There's no binge like show binge.
The days of network television are all but over (for now, at least). Who wants to settle for having to wait an entire week to watch an hour of a show they may be only mildly interested in, when we’ve been given the keys to the kingdom to watch just about anything we want to see, whenever we want to see it? Netflix — arguably the pioneer streaming service — changed the game.
With Netflix and the rise of other streaming platforms has come the new phenomenon of binge racing. Binge racing, for those of you unfamiliar with the term, is when a new season of a show is released all at once and the viewer tries to watch the entire thing as fast as humanly possible, in order to be the first one to see it. Typically this is done in less than 24 hours. Yes, that means sitting on the couch for hours on end, constantly clicking that ‘Next Episode’ button and only getting up for emergency bathroom breaks. While it may make us question what we’re doing with our life when the season ends, this is a trend we can fully endorse.
And we’re not the only ones either — binge racing is evolving from being more than just a phase into becoming a movement. According to Netflix Media Center, 8.4 million members have binge raced at some point during their Netflix career. In the past four years that number has increased over 20 times.
“There’s a unique satisfaction that comes from being the first to finish a story — whether it’s the final page of a book or the last, climatic moments of your favorite TV show,” said Brian Wright, Vice President, via Netflix Media Center. “Netflix allows you to watch in a way you never could before, and there’s nothing better than seeing a show engage our members and ignite a passion for viewing.”
Sure, outsiders looking in (aka judgmental parents concerned their kid isn’t being social enough) aren’t going to get it. But binge racing isn’t just something to pass the time with — it’s a hobby that takes dedication and commitment. It’s not easy watching an entire eight or ten one-hour long episodes in one sitting.
The next obvious question is ‘what are people binge racing?’ Netflix Media Center has us covered on that one too. They’ve released a list of the top 20 binge raced shows. Most of them are what you would expect, but there’s a few surprises in there. Here’s the list (and some of the trailers to go along with them, in case you really are looking for something new to binge):
20. Master of None
19. Chewing Gum
18. GLOW (great show which you should totally watch)
16. House of Cards
15. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
14. Wet Hot American Summer
13. Grace and Frankie
11. Friends from College
10. Stranger Things (t-minus nine days until season 2)
9. Orange is the New Black
8. F is for Family
7. Trailer Park Boys
6. Santa Clarita Diet
5. The Ranch
4. The Seven Deadly Sins
3. Marvel’s The Defenders
2. Fuller House
1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
They’ve also released a list of the top 20 Binge Racing Countries. Canada came in first, with the United States right behind them in second, followed by Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany.
Netflix hasn’t, and for some reason won’t, released the actual numbers regarding how many people are watching each show. However, Netflix Media Center is reporting that there are more than 5 million active binge racers as of Sept. 2017. That number will likely only continue to rise. Netflix is putting out more and more content (they’ve just announced their working on 80 original projects for 2018) that only encourages the habit more and more — and we’re not complaining.