Day Two: Binge Watching
The activity of binge watching is still relatively new to me. Years ago I spent a lost and lonely weekend with just my DVDs of The Professionals to keep me company; the main characters being Bodie, Doyle and their boss Cowley. It was a drama about a fictitious government department, ‘Criminal Intelligence 5’ (or CI-5 for short), loosely based on MI-5. In my school days, my best friend and I had a massive crush on Doyle, played by actor Martin Shaw. My friend and I still quote lines from the programme, and, we call each other Betty after Cowley’s secretary in the series.
That particular weekend, it had seemed somehow wrong to watch episode after episode, but it helped pass the time extremely effectively. Maybe it was my concept of how television SHOULD be watched that made me feel a little bit guilty.
It was an era long before catch up TV, and if you wanted to watch a series, then you had to remember to tune in each week. If you missed an episode, which I frequently did, it was just too bad. After a while I stopped trying to keep up and I didn’t pay much attention to TV at all. I would occasionally watch films or box sets on DVD instead. Box sets can be very expensive to buy on DVD though.
Fast forward (pun intended) to present day and binge watching is the norm. So it seems fitting that my favourite show of the moment is a spy drama called Spooks aka MI-5.
Originally, it ran for ten seasons from 2002 – 2011. Of course, I missed it the first time around. I don’t know how I was unaware of such a popular drama, but it was probably because I had a young child to take care of.
I only managed to binge on it recently thanks to a free trial of BritBox. The good news is that the BBC have reinstated it on iPlayer as part of their package to keep Britain entertained through these strange times of the Coronavirus pandemic.
My pick of binge-worthy TV drama in the UK, in no particular order:
- Spooks on iPlayer
- Line of Duty on iPlayer
- Last Tango in Halifax on iPlayer
- Whitechapel – originally on ITV. It was axed before it reached a natural conclusion. It is available on BritBox (free trial available – conditions apply).
- Unforgotten – the first 2 seasons are on Netflix and season 3 is on BritBox
- The Crown
- The Split on iPlayer
- The Bodyguard on Netflix
- The Stranger on Netflix
- Doctor Foster on Netflix
- Happy Valley on Netflix
I am going to add that Line of Duty actor, Martin Compston, is in the new BBC drama ‘The Nest’, available on BBC One and then on iPlayer after each episode has been broadcast.
Binge Watching is self-care
I read an article this week that says that binge watching is good for you. I’ve certainly found that if I’m able to get engrossed in something then I don’t have as much headspace for anxiety and depression.
There’s a psychology behind Netflix and such that encourages you to keep watching, and that is the autoplay feature, whereby the episodes join almost seamlessly together if you skip the credits. Therefore, you may want to be aware of how long you are watching TV for and set a timer. The beauty of this new way of watching on demand is that you can stop anywhere in an episode and resume watching when you are ready.
Thanks for reading. Are there any box sets you would recommend to me? Please comment below …
Further reading: Friday Favourites