Just One More Episode

It used to be that major TV shows were treated like proper events. The nation would tune in together at the same time, creating these water-cooler moments that dominated the conversation the next day. The excitement would build as the week went on until we could enjoy the next episode. Television, when done right, has the power to connect people like few other mediums are able to do.

Since the likes of Netflix came along with box set bingeing these moments are increasingly rare. Now we expect a series to be released in its entirety, for us to feast on when and however we like. A seemingly endless list of programmes to watch makes it almost impossible to get through before the plot twist in the finale is thoughtlessly revealed by Jeff from Finance.

While it is so much easier for us now, we’ve lost that shared experience, that connection. Witnessing a cliffhanger ending, knowing that you have a whole week to wait before you find out what happens creates a powerful link to the viewer. Now you don’t even have to watch the whole end credits before you’re nudged to watch the next episode right now! Very few of us have the willpower to say no, and before you know it you’ve finished the series – on to the next one.

This opens the door to a lot of very mediocre shows, as they can be watched before you even realise you just wasted 15 hours of your life on something rubbish. Time is our most precious resource, yet we are all guilty of giving it away to things that don’t deserve it. I still love TV and I always will. But by being more conscious in my choices and not mindlessly consuming it means I really appreciate the few shows that I do still watch, and I have more time to spend on other activities that bring value to my life. Are there any shows that you know aren’t doing anything for you, but you keep watching anyway? If so, maybe it’s time to make a change.

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a streamlined mind is my goal, this is my journey.

2 thoughts on “Just One More Episode”

  1. Love this post, James! I’ve never really been a TV person and I don’t subscribe to Netflix or similar paid services, but I’ve definitely been caught in the ‘one more episode’ phenomenon. Here in Australia one of the non-commercial TV channels has a free online catch-up service, with some really excellent international dramas and crime series, and I’ve experienced just how dangerous it can be to keep clicking on the next episode.

    Before I started my new teaching job last week, I went down the ‘one more episode’ rabbit hole several times too many over the summer, and, honestly, it really took the enjoyment out of what I was watching. Now that I’m busy with work again, my husband and I have decided to watch just one episode of a Scandi crime show (The Bridge – it’s excellent!) per week, on a Saturday night, and I really notice the difference. As you say, knowing that you have a whole week to wait before you find out what happens is so much more powerful for the viewer. When you finally get to watch the next episode, you get a sense of your curiosity finally being fulfilled, and it creates more talking points. It feels less mindless and much more engaging, like a special treat rather than a time filler.

    “Time is our most precious resource, yet we are all guilty of giving it away to things that don’t deserve it.” – I love this. It’s so true. I’m taking that away as my nugget of wisdom to mull over for the rest of the day, James!


    1. Thanks Lisa, I’m glad you took something from it. I think the whole binge culture extends far beyond just TV shows. It seems we have lost the ability to delay gratification, and insist on having everything available at once. Patience is such a virtue, and something I know I struggle with on a regular basis, but like with many things in life, the more you practice the better you get.

      I have heard a lot of very good things about The Bridge but haven’t got round to it just yet. Will keep an eye out for it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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