EXCLUSIVE: How to Binge Watch Like a Pro
The 1st of every month is a magical date. On this day, streaming video services roll out new inventory – hours and hours of unwatched movies and brand new seasons of original TV series. For example, here’s a list of everything added to Netflix on Friday.
In a world without social media, this would be pretty cool. But if we’ve learned anything from Game of Thrones – besides never trust a Frey – it’s this: Spoilers Are Coming.
The rest of the world won’t wait until you’ve had a chance to leisurely make your way through the new season of Orange Is the New Black. That isn’t how this works. The choice is yours. Either watch the hyped thing as soon as it’s available or completely unplug from the Internet and all watercooler conversations until you have.
So clear your schedule, put your phone in airplane mode and pull down the blackout curtains.
It’s time to binge watch like it’s what you were born to do…
#1 Extremely Comfortable Pajamas
Binge watching isn’t meant to be glamorous. It’s about taking your body, putting it in front of a screen and keeping it there until all of that sweet, sweet video content is consumed by your eyes and ears. No need to dress for success, here. Dress for maximum comfort.
Hopefully you already own some comfortable pajamas. If not, it’s time to treat yo’ self! This shorts and a tee shirt combo are some of the best reviewed pajamas we could find. Lightweight and breathable but keeping the appearance of casual daywear in case you have to answer the door for food delivery.
#2 Theater-Style Popcorn Machine
Movie theaters have held themed double features and movie marathons for decades. That’s right, binge watching isn’t new. It’s just way easier to do now that we have more choices and control over what to watch and when to watch it. You no longer have to wait for the local grindhouse to decide it’s time to show every Star Trek movie in a row when you can do it from home.
You also don’t have to go to the movie theater to get some of that popcorn that’s only that good when it’s made that way. (Sorry, Orville but none of those “theater style” microwave bags even come close to the real thing.)
This machine is built and sized for home use but it has all the features that make theater popcorn what it is. It makes about 3 gallons of popcorn per batch. If you’re fortunate enough to have a copilot on this mission, there’s plenty to go around. If it’s a solo flight, the heated warming deck will keep those kernels fresh and ready.
#3 R2D2 Mini Fridge (or Warmer)
Popcorn makes you thirsty and it’s important to stay hydrated.
This little R2-D2 fridge is the perfect size to keep a 6-pack of cans cold and ready at your side. Whether you’re drinking soda or beer, some plain water is also recommended.
One more thing about our little buddy here. It’s not just a fridge. If you weren’t lying when you called in sick to work before this binge session, you can keep containers of chicken noodle soup warm in here for hours.
#4 Amazon Fire TV
Now that your basic creature comforts are sorted, it’s time to make sure the main event goes on without a hitch. It’s never been easier to watch whatever you want to watch whenever you want to watch it. Whatever streaming service subscriptions you’ve got, the most important thing is being able to link it up to the television.
Again, you’ve got a lot of options here but we like Amazon’s Fire TV best for one simple reason: just about anything that’s available to watch at home can be accessed on a Fire TV.
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to do, say, a James Bond movie marathon, only to get home and find out all of those movies expired from the service you use on the day before. (Hint: Starz has a ton of Bond films.) With Fire TV, you may have to spend a small amount of cash to “rent” access to those films but the point is that you have that option. And of course it has all the other great features like 4k support, a phone app that accepts voice commands and much more.
#5 Bathroom Tablet Stand
Wikipedia says 76% of people define binge-watching as “watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.”
That’s cute. If you ask us, it’s not even a binge until you’re into hour 4 with no intention of stopping anytime soon. Listen, this isn’t kid’s stuff. It’s a battle and it requires commitment. Going the distance requires maximizing the amount of time spent towards achieving the goal.
Bathroom breaks are not an excuse.
Keep the show on the road with this tablet stand meant for bathroom use. You can tell that’s where it’s supposed to go because it has a built-in toilet paper roll holder.
See? It’s not weird. It’s made for this. It’s normal now.
#6 Miniature Exercise Bike
Some people – okay, doctors – say that spending hours watching TV or movies is “not good” for us. That may not necessarily be true. When you ask for an explanation, they’ll usually talk about how spending hours of time sitting down is bad for the human body and we’re supposed to be active to maintain health.
Well, if that’s the problem, then one potential solution seems pretty obvious. Be active while binge watching!
OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: We aren’t doctors. Nothing written on the drunkMall website should ever be construed as medical or health advice from a professional.
You don’t have to keep a huge exercise bike in your home. The important part is the pedals and you can just buy that part buy itself! Choose your own level of resistance and get to work while staying glued to the screen.
This specific machine is also built to be used with your hands, so you can hit a full body workout in one session.
#7 Vitamin D Supplement
The other thing the fun police will say is that staying inside all day isn’t good for us because humans need sunlight to get Vitamin D.
Okay, yeah. Vitamin D is important for the immune system, for sure. But you can just, like, take Vitamin D, man.
Obviously you shouldn’t simply take some supplements and never leave the house again but when planning to spend a day or two indoors, this seems like it could help.
#8 Easy Sleeper Couch
The key to spending hours of time doing one thing, whether it’s reading a novel or studying a textbook or plowing through episodes of Dexter, is to frequently adjust your position. The college kids reading this don’t know about it yet but everyone else knows about stiff knees and hips.
You don’t want a chair for binging, even if it’s a recliner. That doesn’t present enough options for position and you’ll find yourself laying on the floor in a couple hours. You at least want a sofa and ideally you want a sofa that folds out into a bed. Having this makes all of the following positions an option:
- sitting upright
- laying on left side, parallel to screen
- laying on right side, parallel to screen
- laying on back, perpendicular to screen (feet nearest to screen)
- laying on stomach, perpendicular to screen (head nearest to screen)
#9 Cuddle Pillow
While this is often a solitary activity, there are some of us fortunate enough to have “friends” and lovers equally addicted to video entertainment. Should any of you be so lucky as to have a binge partner, cuddling will occur.
Now, if the binge was merely a ruse to initiate said cuddling and hijack the course of the evening towards other activities – Netflix and chill, as it were – that’s acceptable. On the other hand, if both binge partners are serious about the task at hand, then some consideration needs to be made for the big spoon. Specifically, the big spoon’s bottom arm. Everyone who’s ever seen Mallrats is familiar with this quandary. What to do with the arm.
The makers of Armadillow have created a solution for this exact situation. It’s a pillow with arm space built right in to the design. Essential for the co-binge.
#10 VR Headset
Affordable headsets like this are a pretty recent development for home use. And when we say “affordable,” we mean very affordable. If you can afford the smartphone necessary for this device to work, then the cost of this headset is not extravagant. (We’re talking less than thirty bucks, at the time of writing this.)
How can it be so inexpensive?
Well, it’s pretty much just a very well-made dark box for your smartphone. You place the phone inside the front of the device and adjust the focus on each side until it feels like you’re in your own personal IMAX screening of whatever you choose to watch.
There are dozens of these headsets out there. This one is our favorite. Check the ratings and read the reviews, of course. But the main thing for us – aside from being able to charge the phone and have earplugs hooked up to it while in use – is that the effect is roughly equivalent to sitting about 16 feet away from a 26 foot screen!