In Binged, Mashable breaks down why we binge-watch, how we binge-watch, and what it does to us. Because binge-watching is the new normal.
Binge-watching is basically an endurance sport, so you need to be sure you’re prepared. After all, if you’re going to watch You until your eyes fall out (recommended), why not make the experience as pleasant as possible?
That means paying close attention to the conditions under which you watch: the couch, the temperature, the vibe, and (most importantly) the snacks.
Some hot tips:
1. Assemble your snacks before the binge-watch begins
To truly maximize your experience, I recommend selecting one salty snack, one sweet snack, and one wild-card snack. Some suggestions from my colleagues, whose tastes range from great to truly horrifying:
Sno-Caps in popcorn
Plain Lay’s chips and Greek yogurt
Trader Joe’s olive oil popcorn
Literally a ham-and-cheese sandwich dipped in orange juice (cursed)
Celery and peanut butter
Peanut butter straight from the jar
Note: you can always sub in pizza for any category (or all three).
2. Keep no less than three beverages in front of you at all times
One of the beverages should be water. For the other two, I like to choose a large, gulp-able beverage — like Gatorade or, if I am feeling brave, seltzer — as well as a fancy, small beverage, like a blood orange San Pellegrino or one of those high-end lemonades with cursive lettering on the bottle.
3. Get up every hour to stretch
You don’t have to do a full yoga class, but it’s nice to remind your body that it is, in fact, capable of movement.
4. Consider the two-blanket approach
I have radiators in my apartment and do not control my own heat, which means that sometimes my living room is 1,000 degrees. This is too hot. If I open the window, though (see #7), it becomes too cold. That’s why I prefer to have two blankets near me when I binge-watch: one thick blanket for the cold times and one thinner cotton blanket for the medium times. During the hot times, I use no blanket at all.
5. Consider your spinal column
If you need to bring a bed pillow onto the couch for back support, so be it. If you’re binge-watching in bed, consider acquiring a backrest pillow. Maybe one … with a cupholder?
6. If you’re watching a show featuring heavy subject matter, take more breaks
While there is certainly no shame in binge-watching, it can have adverse effects on your mental health — especially if the show you choose deals with emotionally fraught topics. In these cases, treat yourself to a few more breaks than you normally would. We’re not saying go outside (imagine!), but maybe do a few more stretches, check in with your friends, and drink some extra water.
7. Open a window
Let your binge-watching farts (different than regular farts) fly freely into the atmosphere.
8. Text people about what you’re watching
If you do not have a binge-watching partner literally sitting next to you, it can be fun to live-text the show with a fellow binge-watcher in another location. It also reminds you that you have friends. Crucial!
What you should not do, however, is send texts about the show to someone who has not seen the whole show yet. Avoid committing this friendship crime at all costs.
9. Switch positions
When you have a nest, you have a nest, so switching rooms isn’t necessary. But alternating between sitting up and lying down, or even just lying down on the other end of the couch, can be kinda nice. After all, lying down in a second location is a fun twist on lying down.
10. Respect the air
If you’ve chosen some really good snacks (and also haven’t left the couch for six hours), the room can start to smell a little … rank. That’s when it’s time to light a candle.
On the off-chance Gilmore Girls is your binge-watch, there is a Gilmore Girls candle designed to burn in tandem with the 2016 revival. There are also Stranger Things-themed candles. Or you could just burn a regular one. It’s your binge-watch, after all!