“Binge watching is not reckless or indulgent. It’s a smart and an even contemplative way to watch certain kinds of TV. Good TV especially.”
— Grant McCracken, cultural anthropologist, who was enlisted by Netflix to observe the increasingly common practice of consuming TV series in one big gulp — or maybe two. Don’t you feel smart and contemplative now? A Netflix-commissioned study released today shows that nearly three-quarters of those who binge watch feel good about it. Look, Ma, no guilt! Also, nearly 80 percent said streaming and watching a handful of shows at a time makes them more enjoyable. Come to think of it, we could find no negative effects of the practice pioneered by Netflix in the press release about the study. Why do such a study? “Binge watching” may have been a runner-up for Oxford dictionary’s word of the year, but Netflix executives reportedly disliked the term, which they associated with gluttony. But the results of this study — Harris Interactive surveyed about 3,000 U.S. adults over a couple of days in November — may be used by the Los Gatos company in its marketing, plus its continued move into creating original series, a spokesman told the Wall Street Journal. Netflix releases its own original series, including “Orange is the New Black,” a whole season at a time.
Photo: Taylor Schilling, star of “Orange is the New Black,” has been nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series. (Barbara Nitke, Netflix/Associated Press)