My Netflix watchlist is filled with half-finished shows that I said I would continue watching, and I never did. I would get into the show and watch a few episodes, and even though I did enjoy it, I just did not have the energy to finish it.

The only way I am able to finish a show is when I am watching it with someone else. For example, I was only able to finish “The Sandman” because I promised my friend Rafael that I’d watch the final two episodes with him.

But I have noticed that binge-watching something that Netflix popularized, has been slowly fading in favor of the old way of consuming a show, watching a new episode weekly. Streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Max and Disney+ for the most part, drop an episode once a week. 

Look, I am not saying binge-watching has totally gone away. Plenty of people still partake in watching a show all at once, myself included. Most recently, my father and I watched all 15 seasons of “ER” (I can not believe I watched all 331 episodes in three months). 

I do not know if I would consider this binge-watching, but I have been getting “Young Sheldon” episodes broken up into 40 parts on TikTok while a video of someone cooking plays under the episode. Also, the videos always come up on my For You page out of order, which makes it difficult to follow the plot sometimes. 

If I have to choose a way to watch a show, I prefer watching it one episode at a time. When I binge watch a show I feel an obligation to press the “Are you still watching?” button and watch another three episodes. It can also get tiring after a while watching the same show all day. I like variety. 

But there also have been shows that I originally watched all at once because I wanted to see what all the hype was all about and ended up loving it. And then tuned in once a week because I became invested in the story. 

To me, releasing an episode weekly lets the viewer process what they have just watched and get excited for the next episode. 

After the third episode of season four of “Succession” aired, the internet was buzzing with theories over what the plot twist means for the rest of the season. Articles and TikTok videos were analyzing and dissecting scenes and dialogue trying to pierce together what could come next. 

The growing anticipation for next week’s episode keeps the show in the public mind much longer and keeps the audience more engaged with the content. With so many options now in what and how you can watch television it can be difficult for a show to make it. There are so many shows that either have a small cult following or get canceled after a couple of episodes. Never living up to their full potential. 

Network TV seems to be benefiting from this slow pivot away from binge watching. “Abbot Elementary” has found success on both ABC and streaming. The comedy has been such a hit for ABC that they ordered 22 episodes for the second season. This is a huge leap from the 13 episode first season. 

How we consume media has evolved so drastically in the past 10 years. There are so many ways to watch TV now and sometimes it can be difficult to figure out what to watch. I’m glad that binge watching is slowly going out of fashion. But maybe now since the semester is wrapping up I can finally tackle my Netflix watchlist (I will pace myself with episodes).