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These cold, snowy weekends, when you don’t want to leave the house, are the best time to catch up on your binge watching.  Even with DVRs, living a hectic life can make traditional television viewing impractical.  Luckily, binge watching, watching multiple episodes (or seasons) of a show in a single sitting, has become easier than ever. For the most enjoyable experience, read HTE’s Tips for Binge Watching.

Season 3 of the critically acclaimed, House of Cards is being released Friday.  This award winning Netflix exclusive was created for American viewers as a way to increase subscription value. The show (an adaptation of a BBC series with the same name) was specifically created for streaming, and some may argue binge watching. Unlike traditional programing, the entire season is released each February. In fact, Cinema Blend reported over 670,000 subscribers watched the 13 hour season the weekend it was released last year.

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While House of Cards is indisputably the most popular, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have headed to the studio to create service specific original programing, all which have released multiple episodes at a time.  And let’s not forget the premier networks who started it all.  With HBO GO, you can watch every season of all their original programing, including oldies but goodies from back in the day.  The same goes for Showtime Anytime and Starz Play. Now CBS All Access is getting on board with some of their hits both past and present for $5.99 a month.

But what about regular TV shows, the ones that come on one episode at a time?  Whether you’re getting into a new show, or catching up on a personal favorite, finding continuous episodes can be challenging.  The current season is spread across Hulu and On Demand, Netflix has a few seasons you can stream, but others are on DVD only, and before you know it your down time intended for binge watching is now a serious effort to put all the puzzle pieces (episodes) together.

Some systems such as Tivo have multi a service (Cable, Netflix, Hulu) search.  For those who do not have that feature download the free Fan TV app.  While Fan TV does sell a physical box that works with Time Warner Cable, the free app can be used with any cable provider.  Simply put in your cable company and what services you have (Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime) and search a program.  The app will show you where you can find which seasons of the show.

Binge watching has become so common, Newsday actually created a list of the best types of shows to binge watch.  According to the article the best shows to watch in prolonged viewings have the following attributed:

  • Have an Ongoing Narrative
  • Have Characters You Care About
  • You Know Will Have an End (Not Abruptly Cancelled)
  • Are Enjoyable
  • Available Without Commercial Interruption
  • Are Informative… Or Have Redeeming Qualities

So this weekend if you are going to binge watch, pick your show, set up your series, get comfy, and enjoy!