In just a few short years, the concept of binge watching a TV show over the course of a weekend has gone from covert activity to guilty little secret to blatantly-confessed event. That this trend of watching television has grown more prominent clearly isn’t in doubt – look no further than Netflix’s practice of releasing entire seasons of its programming all on the same day for evidence that this is a pattern that entertainment studios will continue to look toward in the future. And none of us are alone in this - 61% of Americans binge-watch their television, a sizeable demographic, but also a sizeable shift in the way we watch TV over the past decade.
I feel you, animated person. I feel you.
But for those of us enjoying the entertainment rather than thinking about the business implications, we sometimes have to balance the desire to sit and binge an entire series against how much time we can realistically spend on the couch in our pajamas. Thankfully, the good people at Nielsen have got us covered on this one.
Released earlier this year, Nielsen (the same company that tracks viewership for your favorite television shows which also makes it sorta kinda the same advisory body that is responsible for killing your favorite television shows after it has determined that not enough test households are watching) has put together a list of how much time it actually takes to binge watch a variety of shows.
Want to watch the entirety of the BBC’s Sherlock and bask in all its Cumberbatch-ery? That’s going to cost you 14 hours of your time. Up for the political machinations of Kevin Spacey? House of Cards will take 22 hours. The Walking Dead can serve up a full one day, fifteen hours of zombies straight to your living room. If you want to go to there, 30 Rock will take two days, two hours all together. Mad Men weighs in at two days, nine hours. How I Met Your Mother takes three days, two hours to get to the damn point already. (That point is that Ted is a terrible person.) Better pray that you don’t run out of time – 24 takes six days, two hours to watch completely.
And yet, that’s still not even scratching the surface for some shows. Supernatural can give you six days and one hour’s worth of ridiculously overly attractive people fighting demons. Law and Order: SVU takes ten days and ten hours to tell stories about horrible people doing horrible things. Binging on donuts and The Simpsons will last you eight days, ten hours (and going strong). It will take 12 days, nine hours to catch every episode of Pokemon. And if you really, really want to have an experience with warping both space and time, it takes more than two full weeks to watch every episode of Doctor Who.
The scary thing? Homer's still only on the Fifth Doctor.
Knowledge is power, my good people. Don’t go into your binge-watch this weekend without knowing what you’re committing to.