Organizing features content

Turning hundreds of hours of binge watching into words

If most readers aren’t aware, I’m known as The Features Guy on The Poly. I don’t think you’ll be able to find an issue in the past year and a half that doesn’t have at least one review from me, with most of the Reviews focusing on television. The truth is, I’m a self-confessed complete media consumer. I don’t just watch movies or shows, I consume them. They feed me, likewise with books and video games. And going off of this, I think I should discuss my process as an avid media-phile.

First, time management is a huge factor. How I work is usually by putting something on in the background that requires little distraction, but gives me something entertaining to listen to. This is where I usually use podcasts or a show I want to rewatch, like The Office. However, if it’s a weekly show, I make some time to give it my full attention on the release date or at another point when I have time. Things are a bit trickier with whole series’ or movies which require long chunks of time. I usually save them for when I have long stretches of waiting, like the two hours I have between classes or waiting for laundry.

Next, and probably the most important step for someone who likes talking about shows, is documenting them. I don’t mean wall-to-wall shelves filled with every single thing you’ve ever glanced at, just a Google Doc with them listed. Personally I sort them by color to signify cultural impact and then place them into categories based on my personal perception of the work. As well, a “To Watch List” helps you keep fresh content on queue rather than browsing Netflix like a wandering nomad. This list brings me into my final point…

You should find people with similar taste as you! Pretty simple, right? However, I usually find that when you have friends with similar tastes, it means there is a lot of overlap in terms of viewing, which is why I use my list for recommendations on what I’ve seen, or even offer to watch something together. I’m someone who enjoys re-watching a show with company in order to get a new perspective on a work, so this allows me to share an enjoyable piece with a friend.

I think media in general is seen as an incredibly insular activity: binge watching on the weekend, reading in bed, playing video games alone in your room; but the truth is, these aren’t personal experiences. Everyone can watch, read, or play exactly what they want, but I find that the most joy I get out of these experiences is talking about and sharing mine with others.