TAKING THE BINDGE

As the summertime progresses through its dog days, many folks are taking advantage of their vacation times. Sure, there are folks that make lavish getaways, heading over to a favorite vacation spot, be it a beach cove, a cabin in the mountains, or perhaps a sprawling spa set in a desert community. Or there are a few that take “staycations”, where one doesn’t go anyplace in the tractional sense. They are the ones that stay at home (or pretty close near it), doing what they find just as relaxing than spending that same moment camping somewhere. The staycation rage hit its peak during the dark(er) days of the Great Recession, where nearly anyone living in the domestic society were forced to hunker down financial wise. And part of the so-called “new normal” was to take a vacation away from their work (assuming that these folks were still working) by staying home, doing the things they would normally do while on a trip.
But this article won’t comment about getting away or cutting back to save a few bucks while taking a little R&R. This article speaks about a kind of leisurely activity one can do on a vacation home or away, or at anytime–vacation period or otherwise! That noted activity is plopping one’s self in front of a video screen to watch their favorite television program series at one sitting, catching up to all of the antics that takes place inside of a TV program universe, but all at the same time.
This act of watching a TV series all at once (or at least watching three or more episode of the same series in that same sitting) is called “binge watching”, and it’s part of TV’s “new normal” (just like a “staycation” is a “new normal”) that has changed the television landscape within the last few years. Thanks to easier access to such notions ranging from home video to streaming services, it now allows one to watch an entire season of programs one episode after another. And according to a report conduced by the marking firm GfK MRI Research, 57% of TV viewers report regular binge viewing that occurred within the last year, a rise of 12% from the previous year.
The report notes that 14% who binges “usually” do it all or most of the time, while 18% “frequently” binge more than half the time. 25% of those polled “sometimes” binges half of the time.
And behind the amount folks take the binge, there’s the reasoning behind it all. Granted, it’s a great way to catch up on a program one holds a liking to. According to the report, some 41% of standard bingers stated that TV shows they have never seen take up a good chunk of their binge viewing time, aside to 35% that view favorite and familiar programs. And when it comes to original stream only shows–program title made available through the streaming channels (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) 22% of viewers bindge on those shows.
It’s also no real surprise who does all of the binge watching. Leave it to the good ol’ Millennials to do all of this form of marathon watching. 53% of those under the age of 35 noted that they are regular bingers.
The term “bingeing” tends to be a word that describes an act that can have negative outcomes, such as binge eating or drinking–a part of many other forms of human vices that can be of a taboo nature to discuss or even bring into the open. But does bindge watching have that same stigma as those other rather unspoken forms of overindulgence? According to the findings, bindge watchers feel pretty good in how their TV is consumed. 73% of regular bingers state upon having a positive view in their binging habits. A little over three quarters (77%) note that bindge watching is fun, and can be hard to stop! Almost half (48%) say that that TV binging keeps them up to date or in the know about a program’s progression.
So what does all of these facts and figures mean? Well, it does note that people can and do consume a favorite program far beyond one episode at a time in one (or possibly two or three) sittings at a moment. And thanks to mobile devices, one can bindge where ever one roams–assuming that there is an internet connection made available somewhere! Watching TV isn’t just confined to being in a place where they are in front of a TV monitor viewing the content of their choice. One can watch on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, but one is only limited to the screen’s size and the sound that comes out of the device. Some folks are rather picky, while others don’t really care on how to view their programming. Just as long as they can look at the entire run of Game of Thorns however they can! It’s thought that the bigger the screen and the booming quality of the sound is better to consume. But if you’re a diehard fan, then size doesn’t necessarily matter–but it does help! And for the rest of everyone else? They can bindge if they want or not depending on one’s access and even in their stage in life. But who knows? There may be a person of the early generation “baby boomer” demographic that would want to binge watch Gunsmoke episodes back to back on their traditional living room TV set! Then again, maybe not!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND, Felix Racelis’ play about a woman of Philippine decent who manages a convalescent residential dwelling that still recalls a traumatic moment from her life, and the daughter who tries to comprehend the situation on hand, makes its world premier at the Complex Theatre in Hollywood.
Taking place at a group dwelling facility located in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles, Nene Santos (Tita Pambid) operates the unit that houses a number of elderly people. She takes upon a hands-on approach, interacting with a selection of the residence. Two of those are Poncing (Muni Zano), and Mildred (Anita Borcia). Nene’s daughter Pilita (Sarnica Lim) works as a residential nurse, making sure that those dwelling are in good care and in good sprits. Nene desires to expand her operation but hold difficulty obtaining a loan from the local financial institution. But her real trauma isn’t about not getting the loan, nor about her relationship with her daughter soon to be married. It’s related to an long past episode that took place in her home of national origin during the dark days of World War two when the Philippine were overtaken by the Japanese in their goal for domination. Although that episode was many years before (and somewhat reduced to pages in a history book), Nene faces the challenges of carrying on to what occurred those many years before, and how such feelings are linked to the present day.
This one act play written by Felix Racelis is a piece that was inspired by the playwright’s own experiences with his mother who once served as a nurse during the war. This inspiration was first formed as a two act play only to be condensed into a single act. The result to this inspiration as seen on the stage is a story that tells how the lead character who serves a purpose in assisting others in their need faces a past that is far off and hidden, only to have that concealed past move toward its surface. In this performance, the cast of players present their roles in a leveled manner. Its lead performer, Tita Pambid as Nene portrays her character as a hard working woman that cares about her residents, especially with the ones featured. Pilita, as played by Sarnica Lim is the daughter figure who looks upon her mother as a guide. Poncing, played by Muni Zano and Mildred portrayed by Anita Borcia are a balanced mix: The former a bit feisty while the latter holding a kind sprit–if not sneaking off to take a smoke! Lesley Asistio directs this production that gives prominence to its rosters of players as equally fitting.
In addition to the above noted performers, Doan Nguyen and Gabriel Garcia also appear playing in various swing supporting roles.
AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND is a even paced play that touches upon an emotional subject matter dealing with a personal occurrence that holds its spot in a historical time lime. This reviewer doesn’t wish to review too much as dodging what’s called a “spoiler”. Nonetheless, this production speak for the phase of human care, as well as bringing to attention a time that hold a deep darken past.

AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND, presented by As Straw Productions, and performs at the Ruby Theatre located with The Complex theatre center, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd (at Wilcox), Hollywood, until September 4th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For tickets, call (800) 838-3006, or via online at http://StrawBefore.brownpapertickets.com
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