Monday, March 28, 2016

Bingewatching Before It Was A Word

When my family returned to the states from Germany in the late seventies, we were completely flabbergasted by television.  We suddenly had THREE networks to choose from instead of just the one Armed Forces channel. My family dove right into the network schedule like starving people at a banquet.  Any free time we had found us all right there in front of the television.  It was perfectly justified; there were no devices to record a show.  If you missed it, you had to actually...WAIT. 
At least until the reruns during the summer.  

And then my father found a Betamax, a machine which played tapes of movies. He brought it home and we gathered round.  It was a colossal machine, huge, ugly, and ungainly.  My father explained about video stores, where we could rent tapes of movies and bring them home.  He'd brought a few tapes home with him, for experimental purposes, of course. 

We loved it. 

During the winter months, weekends would find us in the family room gathered around the television.  We would watch two or three movies in a day, with pauses for bathroom breaks and munchies.  There were movies that we never saw in the theater, movies that had been hits in the sixties that were released.  Horror, comedy, didn't matter.  We watched it all. 

We were bingewatching. 

I realized it the other day, when my husband and I sat down to view multiple episodes of the second season of Daredevil.  The medium has changed, of course.  Now we use our X-box One to access Netflix instead of a betamax.  But it was still bingewatching, before there was even a word to describe it. 

I like the idea of being a trendsetter.


  1. I was late to getting a VCR. When I got my first one, I found myself watching 2 to 3 movies in the evening. Now, I am lucky to watch what I recorded a week ago.

  2. My dad was all about watching old movies when I was growing up. I was the only kid I knew who could imitate Cary Grant and Marlon Brando. He developed a huge VHS tape collection and would watch his favorites over and over.

  3. Yeah I remember bingewatching TV shows and movies long before it was popular :) Now there isn't much time...

  4. I was a total bingewatcher growing up too! My dad bought a VCR when I was young, and I was the only one who knew how to set it to record. I remember spending at least an hour a week reading and highlighting in the TV guide movies to record. Then I'd set the player up and on the weekend we would watch them all. Total trendsetters we were! :D

  5. Hahaha! I haven't heard anyone mention a betamax in, well, probably ever. My dad bought one for us, too. We watched a pirated copy of Star Wars over and over and over. I don't think that counts as bingewatching though.

  6. haha! I remember when we started getting two channels instead of one! We went crazy for all those "new" programs. And I remember running home from wherever we'd gone so we wouldn;t miss our favorite shows :) Oh, Fun times!

  7. lol! i like how you identified it before the word even came into existence. i didn't binge watch as a kid but my mom used to always watch these asian soap operas. coincidentally now that i'm adult, i occasionally do binge watch on these asian soap operas as well. our families are no different. =)


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