SINGAPORE: Who said Singaporeans don’t have time for anything but work?
In a recent survey by Netflix, Singapore was identified as the economy with the second highest percentage of binge racers in Asia.
A binge racer, according to Netflix, is someone who completes an entire season of a TV show within the day it gets released online. The data takes into account time zones and is reflective of a show’s launch within 24 hours in a particular territory. Singapore emerged second, beating out places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, but losing the top spot to Malaysia.
So exactly what are Singaporeans binge watching? According to Netflix, it’s K-drama, with Singapore having the highest percentage of binge racers globally for The Sound of Your Heart.
Their data also show we are similarly binge-racing our way through Marvel’s The Defenders, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life as well as Terrace House: Aloha State.
With binge-racing fast becoming the new normal when it comes to consuming entertainment shows, we thought it best to offer advice on how to perfect your binge-watching experience.
You’re welcome TV addicts.
BINGE WITH A PLAN AND SET EPISODE GOALS
Make a list of the shows you want to watch and set episode goals. Think of your binge-watching experience as a workout or a diet. You’re going to need to set goals, and stick to them throughout the process. Don’t let laziness, lunch dates or other distractions get the better of you.
Clear your entire schedule, decide how you want to finish the season and then plan accordingly. How long is each episode? How intense is the show? How many episodes can you take before passing out? While the idea of planning your binge sessions with that level of detail may seem unappealing, it will definitely enhance your experience - simply because you’ve already decided ahead of time how unproductive you plan to be and therefore will feel less guilty about entire process. Instant enjoyment boost!
STOCK UP ON THE RIGHT FOOD AND FLUIDS
When it’s a seriously long binge-watch session like Westworld or Stranger Things, it’s imperative that there’s a week’s supply of food and water within reach. Snacks are key to maintain your binge-watching stamina, so we cannot emphasis enough how important it is to stock up on the appropriate foods. Nothing messy or complicated like chili crabs because hey, you need to use all your concentration on making all the way to the end of the TV binge race.
Hydration is also key. But do remember to drink water on top of fizzy drinks or alcohol. A bottle of Bordeux to get Narcos party started may begin as a good idea, but we’re pretty sure it won’t end as one - five bottles and 10 episodes later.
COMFORT IS KEY
Favourite pajamas? Check. Blanket? Check. Your feather-down pillows? Check. Air-conditioning temperature set so you don’t freeze or sweat midway through your binge-watch that you have to get up and change it? Check.
Pro-tip: A comfy couch might be a better idea that a soft bed for those prone to falling asleep easily.
Do also take into consideration keeping your eyes comfortable as well. Phones, tablets and laptops emit high-energy visible (HEV) wavelengths, or “blue light”, which can over time, wreak havoc on the retina. So dim that screen - whether you’ve chosen to binge-watch straight off your laptop or on your new 80-inch 4K flat-screen television. Adjusting the brightness of your screen to a level that would conceal all the shadowy business going on in House of Cards would really help keep optical risks to a minimum.
TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS TO PREVENT BURN-OUT
This might sound a little counterproductive but if you’re like us and consider binge-watching a sport, then let’s not forget the importance of getting up and getting the blood flowing. Leg cramps and deep vein thrombosis are serious problems and let’s face it, you also need to give your eyes a break from the screen.
So plan your breaks: If you’re watching something like Orange Is The New Black, you can take a break during their rather long intro song. Use it wisely to take that bathroom break, stretch, find that leftover pizza and reheat it in the microwave and maybe even text your family and friends to tell them you’re still alive and kicking. Remember, taking a breather and moving around will give you that extra boost of energy you need to finish the season. There’s also an option of taking comedy breaks with a sitcom rerun when watching intense shows like Game of Thrones to charge you back up.
CHOOSE A BINGE-BUDDY … WISELY
They jury is still out on whether it’s a bane or boon to have a friend or two over when embarking on a serious binge session. For those who don’t like watching shows alone, in constant need for an arm to grab or a shoulder to cry on, consider inviting a buddy over.
But remember, tread carefully when choosing who you want to surround yourself with. End up inviting a talker who asks questions incessantly throughout or a terrified screamer, and your entire binge session will result in derailed disaster. If you find having a fellow binge-watcher friend too distracting, then arrange for a family member or coworker to remind you that there’s still a real world where you have to head back to work at the end of your binge session.
Sleep or no sleep, the reminder is to help you keep your job, which you'll need to pay for the Internet for your next binge session.