Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Binging on Media

by Patricia Rosemoor, half of Lynn Patrick

The publishing industry isn’t the only media that is going through a huge transition. The way we watch television is, as well.
    There are always dead spots in network programming. The winter holidays. The transitions before and after summer. It used to be you couldn’t watch anything new in the summer, but a half dozen years ago (maybe more), new series launched in the summer, especially on cable. Some series even have two seasons.
    But we’ve gone way beyond that now. Or at least some of us have. Now we binge watch.
    I can’t remember if I started with Downton Abbey or with Homeland. I was late to the party with both, but writer friends online kept talking about these two series, and I finally had to check them out for myself. I caught the first two seasons of Downton Abbey right before season three launched. It never occurred to me that I would watch any series, even a short season, in a weekend. And that’s exactly what I did. I couldn’t get enough of it. The characters drove the story and me with them. Same with Homeland.
    It never occurred to me that binge watching would become a regular habit. Until...
    Last year at this time, I got Netflix. I’d had Netflix before, renting DVDs. When Netflix went to streaming, I dropped it. I thought who would want to watch the old movies they were trying to sell. And then they started producing new series.
    Orange is the New Black sucked me in right as season two started. So I watched two seasons in about two weeks. And then there was Breaking Bad, a requirement for a workshop in California with Story guru Robert McKee. My writing group took the workshop together after watching Breaking Bad together. However it did take us half a year to watch 62 episodes. I’ve tried various other series, and if I like them, I watch the whole season(s), though not necessarily in a weekend or two.
    Note that network television is now experimenting. Aquarius is a new summer series that started a few weeks ago, but the day after the series started, all 13 episodes appeared on my Tivo. Not recorded, but a click will stream an episode from On Demand. The Tivo has changed, as well, because I created a OnePass for Orange is the New Black, and it, too, shows up on My Shows and I can stream them from there.
    I’ve also had Amazon Prime for a couple of years and have occasionally watched movies. Now Amazon is producing new content. Bosch, based on the Michael Connelly novel character, was a natural for me. I watched the 10 episode season in one weekend. Then I started thinking about how this binge watching phenomenon related to reading books.


  

Think about how many people you know who get hooked on a series. And if they come to that series late in the game like I did with Downton Abbey and Homeland, they may want to read all the books currently in that series.  As an author who has written series, I have been asked by readers how many books do I intend to write, because they want to get them all before starting to read. Which means they are binge reading.






The "home" books we are writing for Heartwarming aren't an official series, but they are all set in the same fictional town of Sparrow Lake, Wisconsin, and both main and secondary characters interact throughout the books. So, an opportunity for a little binge?



I admit I binge read the Karen Marie Moning Fever series until I was finished.
 
 Has it happened to you? Fess up. Do you binge read or binge watch television? What are your favorites?



21 comments:

  1. I will binge read an author who is new to me and who has a wonderful backlist for me to snap up (yay, Kristen Higgans). I binge read the Harry Potter books. I will binge watch a TV series if I'm sewing. There are some I really like (Call the Midwife).

    Interesting post. I can't wait to see what everyone says.

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    1. I've kind of been obsessed with the way watching television is changing. And with "long form" television, too. But I decided to save that topic for next time.

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  2. I'm too much a creature of habit to like what they're doing to TV. I can still read a lot, but don't know that I'd read all of one author in a weekend of reading unless it's a series. I like variety in reading.

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    1. I don't usually binge read. Although I just got my third Sandra Brown book in a row. I think because in my other life, I'm writing a romantic thriller. :)

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  3. Hi, Patricia. I'm right in the middle of Liz and Roz. I'm currently surrounded by Kristan Higgans, (yay, is right!) but at my age I do my best to keep my brain filled with cheer and laughter. (Equivalent, probably, to the ostrich with his head in the sand.) Technically, it isn't binge watching, but we love reruns every night of Big Bang Theory, Raymond, Frasier - all the old funny stuff. And I still have a television that isn't flat screen. How cool that you're taking advantage of all the new things available to us. Bless the big brains that think of those things.

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    1. I agree, Muriel, we need something to smile about. I don't know if you have Netflix, but if you do, you might try Grace and Frankie. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

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  4. I like listening to books on tape (CD’s now) while I’m driving. I started with one of the Prey series by John Sandford. And I’m hooked. I can get them all through the library. So far I’m on my 7th with about 18 more to go. I also have Prime but haven’t used it yet to its full potential. A very interesting post and comments. I love the Big Bang Theory and Raymond so I do binge a little on them. My favorite TV drama is Law and Order, so now that the station is binging that with some very old ones, I’ve enjoyed watching a young Chris Noth, along with Jerry Orbach and Michael Moriarty.

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    1. Cool. So people binge listen, too! I hadn't thought of that.

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    2. Marion, I LOVE John Sandford! I've read all of his books. After you finish the Prey series you have to read the Virgil Flowers series as well.

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  5. Patricia, great post! I'm not much of a TV series watcher and it's because I can never remember what time and day anything is on. I like the ID channel and River Monsters and Ancient Aliens--shows where you don't have to have seen the last episode. Which probably means Netflix or Prime would be good for me because I could binge-watch them all. But I do binge read! When I find an author I like I gobble up everything they've got out there!

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    1. One of the things about having a tivo with my cable now, is that I don't have to remember what's on when. I can create OnePass for any program, including things on Netflix :)

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  6. I've binge read a newly discovered series, but not TV series only because of the time constraints. I have, however, taken advantage of new tech to watch shows I've missed ;).

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  7. I rarely watch TV, which must change because it does spark the creativity. It's just so hard to find the time. :-) But I may binge Bosch this weeend.

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    1. Let me know how you like it? Truthfully, I don't care for his character in books, but it translates well to television. He may be gruff, but man, I would want him on my side if I had a problem that needed a cop.

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  8. weekend. These gel nails are getting in the way of my typing!

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  9. I have binge watched a couple of series: Downton Abbey, The Paradise, Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax to name a few. I haven't watched much of anything lately because of time constraints. I've discovered recently that I like series books. The challenge is there are so many great authors (especially of Heartwarming books) that it's hard to keep up with all of them. It would be great if I could go on a reading retreat.

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  10. A reading retreat for a month in the summer sounds like a fine idea! And I also watched Happy Valley & loved it. Great mature female cop, great suspense, great big finish. I tried The Paradise but it didn't pull me in. I am thinking about trying Last Tango.

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  11. I watched all the Gilmore Girls in about three weeks. I have the first season of Downtown Abbey, but haven't watched it. Mike's at camp, so I'm watching one episode of Outlander a night. Hubby came in late and keeps asking me annoying questions about what he's missed. LOL

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    1. Of course he wants to know what he missed. Nearly as many men are watching as women. I'm now watching for the second time. Originally I watched with the other half of Lynn Patrick :) And now I'm watching 2-3 episodes at a time with my writer's group.

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  12. I agree with Laurie. I would love to go on a reading retreat!

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