if I am the middle road of both. I agree that binge watching is productive and a transformative way to watch, but I also agree with Snider that, this can cause feelings of loneliness and depression. I do not think that these feelings can be extremely strong but I do think people miss their favorite characters when they are finished binge watching a show, and they get a little sad that it is over and there are no more episodes.