In the days before Hulu, season DVD collections, iTunes, 24 hour cable, before VCRs even, if you missed an episode of your favorite television program you were out of luck, at least until the single re-run in the Spring. After that you might get lucky and catch your favorite episode again when the show went into syndication, if it ever did, and in a market where you could see it.
Now everything has changed. We can watch an entire season of most any program in a single day, if we can stay awake for it.
My proto-binges were re-watching Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica. I hadn't missed but a couple shows from each but it was invigorating to watch them serially. Still, five year story arcs aren't really binges when you only get a couple three episodes on each Netflix DVD.
Since moving to Arizona my binges have included watching Homeland with my daughter Cassandra. She bought Season I on DVD; we watched it in Prescott. I bought the Season II set; we watched it in Hanoi. Then I bought a missed season of Archer, then another. Then I set up house without setting up television service and bought the (surprisingly brief) season passes for The Walking Dead (Seasons 4 and 5). These were on iTunes.
"Hey, Game of Thrones is pretty good. I think you'd like it. You should rent it." was the friendly advice from my estranged Mrs. I declined. She says I refuse to do things simply because they were her ideas. Later I gave in. She was right, both times.
Lately I worked my way through three seasons of American Horror Story. It's interesting in that it uses largely the same cast - headlined by Jessica Lange - to tell different, rather gritty stories across a twelve episode story arc for each. Pretty neat.
I even watched Z Nation, the SyFy Channel's mediocre knock-off of The Walking Dead. Not very good, but it was only thirteen 42 minutes episodes on a long holiday weekend.
I'm currently watching Black Mirror, a shockingly good spin on the horrors that lie at the intersection of modern technology and human frailty. It's been described as a modern Twilight Zone that plumbs the depths of our current nightmares. I very, extremely recommend it, if your relationships are in good order. Can't hardly wait until next season! Bloody hell! And I do mean hell...
All in good fun I suppose, and better than hanging out in bars I suppose, but remember our man Friedrich's warning:
And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.