Binge on this

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Binge on this

David Light is a bit late to the party as always, but he's at last discovered box sets and is hungry

By David Light

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Published: Fri 15 Jan 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 16 Jan 2016, 8:29 AM

AMERICAN THRILLER SERIES 24 invented it. Mafia magnum opus The Sopranos carried it into the mainstream and, at the time, it appeared everyone in the world witnessed Walter White's exploits in Breaking Bad except me. I never went in for the "box set binge watch" Kiefer Sutherland and his 24-hour party people set in motion... until now.
It's pretty self-explanatory, but in case you're unaware a binge watch is when you view consecutive episodes of a television show, often resulting in finishing off a season or even series in a few days. Such is the programme's quality (subjective or objective) you simply can't turn off and must see what happens in the next episode.
To me this always seemed like too much of a commitment. A half-hour sitcom here or there, perhaps a movie - fine. But 60 hours plus stuck in front of the TV with the same characters, madness!
Then I rediscovered a few old episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot. Okay, they may not be as flashy as their US contemporaries, but they're brilliant. I'd forgot how intricate the scripts were, how wry and fun - even if the plot more often than not centres on first-degree murder! I instantly had to watch more and the best part about catching something old is every episode ever made is already out there waiting for you.
In retrospect Poirot was definitely my gateway binge. I went through 14 years worth of shows in a month. When it came to an end, I was genuinely dismayed. Some may call it silliness, I called it grief. Or at least withdrawal. Despite the sackcloth and ashes, there was one upside. I'd finally realised what everyone had been going on about for so long: my brother's fury at Lost's ending, my flatmate's midnight vigil during Sex and the City's final hurrah (although, as a result of the movies, I think she's over it). It all made sense.
So what does a committed binger do? They dust themselves down and find the next fix. In my case it was The Sopranos. And since the infamous 'cut to black' left me speechless, my dependence has only escalated. If binge watching becomes habitual, then I am now the Scarface of television series with box sets strewn all over the place. Which brings us neatly to the latest programme I will sign off by recommending, say hello to my little friend, Narcos available on Netflix.

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