I think I have become a very particular variety of binge watcher. Unless I know that a series has completed and I can see the beginning and end of it I am no longer willing to commit to watching it. Let me explain a little more.
The first thing I ever binge watched, and I still believe it to be the finest example of a long running TV Series, was The Sopranos. It happened by accident – I needed a distraction from a regular train journey taken between Glasgow and Plymouth where I was working approx 1 week in 4. The laptop I was using had a DVD player and after experimenting with a couple of episodes, I invested in the box-set of 6 series. I knew there were no more episodes, I knew the size of the total watch, I didn’t watch at the same time as everyone else as it was first aired and thus, avoided or forgot about spoilers.
Breaking Bad was the next thing that I watched in the same manner from beginning to end, it being all present at the start of viewing. It, like the Sopranos, had dips in form but I knew the series number and was prepared to see it through to the end. As such I would encourage anyone else to do the same – it’s as good as the hype IMHO.
However, I am scarred from starting a number of series that have dwindled and been dragged out over far too long. Series 1 was good and I stuck with it hoping that the writers would find a way to give the story-lines a decent beginning, middle and end as I was always taught in English Class. Examples of this include Lost (got to the end – was plain disappointed), Bones (far too many series diluted what once was good US crime drama to ridiculous soap opera) and The BlackList (commits the ultimate crime of main character coming back from dead).
Anyway, at last I can see an end to Game of Thrones which, until now, I have not been prepared to open this particular Pandora’s box. I believe the first 6 series number 10 in episodes and series 7 & 8 are shorter at 7 and 6 episodes respectively. So 72 episodes to watch before the final 73rd episodes airs in just under 5 weeks. This way I will experience the thrill of all the Throners that have waited an extraordinary length of time for the conclusion but invested in a much more compacted 73 hours(ish) of television. I think.