April is for binge watching

April 20, 2020

While many are stuck at home with nothing to do streaming shows from platforms such as Disney + and Netflix has become a popular way to pass the time.  Each of these services has something unique to bring to audiences.

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Take a stroll down memory lane

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photo by Hulu

Going outside is high-risk nowadays, getting within six feet of anyone is forbidden, and being productive at home can be a struggle. After exhausting your Apple or Spotify music playlists, after sitting on Zoom with your extended family for an hour, and after finally finishing that puzzle, there’s nothing left to do. Or is there? Work is an option, but some take a different route and binge watch their favorite T.V. shows. There is no better time to rewatch a movie or find a new one than now, and streaming services like Disney+ and Hulu are catching on.

Re-watching your favorite titles like “Phineas and Ferb” on Disney or “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Hulu can be nostalgic and in a time of global unease, television can be comforting, especially to sophomore Olivia Martin. 

“I usually watch more Disney shows than Netflix shows,” Martin said. “Watching High School Musical just reminds me of when things were easier, especially with everything going on it’s comforting.”

Binge-watching gives an escape from day to day life and is a way to soothe a tired soul. According to a 2017 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American watches 2.7 hours of T.V. per day or nearly 20 hours each week. More time spent at home means more ample time for binge-watching, and Disney+ and Hulu are working harder to keep up with the “bingers.”

Lots of new titles are dropping on Disney+ and Disney’s owned service Hulu. This gives Disney an edge on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Disney+ released their recent big-screen movies “Frozen 2” and “Onward” to stream early, and are releasing a Simpsons short April 10. 

“I watched the new Onward movie this weekend with my mom, we always watch the new movies together, even if we can’t go to theaters,” sophomore Kat Bell said. 

More shows and movies arriving on the service, meaning subscribers are more likely to choose Disney+ over its competitors. According to Screen Rant, app analysts reveal that Disney+ is not only popular, but engaging, with users spending more time watching their shows than on competing services.

Disney is not the only one dropping new titles, Hulu is too. “Detective Pikachu,” “Parasite” by Bong Joon-ho, and “Risky Business” were made available early April. 

Apart from new releases, the old shows are just as enticing. Disney+ has that element of nostalgia, and tough times like these make people like junior Xiomy Sam want to look back to certain movies, like her favorite movie “Aladdin”.

“I rewatched the original Aladdin movie, and watched the whole trilogy in one weekend, I have all this time so I figured I’d rewatch them,” Sam said.

Hulu and Disney+ are doing their part to stop the spread of coronavirus. Instead of going outside, sit back on the couch and binge watch some nostalgic Disney or Hulu shows, and their new titles while you are at it.

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Are you still watching?

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photo by Netflix Brand Assets

Grey’s Anatomy, Tiger King, New Girl, Gilmore… junior Lillian Jacques-Baker has always been a binge-watcher. But with quarantine keeping everyone indoors students have relied on binge-watching to keep themselves entertained.

“ [Before] I would binge shows but definitely not this many and not this fast,” Baker said. “Staying home just makes it a lot easier to watch TV because you are on your own schedule and not worrying about getting up at six a.m.”

Students now have a scaled-down version of their regular school schedule. Not having to be awake for the normal 7:20 a.m. start time means students are watching more Netflix than ever before. However, according to a study by Netflix in 2013, 61% of users were already watching between two and six episodes of a show in one sitting.

Junior Madison Chandler has binged three shows since the beginning of quarantine.

“I normally binge-watch shows but I have a lot more time now that I’m always home,” Chandler said.

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the average American spends 2.8 hours watching TV daily which accounts for over half their leisure time.

“I get hooked on a show and I want to know what is going to happen, so I keep watching,” said Baker. “Having the time to do this has made binge-watching a lot easier too.”

Being quarantined has meant that people no longer get to see their friends and even extended family. So, Netflix users have started using a chrome extension called Netflix Party. 

Netflix Party is a free extension that allows users to watch TV shows or movies at the same time that also contains a live chat feature for friends and family to communicate.

Freshman Catherine Bunn has used Netflix Party over 50 times since being in quarantine and continues to do so.

“I discovered Netflix party when I was watching Tik Tok and someone posted about it, so I suggested it to a lot of my friends and then we were all watching movies by that night,” Bunn said.

Netflix Party has been a way for people to binge-watch shows while also maintaining a social output throughout quarantine.

Junior Lucas Shoenfeld has used Netflix Party about six times with his friends to watch shows like Atypical and Outlander.

“If my friends and I watched the Netflix show separately but tried to synchronize when we watch it, it would be more difficult to make jokes and react to it because everyone wouldn’t be at the exact same point,” Shoenfeld said.

Binge-watching has always been popular with teens; Netflix Party is just an extension that allows binge-watching to be made into a social hangout as many teens struggle with not being able to spend time with friends or family.

 “It’s been a good thing to have been in quarantine because I’ve had time to do different chores and time to relax and just watch shows that I normally wouldn’t be able to,” said Shoenfeld.

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