Box-set Mind-set: Psycho-cultural Approaches to Binge Watching, Gender, and Digital Experience

Caroline Bainbridge


Debates about binge watching in the era of internet television largely fail to address the important psychological dimensions of experience for viewers who watch in this way. The notion of ‘bingeing’ is entwined with ideas about greed and loss, themes that shape both the narratives of television dramas such as Breaking Bad (AMC) and Mad Men (AMC), and new patterns of viewing behaviours. Drawing on a diverse range of theorists, I argue that object relations psychoanalysis enables new understandings of processes at work in both narrative and viewing practices, providing insight into both psychological and aesthetic experience. Extrapolating from this, I present a psycho-cultural analysis of the psychodynamics of binge watching, showing how it is closely bound up with shifting patterns of ideology, gender politics, and digital experience.



binge watching; greed; psychoanalysis; gender politics; media objects; television

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