Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

What kind of monster "binge-races" an entire season of Fuller House?

Photo: Mike Yarish / Netflix
Photo: Mike Yarish / Netflix

As part of its overarching philosophy of total transparency, except when it comes to providing actual viewing data, Netflix has shared metrics on a certain subset of its most devoted subscribers, coining a new term for them in the process. If you’ve consumed an entire season of a Netflix show within 24 hours of its release, then congratulations: You’re one of the 8.4 million people the service describes as “Binge Racers,” part of an elite team that recognizes the importance of finishing a series first, so you can lord your knowledge over all those laggards who don’t even know how to watch TV right. The number of these “launch day finishers” has increased 20 times over since 2013, Netflix claims in a press release touting the stamina of these “super fans” who heroically sit in front of their screens for up to 13 hours at a time, getting through the things they love as quickly as humanly possible.

But as commendable as their achievements are, and as inspiring as it is to see consuming a work of art turned into a competition like this, it’s in Netflix’s accompanying list of the most “binge-raced” shows where we must begin drawing some lines. Sure, one would expect to see Netflix users pushing their way through “cliffhanger dramas,” as Netflix’s VP of original series Brian Wright puts it, burning through episodes of Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, and House Of Cards so that you can immediately get on Twitter and prove you know who dies. That’s how you win. But what kind of asshole watches all of Fuller House in a single sitting?

Top 20 Binge-Raced Shows

  1. Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life
  2. Fuller House
  3. The Ranch
  4. Marvel’s The Defenders
  5. The Seven Deadly Sins
  6. Trailer Park Boys
  7. Santa Clarita Diet
  8. F Is For Family
  9. Orange Is The New Black
  10. Stranger Things
  11. Friends From College
  12. Grace And Frankie
  13. Wet Hot American Summer
  14. Atypical
  15. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  16. House Of Cards
  17. Master Of None
  18. Luther
  19. GLOW
  20. Arrested Development

Granted, like Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life, watching an entire season of Fuller House would only take you about six hours—and like the other comedies on the list, its episodes are only a half-hour long, making them that much easier to digest. But how can you really appreciate them without the proper time to reflect? How could you properly luxuriate in the richness of its character development, or tease out the intricate folds of the Full House saga’s beautifully chiastic structure, in which the multigenerational tale of the Tanners echoes across parallel stories of mourning, family-friendly mayhem, and musical guest stars? Fuller House is a delicacy meant to be savored, you fools, not horked down your eye-gullet! What the fuck are you doing?


Anyway, the rise of “binge racing” could partially explain why Netflix plans to spend around $8 billion on original content next year, committing itself to churning out more and more series for users who will then burn through them in one exhausting clump. Godspeed to these champions, obviously. But hopefully they’ll then use their spare time to go back and sup from Fuller House slowly and deliberately, as the artist intended.

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