Streaming services have ruined television

The slow death of cable television in recent years has led to a complete shift in the way people consume television and film. Streaming services have taken over, eradicating the system of having one universal television service that provides you with all of the content you want to see in one place. 

Instead, the current environment of television and streaming is much more chaotic, with various shows and movies only available on separate services. For example, if you want to watch Outer Banks, you can only do so by subscribing to Netflix, but if you want to watch The Last of Us, you have to subscribe to HBO Max. Each of these services has a separate monthly payment, which is a lot of effort just to watch the shows you enjoy. Eventually, all of these different subscriptions become costly and you find yourself barely able to keep track of all of the bills for these different platforms.

Aside from the chaos of keeping up with various streaming subscriptions, the streaming service format of television has led to a change in how media is released to the public. With cable television, episodes of TV shows would typically be released weekly. Shows were more suspenseful, cliffhangers were more impactful and people would gather to watch new episodes of their favorite shows. 

Now, entire seasons of shows are released at once, leaving viewers with hours of content to binge watch and digest. With all of a show’s content available at once, episodes blur together and watchers simply hole up in their homes and consume all of this content alone in short amounts of time. With this format, shows lose some of their impact and the act of TV-watching becomes even less social. Watching television was never healthy in the first place, but binge-watching takes this to a whole new level.

On a lighter note, however, there have been some recent shows that have avoided this new format in an attempt to reverse the binge-watching system. Newer shows such as Abbott Elementary and Euphoria have reverted to the old system of weekly episode releases, which has brought on success for both shows.

Hopefully, instances like these will influence other shows to follow suit and some of the modern binge-watch culture can be reversed. However, the frustration and confusion of subscribing to various streaming services remains very prevalent.