You're Not 'Binge-Watching,' You're 'Being Lazy'

Willa Paskin thinks marathon sessions are getting too much credit

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 14, 2013 10:31 AM CST

(Newser) – Once upon a time, spending six straight hours watching TV was considered a mind-rotting display of laziness. Now, it's called "binge-watching," and it's "the culturally sanctioned activity of high-achieving, culturally literate adults," writes Slate TV critic Willa Paskin. But she's not convinced it's all it's cracked up to be. "If you are not the type of person who has ever lost an afternoon to a marathon of Hoarders, you may not be aware of how exactly it is like losing an afternoon to House of Cards."

Yeah, excellent shows like Breaking Bad make for great binges, but so does less-exalted fare like 24. "When we binge-eat and binge-drink, we don't chug glasses of Chateau Lafite." Great shows are measured by how long you'd wait for a new episode if you had to, not how quickly you hit "Next." There's nothing wrong with guzzling some Orange Is the New Black if you want. Just "keep in mind that the distance between you and some imagined figure pounding Mountain Dew and Quarter Pounders while watching hours of Pawn Stars is not so vast." Click for Paskin's full column.

Damn it, Jesse, you're just watching TV!
Damn it, Jesse, you're just watching TV!   (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)
Do you just want to hit Next Episode?
Do you just want to hit "Next Episode"?   (AP Photo/AMC, Ursula Coyote)
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I like to tell myself that I watch a show like Orange Is the New Black in 24 hours just because it’s great, but I think it might be just because it’s on. And in this new era, television is always on. - Willa Paskin

Keep in mind that the distance between you and some imagined figure pounding Mountain Dew and Quarter Pounders while watching hours of Pawn Stars is not so vast. - Willa Paskin

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