Watching Multiple Episodes

By Jeff Salter

When I saw this week’s topic – watching multiple episodes of favorite shows or films – I first thought I wouldn’t have a lot to say … because I really don’t view much TV these days.  Seven years ago, when I began writing seriously and “full-time”, I gave up a long-term TV addiction (of some four hours per evening) to something closer to about six hours per month.

But then I got to thinking — there actually are several examples of shows which I’ve watched in multiples, in a short period… and enjoyed every minute.  I wouldn’t call it a binge, by any means, but nonetheless… it’s certainly a concentration.

Before I begin listing, let me offer a word to any youngsters in the room:  back in the old days, if a loyal viewer really enjoyed a TV show, you had to wait a full week for the next installment.  Same time, same station.  We didn’t have the luxury of video tapes, DVR, Hulu, or Netflix to allow us to binge.  [And we walked two miles to school each day… uphill both ways… in the snow.]

My Recent Multiples

One was the excellent 10-episode mini-series documentary by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, “The Pacific”.

Another was the terrifically absorbing British series called “Foyle’s War” — set in England during WW2.  In this series, you did not have to watch each episode in perfect order, but you DID have to keep all the episodes of a particular season together … because between seasons there were many significant changes.

I also got hooked on a British series set in Scotland called “Monarch of the Glen.”  It combined humor, drama, romance, and soap opera … but (after a few seasons) got too irritating for me to continue watching.  But those first two or three seasons were quite entertaining.  This was a show for which you had to watch every episode in order, because of the twists and turns, old girlfriends showing up, etc.  If you tried viewing them out of order, you’d spend the whole show being confused.

There’s one more guilty pleasure I can’t overlook mentioning:  while exercising at the ‘Y’ I had seen bits and pieces of the very popular series, “The Walking Dead,” which (if you’ve been living under a rock, is about ZOMBIES.  I’d seen enough bits and pieces to be totally confused … but I was sufficiently intrigued that I wanted to comprehend who was who and what was what … and WHY.  So my daughter hooked me up with access to that series and I’ve so-far seen the first six or seven episodes of Season One.  Finally those bits and pieces I’d seen from my stationary bike are making sense!

Farther Back

Though I have not seen these in my recent seven years of reduced TV exposure, I should mention one of my favorite mini-series, HBO’s “Band of Brothers” — also by Spielberg-Hanks.  Powerful, well done, and EXTREMELY important to view each one in order.

Also, let me say that when I did still watch a lot of TV and they’d have a marathon of something like Seinfeld, or Dick Van Dyke, or Andy Griffith… or Combat! – or whatever series I had enjoyed on the first run – I would often get captured.  But I can barely tolerate network commercials any more so I tend to stay away from those in my current life.

QUESTIONS:

What about you?  Which shows (or movies) do you enjoy watching several in a concentrated period?  Do you need to view them sequentially?

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About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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9 Responses to Watching Multiple Episodes

  1. My thoughts will be up Friday, Jeff, but I will add more about the pre- VCR/HULU, etc. have-to-wait-for -the-next-show decades.I spent YEARS waiting to see all of a PBS special on building cathedrals.It was a cartoon and very well done, but, there was no way to see it or show it to my husband.(It had a famous actor, whose name escapes me.He was the voice of a Friar, as we heard what he had chronicled over 40 years (?), through changes in bishops and priors, benefactors and barons, wars and plague. Anyway, finally,it went to VHS .I should go looking for a DVD of it.)
    If a favorite show did not go into re-runs,(remember “Summer Shows”?), all was lost! However, sometimes you could watch certain shows several times.I remember “I Love Lucy” and a few others,(“Dick Van Dyke” and “Andy Griffith”), being on air several times in one day…and that was with only FOUR stations available! Wow; who would have thought of all there is out now?

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    • jeff7salter says:

      I remember back in the early years of cable TV there was a station — prob TBS — which ran re-runs in blocks of maybe two hours at a time …usually in the afternoons, I think. That would be 4 episodes of most shows.

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      • Oh,I’m talking the local NBC,CBS and ABC affiliates, plus an independent or loosely affiliated station,(at least in the Washington, DC area…Channel 5,it was Metromedia for a while)…pre-PBS and UHF channels, Micki…you are just a kid!

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  2. Micki Gibson says:

    Ah, it’s those bits and pieces that have the power to hook me into a show. That’s how my family got me into The Walking Dead as well. I’m only partway into season 3. And you mentioned the Spielberg-Hanks collaboration on Band of Brothers. My husband has that series on DVD. I think he’s watched every second of every disc of it. Along with another Hanks (not sure if Stevie was part of it) production, From the Earth to the Moon. That was an excellent series as well. And yes, I’m old enough to remember back in the day when you had 4 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS) and come Christmas season, heaven forbid you miss Frosty the Snowman. We had to wait an entire year before we could see it again. These young whippersnappers don’t realize how good they have it! (Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!)

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    • MICKI! LOL! It was missing “It’s the Great Pumpkin,Charlie Brown” that upset me the most.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Micki, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one suckered into the Walking Dead series. Can’t wait to find out what happens in the next episode, but I’ve been too busy to watch.
      Tell your hubby he has excellent taste — B of B was an outstanding series and I’m certain Capt. Dick Winters was the kind of commander I would have wanted to serve under… if I’d had to serve in combat operations. Fortunately my Air force stint did not require me to enter combat!

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  3. pjharjo says:

    LOL, Jeff! You crack me up! “And we walked two miles to school each day… uphill both ways… in the snow.” You forgot one thing, “and when we got there, we were glad to be there!” LOL! (I seem to remember my daddy telling me that) 🙂 Of course, being a smart A kid, I would tell him, “Of course you were ‘glad to be there’ after walking 20 miles (the miles he walked in the snow) in the snow! LOL! You had it easy, Jeff! Only walked two miles. LOL!

    We’ve still got a few more seasons of the Waling Dead to do in the fashion I told of in my reply to Micki! Nothing new is on the current list of to-dos. 🙂

    Hey Tonette! I grew up with only TWO, TV stations! And I thought we were doing GOOD! And Micki, we only got ABC and NBC. LOL! “the times, they are a’changin’ (think Bob Dylan) Speaking of “whippersnappers,” Micki, do you remember him? 😉

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  4. Iris B says:

    Oh maaan, I don’t know any of the above … Jeff, I wonder whether we should’ve tweaked the question slightly for you and ask is there a book series you couldn’t get enough of ?
    How does that sound ? LOL

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