With social distancing in full swing, binge-watching has never been so popular.
We can’t go out to a restaurant and eat, parks are closed, most stores are closed, sports stadiums are empty and events of all kinds are cancelled while we try to flatten the curve. We aren’t suppose to leave our homes, and we can’t have people over. This has left a rather finite amount of things we can do.
While many are taking the chance to become a better cook/baker, do some ultra-deep spring cleaning or catch up on craft projects, there are unfortunately only so many cupcakes you can fit into your stomach, only so many rooms in your house to clean and only so many hand-made wreaths you can make before you run out of glitter.
Binge-watching, however, was made for moments like this. Whether you are watching old episodes of your favourite t.v. show or a few newly released films, embarking on a rather long marathon of watching films, t.v. shows and documentaries appears to be a rather easy to-do activity to practice while ensuring you and your loved ones don’t catch COVID-19. You can even do it while doing all the former activities mentioned above — although maybe not if you are are practicing those precise, cooking show-worthy knife cuts, safety first after all.
Given that we are living in a situation literally out of a movie, one would think that people are turning to fantasy, cartoons or something light-hearted. However, last month, Contagion was the film that topped the charts.
For those of who haven’t heard of it, it is a 2011 thriller inspired by past pandemics such as the SARS outbreak and the Spanish Flu. It essential tells the tale of a rather rapid spread of a new virus with a high fatality rate, and the subsequent attempts to identify, trace and create a vaccine for it while combatting the loss of social order and misinformation. It has received praise about it’s accurate portrayal of the science that goes into combating an outbreak.
Films and t.v. shows have become a bit of an escape over the years, as they allow us to get involved in a different world and person’s problems for a couple of hours. And quite often they have helped us deal with our own problems.
So why is a film that so mirrors our own scary reality right now so popular? Morbid fascination? A basis for a survival guide? The thought of ‘hey, at least things aren’t that bad’at the beginning of self-isolation? Contagion is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and some people like scary movies no matter the situation, so there is that to factor in as well, but be sure to take a break to watch something else if you plan on doing an insertgenre/title-here marathon. While rewatching all the seasons of Game of Thrones in one weekend might sound like a good idea at a time, all it will leave you with is the same dis/satisfaction over the ending and you quoting scenes nonstop to your housemates, which no one wants. Be sure to break up the zombie film marathon with something less ravenous-horde like. And yes, there is a new season of Nailed It out, but make sure you break it up with something less goofy.
We will probably have a few more months of social distancing at least, let’s not get sick of your favourite film in the mean time.