Binge-watching may seem like a guilty pleasure — and it’s 100 percent ok that it is. But, as women, we also use binge-watching as a tool to accomplish a goal, whether we realize it, or not. These can range from pure relaxation to pain management to more anthropological pursuits such as studying the differences between cultures.
We interviewed five local women about what shows they can’t enough of, and what their binge-watching rituals look like.
Who knows, you may find something new to add to your own list.
“I like juxtaposing a serious, mind-boggling show with a comedy. It gives you a bit of reprieve when you need it,” says Tabak. “‘Westworld’ often ends in cliffhangers, so it’s so easy to binge, but it’s such a mind game it keeps me interested.”
“For ‘Kimmy Schmidt,’ I think the humor is brilliant,” she says. “I just love the team and cast so much. I want to be Jane Krakowski when I grow up.”
Binge-watching is an experience Tabak and her husband share together, and it’s an opportunity for them to bond over something during a hectic week.
“I usually have some sort of warm beverage like tea or hot chocolate,” she says, “and a good blanket is also mandatory for a proper binge!”
Grant Administrator at Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professional Dancer
Currently binging: “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace” and “Parks and Recreation”
“I like ‘American Crime Story’ because I’m a fan of true crime, and I think it is well done,” says Stratton. “It is addictive — I needed to watch it in one fell swoop to see how everything unfolded.”
“‘Parks and Rec’ and ‘The Office’ are lighthearted and fun,” she offers. “I like putting them on when I have a rough day and need a pick me up.”
For Stratton, it’s always great to lose herself and her worries in a show. Sometimes, she does work while she watches, and for that she likes viewing more lighthearted shows or ones she’s seen previously.
But Stratton also binges to combat a health problem. “I have rheumatoid arthritis,” she says, “so a lot of my binging is while I’m in a lot of pain. There are pillows and blankets and ice on sore joints while I watch.”
“While I love a cerebral show like ‘Russian Doll,’” says Enman, “I also love terrible shows. ‘Ghost Adventures’ is like junk food to me. It’s not necessarily prime television, but I can half pay attention to it for hours and be perfectly happy — and mildly freaked out.”
Balancing work-life in a restaurant and owning a small business doesn’t allow Enman a lot of free time, but when she does get it, sitting back so binging a good show is a way she can shut off and relax.
“The experience is not complete until my cat is spread out on top of me snoozing through the episodes,” she says.
“I like shows with a lot of action that I don’t have to think much about,” she says. “I watch them for pure entertainment. Plus, with my background in martial arts, I like watching fighting scenes and the choreography that goes into them.”
Resurreccion tends to do other things while she’s binge watching, like writing emails or catching up on social media. She also knits and crochets.
“It’s hard for me to just sit and watch a TV show without doing anything else,” she says. “Unless it’s a really convoluted show with a complicated plot, and then I have to pay attention.”
“‘Friends’ I like because it lightens the mood,” Kuznetsova says. “It makes routine things less boring and sometimes gives you a good laugh. ‘Black Mirror’ I like because it is thought-provoking, and it questions aspects of modern life.”
Recently new to the States, Kuznetsova would watch different series to help her understand cultural difference between Switzerland, where she lived before, and Boston.
“For instance, in general, Europe is more intellectual, and the U.S. is more adventurous,” she explains. “So, if I am in a car with a model going to location in Switzerland we would discuss Dada movement — here, it’s boring — but would never discuss our financial situation — here it’s rather ok. Of course, series are not representation of reality, but the details in them — dialogs, attitudes, random objects — are representative of the culture.”