Britain is a nation of ‘telly addicts’, consuming on average 30 hours of TV each every week. That’s roughly 4 hours a day, mainly devoted to old repeats of Friends and Grand Designs in our household - a scary thought!
Our love for the gogglebox continues to grow with 70% of us now having a TV in the bedroom, compared to just 57% of homes a decade ago. The latest TV related trend to emerge is that of ‘binge-watching’.
Binge what-ing? Yes, you might not know the term but odds on you’re guilty of this new phenomenon.
What is binge-watching?
Netflix defined binge-watching in their 2014 survey as watching 2-6 episodes of the same series in one continuous sitting. Hands up, who’s guilty? Yeah, we thought so.
67% of people surveyed by TVlicensing.co.uk admitted to binge-watching but only 22% were aware of the term, probably too busy watchng the box.
Binge-watching has its roots in the 80s when TV stations started to air program marathons, and omnibuses. The advent of tools such as the Sky+ set-top box suddenly meant we could series link our fave shows, store them all up, and binge on them in one go during our free time. Seeing two or more episodes of a great program queued up on the Sky Planner has become a ‘mini fist pump moment’.
From omnibus to box set and beyond
If you missed a series when it aired first time around then the box set soon became your friend, as you could buy a whole series (plus special features) all in one go. The temptation to watch ‘just one more episode’ when you have them all lined up in front of you becomes too strong for most.
As production values of TV shows increased, their moreish appeal grew and grew. Shows such as Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones are shot on 35mm film like a movie, raising the bar even further when it comes to television quality. TV is no longer the poor relation to film. Never mind Hollywood, could we be seeing the birth of ‘Tellywood’?
Streaming services like Netflix have been quick to piggyback off this new social norm. Their home-grown series House Of Cards made landmark history as the first TV show to ever have an entire new series available all on the same day.
Feed your TV need with a £50 Amazon voucher
So if there’s a series you have a hankering to binge-watch and you haven’t been spoilered yet then we have a treat for you. Until the end of September we will be giving anyone who buys a sofa bed, sofa or chair a free £50 Amazon gift voucher. If you don’t know what happened to Walter White and Jesse, or missed the first series of gripping crime drama True Detective, you can now buy yourself the box set.
For those of you who've bought a new sofa from us, then comfortable and stylish viewing is guaranteed; just turn on, tune in and chill out.
For the professional binge-watcher who opted for a sofa bed, congratulations, you just hit the jackpot. In the wee small hours when you think ‘I really should go to bed, but I want to watch just one more episode’, simply convert your sofa to a sofa bed and hey presto, uninterrupted viewing!
7 top tips to binge-watch TV like a pro
So your sofa has arrived and the box set is in the post, how do you set about binge-watching? We’ve scoured the web and put together 7 top tips to help you binge-watch like a pro.
1/ Clear your diary.
The last thing you want mid-marathon viewing session is to be interrupted by inconvenient irritations such as previously agreed plans with friends; who needs those when you have a box set? ;) If your diary is clear then only an unexpected act of God can tear you away from the screen.
2/ Stake out your territory
If you are going to monopolise the remote control, people need to understand that this goes hand in hand with total sofa domination. Stake out your territory with an artfully placed blanket, cushion, or duvet. Like German towels round a pool, in time people will come to understand that this spot is taken.
3/ Stock up on snacks
If you’ve followed the instructions so far then there are feasible only 2 things that could distract you from your televisual delight: hunger and the call of nature (more on that later). A good mix of snacks, both sweet and savoury, will help satisfy all cravings, and provide essential sustenance during this truly heroic act.
4/ Hold it, hold it, hold it, GO!
All that sitting, sipping and snacking and it was bound to happen sometime, the need to visit the bathroom is the binge-watcher’s nemesis. If you can then we advise to hold on for as long as possible, reducing convenience breaks to the bare minimum. It’s also a surefire way to make that end of episode cliffhanger even more tense!
5/ Slip into something a little more comfortable
The only dress code you need to adhere to is comfort. Onesies, leggings, pyjamas, tracksuit bottoms, any sort of oversized sports gear is a-okay for this total slob-out sesh. You don’t want to be distracted from the action on screen by stuffy or restrictive clothes. By all means take them off altogether, just don’t blame us when you can’t find the remote!
6/ Guilty pleasures
The problem with guilty pleasures is exactly that. You know it’s wrong, it feels so right, but oh how you get ‘the regrets’ afterwards; well don’t. A few hours binge-watching in the comfort of your own home as part of a healthy lifestyle won’t do you any harm. If you’re still wrestling with your conscience about all that ‘wasted time’, then if you’re poorly or the weather puts pay to previous plans, seize that opportunity to indulge yourself, and you won’t feel half as guilty under those circumstances.
7/ Safety first
To prevent any unwanted calls to 999, missing person’s reports or the police interrupting your viewing, you might want to casually mention to friends and family that you will be ‘going off grid’ for a while but not to worry. For the safety conscious amongst you a text every few hours to your next of kin to let them know you're still alive could also be a smart move.