Back in the day, before online streaming platforms, DVD and Blu-ray box sets, and even before DVRs, when you missed an episode of a TV show that was it — you were never going to see that episode, ever. Those days are long gone.
The generation of binge-watching has emerged. With a subscription to any streaming service you can watch a TV series or collection of movies back to back — advertisement free, hassle-free, with no interruptions. Even if you aren’t a TV buff we all binge-watch shows. Whether you’ve fallen down the Stranger Things rabbit hole or can’t seem to turn off Black Mirror, you will probably binge on an incredible, enticing show at some point. Is there a way to improve watching Friends for the millionth time? Oh, there is. Here’s how to make any binge-watch all that much better.
Deciding what to watch
To paint a picture, it’s a Saturday morning, you just woke up. You take a look outside of your window and it is raining quite heavily. You think to yourself, ‘well, I’ll just stay in today.’ You catch the sight of your television by the corner of your eyes and it hits you. You open up your streaming service and hit a dead end with every day’s dilemma. What should I watch? You use the filters, and now you’re asking what genre? An influx of questions overwhelms you and you aren’t sure if you feel like catching a comedy, or if it is a drama you seek.
This challenge, which is definitely regarded as the biggest impediment of the binge-watching world, is very difficult to figure out. It is not like what the recommendations are much help. Though, it is nothing US couch potatoes cannot fix. Here’s how:
Organize your account
In order to get the best results out of your streaming service, you will have to start organizing your account. You can start things off by managing the different profiles you have. By accessing a profile designed specifically for say a comedy, the streaming service will use that as an indicator and provide you with comedy shows you may like and enjoy. Help the algorithm help you.
The search bar in these streaming services is great if you know what you are looking for. However, if you want a more specific and more powerful search bar looks into using power search bars that will help you find exactly what it is you want.
Look at the coming soon section
Whenever you feel like you finish all the good shows and want something new, try turning to the coming soon section. You will be able to plan ahead, which will help you to get ahead of your binge-watching mates.
Watch the previews
Before beginning a series or movie, it’s best to read about it as well as watch the preview. This will give you an idea about what the show is talking about, as well as give you a snippet into the events of the series or movie. While you can’t judge a TV show based on the poster, you can off the trailer.
Essentials to elevate binge the watching experience
If you ask any professional binge-watcher about the essentials of binge-watching, they will tell you about a few must-haves. Seeing as how you should expect to be sitting for hours in a resting position, you will want to get everything in order. Here is what you should get for this much-adored activity.
These little gizmos are completely indispensable, they will be your best friend throughout the hour. They will provide you with convenience and comfort, bringing your favorite drink even closer than an arm’s reach away — right next to you.
Snacks are a must-have. You can pick up a bag of chips, microwave some popcorn, or binge on candy. Drinks matter too. Maybe do something warm will do the trick in this cold weather or something to cool you down in the heat of summer. Regardless of the snacks you choose, you’ll get thirsty. Be sure to have drinks on hand.
On a binge, snacks aren’t enough. We are talking hours here, people. You’re going to have to eat. When you’re looking to have a good time on your couch you must think about how you will get into the most comfortable seating position possible. What you will need in order to get the most out of this experience and maximize the sensation of binge-watching is a portable tray that holds your meals. It will allow you to rest your back as you watch your binge-worthy show.
Most binge-watching happens during the winter; it makes the perfect cuddle weather and ideal for the quiet night in with loved ones. You will want to keep your feet warm along with everything else. It is frequently overlooked, though you should not forget about it.
If you treat binge-watching as a team sport, you will want to own a projector. No one wants to be cramped up around a 15-inch screen, and your television is probably only big enough to host you and a few friends. A projector will enable you to play host and not have to leave your house or get out of your pajamas at all.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) brings with it tons of perks that will alter your binge-watching experience forever. If you do not have access to a streaming service, this little piece of technology will grant you access, acting as a universal key. Streaming services have different libraries in different countries and VPNs can give you access to more content. It will also protect your information. The VPN wizards at VPN Gorilla list the best free VPN as a tool that offers protection of personal information and even identity online. A good, secure VPN service usually costs only a few dollars a month.
A good audio system will add another element to the journey, putting you in a state of euphoria, making the experience that much more enjoyable. You can hear everything properly and likely won’t need any subtitles, which is more convenient. You will hear the words no matter where you are looking and even if you briefly go to the restroom.
A good resolution will have you immerse yourself into the world of the series or movie you’re watching. It will make it all seem more vivid and detailed, which is useful as the streaming services are always adding to their 4K content library. By getting a 4K television, you will be allowing the frames of the show or movie to be thrust upon you. Forget watching a movie, it’ll be like you’re there.
Binge-watching is no joke. As such, you will not want anyone to disrupt your session, ruining this holy ceremony. Headphones will prevent anyone from making your evening go sour with their untimely or much-unneeded distraction. On the plus side, neighbors will not complain and your roommate or significant other will rest happily as you keep on watching.
A sweet-scented candle, or better yet, one that matches the show and the weather outside, will add to your binge-watching session. You will feel calm throughout and have your house or room smell all that much better. It will also activate your smelling senses with a nice smell to heighten the experience tenfold.
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Copious amounts of caffeine are exactly what you will need to get through the 10 T.V. shows you aim to complete. Though to compliment your ability to get easy access to a dosage of caffeine, you may want to keep your espresso machine nearby, or at least a coffee pot next to you on the table.
Wine & wine glasses
Some Rosé on a rainy evening and voila, perfection. This doesn’t only provide you with a calm and settled demeanor, but it also supplements the aesthetic of your binge-watching session. Just kick back with a glass in your hands and enjoy it.
Do not disturb
You will not want to be disturbed, especially if someone just barges in halfway through your session. Getting disturbed through your binge is a proven torture system that is known to have been used against criminals — allegedly. A little sign that says do not disturb may save you from all that trouble and headache.
A binge tent
That’s right, you can do both binge and camp all at the same time. You can have this binge tent placed outside in your backyard for a nice change of atmosphere. The cool part about the tent is you can enjoy yourself a session in the morning without having to worry about the sun’s effects on you.
Having an outlet next to your bed, or next to your couch, which carries your mobile phone’s charger will be extremely helpful and convenient. You will not have to worry about missing anything where you would have had to get up and fetch your charger, seeing as how it is next to you. And yes, you can pause it, but every binge-watcher knows that pausing is a sin — we’re fairly certain that’s in the bible, right after “Thou shall not skip episodes.”
A binge-watching marathon can be exhausting. Especially if you do not move at all throughout the whole session, which demands years of careful, tactical training. It is for that reason a foot massager is needed. Call it a treat if you will, or just the means to relax more than you already are, but this is the cherry on top of binge-watching.
These will give you all that you need and then some. When in the midst of a cold, freezing winter, what you will need to have on as you are having your hot chocolate is an electric blanket. It will put you in the right mood to approach the whole binge at another level. They keep you warm, cozy, and relaxed.
Shows to try out
You now have your gear, and every piece of essential equipment out and ready. All you need is to know which shows to give a shot at binging and which not to. You will want to look for a show that has a short running time, or one with fewer episodes in a season. Ideally, a good binge-watching show will have 10 hours in a season. Here are a few notable mentions.
This one is based on its namesake video game, and if you are a real fan you will know that it was originally a book. The Witcher is a Netflix Original that has received stunning reviews.
Seen as a modern-day classic, and dubbed one of the best, if not the best, the show of this century. This show follows a respectable chemist’s life, shortly after discovering he has Cancer. Everyone loves it, the acting and directing was just extraordinary as well as the fact that everybody around him starts to break bad as well.
Famed for the chemistry the cast shared with one another, this show follows a group of surgical interns and their supervisors. But be warned, this show is well over 300 episodes and will need more than one binge session.
Friends are the best, Nuff said. Arguably the most binge-worthy series ever made, it follows the lives of a group of friends who go through ups and downs, but mostly ups. It follows their lives for 10 years and you will feel like you are one of them. Friends is a show for everybody.
When planning ahead for your binge-watching session, it is imperative that you make all the appropriate considerations. This, of course, includes bringing your essentials to your session. Remember the most powerful tool at your disposal is your VPN; transport yourself anywhere in the world to access the content library of your choice. This way, you will be able to enjoy the hundreds of movies and series these services offer.