The rise of streaming services has drastically changed the way we consume television shows. No longer are we tethered to a set schedule, waiting eagerly for our favorite show to air on a certain day and time. With the advent of streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, we can now watch entire seasons of shows at our own pace, binging them in one weekend or taking our time over the course of several weeks.
While this newfound freedom is certainly convenient and enjoyable, it has also had an unintended consequence: it has made social conversation about TV shows more complicated. In the past, it was common for people to watch the same shows at the same time, gathering around the water cooler at work or school to discuss the latest episode of a popular series. But now, with everyone watching shows on their own schedules, it can be difficult to know how much of a show someone else has seen before discussing it. Even Netflix struggles with this.
This problem is particularly acute for those who are not able to binge-watch shows as quickly as others. Someone who is only able to watch a few episodes a week may fall behind their friends who have already finished the entire series. This can create awkward situations where someone inadvertently spoils a major plot point or character death for someone who hasn’t caught up yet.
Even for those who are able to binge-watch shows quickly, there is often still a disconnect when it comes to discussing them with others. For example, imagine you’ve just finished watching the latest season of your favorite show over the course of a weekend. You’re eager to discuss it with your friends, but you soon realize that they are still only on episode three. Suddenly, you find yourself holding back on certain topics or trying to skirt around major plot points in order to avoid spoiling the show for your friends.
This shift in how we watch TV shows has also impacted the way we consume other forms of entertainment, such as movies and books. Streaming services have made it easier than ever to access a wide variety of content on our own schedules, but they have also made it more difficult to have meaningful discussions about these works with others.
One potential solution to this problem is for streaming services to release episodes of shows on a weekly basis, rather than all at once. This approach has been adopted by some streaming services, such as Disney+ with their original series, “The Mandalorian”. By releasing new episodes on a weekly basis, viewers are forced to wait and watch at the same pace as others, creating a shared experience and allowing for more meaningful discussions about each episode as it airs.
Another solution is for viewers to simply be more mindful when discussing TV shows with others. Before launching into a detailed analysis of the latest episode of your favorite show, it’s important to ask if everyone present has seen it yet. If not, you may need to hold back on certain topics or agree to table the discussion until everyone has caught up.