Today’s TV culture is defined by one thing: the binge-watch.
Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Killing Eve, The Boys; what do they all have in common? Their respective streaming platforms released their seasons in one glorious dump.
The days of watching a show and waiting a week for the next episode are fading away. With the exception of HBO efforts such as Barry and Game of Thrones, audiences are of managing to digest a whole season of television in a single day.
One of the great first-world problems is the looming temptation of ‘continue watching’ on your Netflix account – particularly for those in a relationship who have vowed to watch a show together.
Picture the scene: it’s your day off, and your partner is at work. You open up Netflix, and immediately, your accosted with the suggestion to go onto episode seven of the third season of Stranger Things. You try to resist, you really do, but it’s inevitable – you put it on. You finish it all.
Naturally, when you reveal the news of your betrayal, your partner is out for blood.
Worry not lovebirds; Netflix has drawn up a very official co-watching contract to help avoid any conflicts.
The contract demands two signatures, and lists five reasonable conditions: ‘I won’t fall asleep; I won’t get distracted by my phone causing the other person to rewind because I missed something; I won’t continue watching a show without the other person present; I won’t talk whilst the show is on; In the event that I come across a spoiler, I won’t share it with the other person.’
When taking on a binge-watch, it can be easy to be stupefied by the screen and fall asleep. But using your phone is the Netflix decorum equivalent of a felony; you wouldn’t use your phone in the cinema, so why would you use it in this scenario?
According to Forbes, 824,000 accounts binged Stranger Things‘ third season on day one. But regardless of whether you’re watching as a couple, a group or on your own, the routine that regulated our telly watching is disappearing more every year.
Love Island, love it or hate it, has given people an excuse to gather round the TV.
Whether it be families or friends, that sort of communal, time-specific experience is a flashback to a time before streaming platforms enabled our entertainment greed. So, for your own well-being, Netflix’s contract may actually be a good idea.
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After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.