Most people subscribe to some type of streaming service, and have likely binge-watched a TV show in their life. Binge-watching is when you watch several episodes of a show very quickly.
Recently, more shows have been releasing weekly episodes instead of making an entire season available at once. This builds anticipation and keeps viewers coming back for more.
Many newer shows on Disney+ are switching to this periodic model, including “High School Musical: the Musical: the Series,” as well as several new Marvel shows. Besides wanting to gain more viewers, there are other reasons for not uploading all of the episodes all at once.
The last couple episodes of the latest season of “Stranger Things" were not released on Netflix with the rest of the season. According to the show’s producer Shawn Levy, the main reason was because they needed more time to complete the episodes but didn't want fans to wait for the rest of the season.
By doing this, these series are getting more publicity, because viewers are posting and talking about them after every new episode. This can keep audiences interested for longer and creates a bigger buzz around the shows.
I love the weekly episode model, because it gives me something to look forward to every week. Even if I’ve had a really hard day at work I know that I can go home and watch a new episode of my show. It is easier to start watching something when there is not a lot of content out yet and people aren’t spoiling plot points.
I get nervous thinking about starting a show like “Grey's Anatomy” with eighteen seasons. Starting a show that has a couple episodes out, compared to a whole season, is a lot less intimidating.
It could also be the part of me that is still used to watching a new episode each week, like how it was growing up.
Growing up, when there were little to no streaming services, you had to wait until the next week to watch a new episode. Once streaming services became more popular and started dropping whole seasons of shows at a time, binge-watching became extremely popular.
Obviously, not everyone has every streaming service out there. Sometimes to watch a show, you have to binge it using the free trial. But for those of you who have one or more streaming services, maybe consider limiting yourself to one weekly episode, even for the complete series. The pacing will keep you from feeling like you need to finish the entire season in one night.
Of course, everyone is different, and if you prefer watching several episodes at a time, go for it! Still, I am glad some streaming services are returning to the weekly episodes model, and I think it's good that we are starting to get away from the binging era of television.
Olivia Franklin (she/her) is a senior studying journalism with a minor in political science. She is a member of the swim club at IU and the Women in Media organization.