Monday, June 3, 2013

The real delight of 'Homeland': TV binge

You probably already know this: The Charlotte Observer hosted a television cast and crew of 65 people--including Claire Danes--last Tuesday when "Homeland" used our newsroom to film a scene for their third season. Read more about that here.

Those of us who grew up watching Danes struggle through adolescent turmoil as Angela Chase in "My So-Called Life" have not forgotten her teenage heroism; I worked hard not to blurt approval of how she dealt with Jordan Catalano when she walked past my desk.

The filming was exciting, but perhaps more exciting was the excuse to engage in a favorite past time: binge TV.

Despite my admiration for Danes, I hadn't seen a single episode of "Homeland" when we got word that the show would be in the newsroom (This is almost entirely because "Homeland" isn't on any of the internet TV providers--Hulu, Netflix, etc.--you can watch it on Showtime's website, but you have to have a television subscription to access it online, and I haven't had a TV in my home for ten years. That didn't stop me, though: I paid to add Showtime to my parents' cable package for the month so I could watch it online--it's my duty as a cultural reporter.).

I gave myself two weeks to watch two 12-episode seasons, definitely a time commitment with hour-long episodes (read: binge opportunity). I won't tell you how many episodes I watched a day, or, consequently, how many hours of sleep I missed, but it didn't take the whole two weeks.

I'm always a little ashamed if I let myself watch a few hours of internet TV (hence the long and justifying lead in), but the more I bare my guilt to close friends, the more I see how common TV binging is.

Netflix knows about that millennial weakness, too. That's why they've been releasing shows all at once, like the fourth season of "Arrested Development" and "House of Cards." For the record, I have only watched 2 episodes of AD, and on two separate days, no less (am I feverish?).


Now comes the hard part: waiting for new episodes, just like in the old days (two years ago). After finishing season 2 of "Homeland," I'm ravenous to know what Saul will do as head of the CIA. Is this good or bad news for Carrie? Withdrawal from binge TV is rough.

A friend and I discussed the phenomenon of binge television watching last night. His thoughts: "This is America! What do you mean I can't load the next episode??"


Anonymous said...

My hubby and I have been binging on TV lately. We are getting ready to finish the final episode of Weeds tonight, thanks to Netflix. We are caught up on Dexter, Homeland and Breaking Bad. The shows today are so good and the width of our behinds is proof.

Anonymous said...

FYI You need to put spoiler in your title. For someone who is still watching season 2 you could really ruin the experience!