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Old 10-29-2012, 02:21 PM   #1
JohnB1000
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Watching a season week by week or all at once

For the last couple of years I have generally waited until a serialized season for a show has finished and then watched the whole thing of the course of a couple of weeks. Last week someone talked on a podcast about how watching week to week improves a show.

The only really serialized show I currently watch week to week is Walking Dead. Stuff like Dexter, Breaking Bad, Homeland, I wait until it's all done.

In my opinion, watching back to back can make complex shows easier to follow and also seems to make shows with flaws better for some reason (hard to put my finger on that). However I do like the "event" TV of watching the show Sunday then reading reviews and comments etc.

What do you guys think ?
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:37 PM   #2
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Both methods have their merits.

By watching week to week, we can come here to discuss. And we can feel the excitement and anticipation with cliff-hangers.

Watching episodes back to back is enjoyable too and avoids the cliff-hangers and waiting, especially between seasons.

I am currently watching Breaking bad a few episodes at a time whenever I can fit them in. I watched 4 episodes straight the other night. I am just into the 3rd season now. Of course I already know that people aren't going to die in some of the episodes since I know they are still currently on the show.

I watched FNL all back to back ad really enjoyed it, but then missed it when it was over.

I also just watched the entire first season of Homeland just in time to start watching this season as it happens. The same with Justified. Watched the first seasons quickly and now will be watching as it happens.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:40 PM   #3
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i enjoy watching 2-3 episodes at a sitting and until recently i had never read or discussed a show online... hadn't really watched primetime TV until I got a TiVo, even though I had a Comcast or FIOS DVR.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:09 PM   #4
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Watching a serialized show all at once is great, I just don't have the patience for it, at least not for the really great shows.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markz View Post
...By watching week to week, we can come here to discuss. And we can feel the excitement and anticipation with cliff-hangers...
This. I get so much more out of shows when I come here to discuss them. People will catch something I had no idea about or thought of.

Also I think it builds anticipation for the next episode.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #6
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I typically watch sitcoms, or other 30 minute shows, when they first come out. Mainly because I see them as small bites that I can quickly knock out. So, I build up shows like Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, etc... and watch them in big chunks.

I've kept up with Walking Dead so far this year. I'm enjoying the show so much that I want to see. I even watched last night's episode while it was still recording. I don't do that very often.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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No way I could wait for a season to end then sit and watch it all. I watch the day (or close) an ep airs.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by pmyers View Post
This. I get so much more out of shows when I come here to discuss them. People will catch something I had no idea about or thought of.

Also I think it builds anticipation for the next episode.
When I watch a season back to back I tend to jump in here after each episode to see what the comments were. Sometimes I miss a thread or two then jump back later and it's often entertaining to read the speculation when you know the outcome.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #9
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I tend to be so far behind on shows that it's not unusual that we end up watching a whole season at a time. I actually tend to prefer that somewhat, waiting a week or two or three to get the next episode can annoy me. Even on shows that we stay current on, if I hear that the episode is going to be a two parter, I'll wait until both have aired before watching them.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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Some shows I watch within a week or two (sometimes a day or two) if it's something I'm really interested in (SOA, Dexter, etc.). Other shows I like to watch back to back for a fair number of episodes.

What KILLS me is if I've recorded nearly a season of something, then go to watch it and find that one or more of the recordings is hosed - due to overruns of something that aired before it, rain storm that killed the sat signal, pre-emptions for breaking events and the repeat not recording because of the 28 day rule, and such.

I'm much more likely to do 'marathons' if its on DVD, or if I've paid enough attention as to not run into the above mentioned problems.

I think as to one or the other, I prefer watching bunches at a time, but I'll sacrifice some of that to get my ongoing fix of something just too good to wait for!
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:30 PM   #11
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There are "other" methods to get episodes lost in that way
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLucPicard View Post
...What KILLS me is if I've recorded nearly a season of something, then go to watch it and find that one or more of the recordings is hosed - due to overruns of something that aired before it, rain storm that killed the sat signal, pre-emptions for breaking events and the repeat not recording because of the 28 day rule, and such...
I feel your pain and have been there myself. Usually by the time I find out, it's too late to pick up that episode in reruns.
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Old 10-29-2012, 04:34 PM   #13
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If I could watch a whole season at once, and still participate in current online discussions about the show, that would be the best of both worlds. But I prefer participation in the online discussions more than I dislike waiting a week between episodes, so I generally stay up to date on most shows and watch the night they air so I can participate in the threads.

When a show doesn't get a lot of online discussion here, it tends to become less of a priority for me to watch in a timely manner, and then those shows often get built up and saved for later viewing.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:28 PM   #14
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I prefer to watch week-to-week, although, if there's a two-parter, I sometimes save part 1 and watch both parts at once.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #15
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Only skimmed the other answers.. Basically, I do both. I tend to record FAR more than I can actually watch in a given week, to have new stuff through the summer. (Though for the last decade or so, there have been at least a couple of at least _watchable_ if not necessarily _good_ reality shows on during the summer, so there was less 'only rerun' time than in decades past.)

So anyway, I keep up on some shows (more often sitcoms), but tend to let dramas pile up, then get addicted to them and watch either a few or all of the ones I had banked up. (Not JUST that show, but concentrate more than usual on that show if you get it.)

This can have detriments if your drive and/or TiVo dies.

This year, though I now think I'm slowly starting to record more than I am watching, I was actually already eating into my recordings (got a new Premiere 4 after analog finally went away, since I was using analog for conflicts sometimes). But I re-SPed a few sitcoms I had nuked when I was getting low on tuners/drive space..

So basically -- I do both. I tend to keep up more on shows if I think there will be lots of discussion here that I am involved in.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:45 PM   #16
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... (Though for the last decade or so, there have been at least a couple of at least _watchable_ if not necessarily _good_ reality shows on during the summer, so there was less 'only rerun' time than in decades past.)
This is a prima facie incorrect statement. There is no such thing as either a good or even a watchable reality show.

As for the OPs query, I prefer to watch week to week. Although spoilers don't really bother, I'd prefer to avoid them, which is much easier to do if I am fairly up to date with the show.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:51 PM   #17
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I'm forced to watch both ways. I don't have time to watch everything I'm interested in, so I have to save some and catch up over the summer.

I watched 4 seasons of Supernatural over summer to get caught up for the last season.
It is killing me that I have to wait a week between episodes now.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:02 PM   #18
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No choice but to watch Season 4 all at once since it wasn't offered on Comcast. Streamed it free using Amazon Prime.

I usually do both. I need to catch up on The Last Resort and Revolution so I'll do that eventually. I watch Damages and The Walking Dead each week because I really like those shows
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:10 PM   #19
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I will do both. There have been some series that I gone to watch just because it was talked about so much here. Quite a few of them actually. I like to watch them back to back but them am sad they are all over or that I have to wait so long for a new season.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:46 PM   #20
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I do both. I don't think watching week to week necessarily improves a show. If anything I think you can make the opposite argument. Easier to follow the plot lines, twists, and characters.

I have also planned to do that with a few shows and never got around to watching any of it. I was a religious Lost watcher just about every week. When the last season started I never watched it, but saved them all. I still have them saved on my HD. (Same for Heroes and 24.)
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:16 AM   #21
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I've found that watching a whole season at once, I don't forget stuff between episodes so I see patterns building better. But you tend to lose track of time passing in the show. Since you watch it all in a day (or a few days) it seems odd when something in the show happens months later than something you watched a few hours ago. It's easier to feel time passing in the show when it's also passing in real life.

The shows I tend to watch all at once are ones I don't catch when they first air. I've been getting caught up on series I never watched when they were on tv, like West Wing. That was an amazing show. Now I'm sorry I didn't catch it when it aired. Some of the storylines would have had even more impact if they were seen when the events were more relevant.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:10 PM   #22
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Some shows are better if watched back to back because your attention does not stray from the background details. The Wire, for example. And probably Game of Thrones. Some shows are better week to week because the pace of plot changes is too rapid to hold up when watched consecutively. 24 is like this for me. Or they are better week to week because they give you time to contemplate and digest. Mini Series like Band of Brothers were like this for me.

But most shows I enjoy either way.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:53 PM   #23
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I don't have the patience to accumulate recordings and watch a bunch in a row. But I really enjoy doing so when I'm late to a series and need to play catch-up.

This was the case for FNL (saw the whole series after it ended), Breaking Bad (had to catch up 4 seasons), Arrested Development (whole series) and Homeland (missed the entire first season).

I prefer watching compelling series back-to-back but can't wait if I'm up to date. I also got to look at the discussions here, in retrospect and without participation, after watching each block of episodes for the shows above. That still enabled me to catch and ponder some of the things I may have missed and think back on those episodes, sometimes with renewed perspectives.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #24
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I don't have the patience to accumulate recordings and watch a bunch in a row.
For me it's not necessarily patience, it's more that's how far behind I am on everything .
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:14 PM   #25
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Once you get kind of behind it's self fulfilling. I am almost unaware that Dexter is currently half way through a new season because I'm just starting on True Blood, having just finished Breaking Bad and some UK series.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:54 AM   #26
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I've done both-- and as other have noted-- each has its merits. I kind of liken it studying all semester long and doing all the problem sets, vs cramming for the final exam. You can certainly understand the flow better and enjoy serialized aspects much better close together. But I find that the memories fade much more quickly too. The episodes blur together, as do the seasons. Likewise the cramming approach to a course tends to yield good results on the test, but poor recollection of the details some time later.

When I watch weekly-- I tend to think about the show more in between episodes. I anticipate possible future events more. This, I think, reinforces the memories. So I tend to recall the details a bit better when watching weekly-- at least details that I would think about from time to time between episodes.

For example, I watched all 3 seasons of Veronica Mars in a very short period of time (maybe 1-2 weeks?). I can tell you the general mystery of each of the 3 seasons, and many of the pivotal scenes working toward that overall mystery, but would be somewhat hard pressed to explain many deatails of a particular MOTW. OTOH, I've watched L&O (all varieties) weekly for years. I can recall my favorite episodes much better as I was able to think about them more for ~1 week before seeing something new. If I can only reflect on an episode for ~2 minutes before another one is filling my mind, I tend to lose it quicker, and all I retain longer-term is the overall serialized aspects.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:32 AM   #27
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For me, I usually watch shows I'm very interested in week to week. First of all, as mentioned, we can discuss here. Second, I don't know if there's a show I like a lot that I can wait months to watch it. And third, I always have this fear that my DVR will die on me and that I will have recorded a bunch of shows and then lose them all.

Now old shows that I want to start at the beginning, like Breaking Bad or Mad Men, which I started watching last summer, I'll watch back to back. I still have over 40 episodes of Breaking Bad sitting on my DVR. I also might accumulate shows I'm on the fence about and save them up to watch when I have nothing else on. That's how it is with Nikita for me. Although with missing an episode because of my power issues, I will try and catch up on the couple I have on my DVR and one I'll get off the internet so I am caught up before the one from the internet is not available.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:58 PM   #28
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Having just finished GOT as a 6 day binge I'm starting to lean back towards week by week watching. I really enjoyed it but feel so bummed that it's over so quickly and I have to wait a year for more.

With Arrested Development, one month later and the show seems forgotten about (this after they released them at once of course).
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #29
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I find that now have a little bit of trouble following complex shows so I like the idea of watching a whole season in a couple of weeks. However, I would go insane with the clutter of all those shows collecting up, plus I only have the 320gb hard drives on both of my Tivos.

With having over 200 SPs on the two Tivos, and even considering the fact that every show isn't airing current episodes at any given time of course, I'd run out of space quickly since about 98% of them are on HD channels.

So, what I do a lot is to watch a current episode, then delete it and leave it in my deleted folder. Then, shortly before the next ep, I will pull it back up and watch again. That helps me keep up without causing the 'clutter' that would make me crazy.

I don't do this with everything, but with some of the more complex, and my favorites. Stuff I watch like real crime shows on the ID channel, sitcoms, and fluff, I can easily keep up on without binge-watching or having to watch again.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:44 AM   #30
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24 was mentioned above. I recently started a rewatch of 24. I'm almost done with season 6 (boy this one was bad!).

The problem with with watching back to back on a show like this is the obvious plot flaws are made even more obvious.

For example, in Season 1, Nina was doing everything she could to help stop the assassination of David Palmer and even helped uncover a mole within CTU. The last two episodes were so inconsistent with her being a mole herself. Watching back to back, it makes no sense. Watching week to week, some of the inconsistencies are much more easily forgiven.

Other shows benefit from the week to week format a little bit too.

On the Office, the merger plotline happened over the course of a month or more (before all the merged employees except for Andy and Karen left). Watching back to back, it might seem a little rushed since it's easy to watch all those episodes in one night.
Same with 'the Michael Scott Paper Company'. Easy to watch all of that in one evening, and easy to lose track that that arc played out for over a month.
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