Imagine what the world would be like if Netflix were in charge. Imagine what it would be like if every time something ended, you were immediately given more of it.
Your friend tells a good joke, then breathlessly starts with another, and another, until they run out. Your pet dies, and immediately a new one appears in your arms. You take the last sip of wine, and the glass is refilled instantly.
When do you get a chance to laugh? When do you get a chance to cry? When do you get a chance to pause for a moment and enjoy being wine drunk before you're passed out on the couch and someone is tapping your shoulder, asking, "Are you still drinking this?"
This is what it feels like sometimes when I watch Netflix, or any other streaming service that automatically plays the next episode or recommended movie as soon as the credits appear. Sure, there's a way to turn this feature off — though it's not always possible in the medium you're watching with. But I would argue this feature should never be the default in the first place.
I started rewatching Mad Men when it was still on Netflix. Each episode is packed with symbolism, character development and subtleties that you may only pick up on a second or third viewing. When the credits start rolling, I'm often still in a daze, reaching a new understanding of what I just watched. But before I could finish, the next episode was playing.
When Mad Men left Netflix, I bought the series from Apple. It was refreshing to finish an episode and watch the credits without the hassle of reaching for the remote and telling Netflix I wasn't ready to move on yet.
This isn't just a problem for prestige TV shows. When the new season of Big Mouth came out, I binged the entire thing in one night, breezing through each half-hour episode and letting Netflix skip through the credits. I enjoyed it in the same way I enjoy devouring a greasy hamburger — it was a little gross, it went down fast, and at the end I felt regret that I didn't slow down a little.
It doesn't have to be this way. Disney+ lets you watch the credits. The Mandalorian even has drawings depicting the best scenes during the credits. Plus, episodes are released once per week, which means that the show is on my mind longer than just the four hours it would take to binge an entire season.
What was ever wrong with that? ♦