To Binge or Not to Binge

Welcome back to the newly named Traught Tuesday! We wanted to space out our articles between the episode reviews and weekly posts, so we decided to post a day earlier. This week, we're diving a little bit into a topic that comes up often in the fandom given the advent of streaming, binging, and frankly how we experienced the previous three seasons. For full transparency, we can’t even begin to claim to be unbiased in our thoughts about the subject. As with all content creators that use Young Justice to create their content, we are much more inclined to have weekly releases rather than an entire season, a half season, or even multiple episodes come out at a time. That said, let's dive in to the debate. 

We've seen it, you've seen it, whether on Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, so on and so forth: people wish they could binge Young Justice. And hey, we don't blame them! In today's world of endless streaming services, bingeing is how TV is mainly consumed. There's a certain kind of thrill to having the next episode(s) immediately at your fingertips, with no wait to the thrilling cliffhangers and a resolution to the temporary suspense. We're not going to argue it: bingeing is a convenient and pleasureable way to watch television. 

However, not all shows are created with the intention to be binged. Several shows are designed with carefully concocted stories that are intended to instill suspense and encourage endless discussion and speculation between episodes. Young Justice easily falls into this category, especially when considering the current arc structure of Season 4. As previously mentioned, Young Justice is clearly built from the ground up with the intent of being released on a weekly schedule to give time to theorize, shout form the mountaintops, and anticipate between each episode. This kind of hype only builds up anticipation for the newest release, ultimately leading to increased desite to watch and then more views on HBO Max. Not only that, but the increased speculation and discussion grows the community, and thus, viewership numbers.

Of course, we've had our taste with bingeing Young Justice during the run of Young Justice: Outsiders. For the first half of the season, it was released in 3-4 episode increments for the span of a month before going on a nearly six month hiatus. While it was nice to get a nice, sizable chunk of episodes, ultimately we felt that this tactic didn't work and actually hindered the watching experience. It made the episodes blend together, and the viewing experience felt rushed than compared to the previous two seasons. Not to mention, after having the show off the air for five years, fans were eager to get back into the YJ bubble. However, this excitement was short lived and only lasted a month. This led to less fan engagement, less creation of fanart, less promotion, and so on and so forth. Many fans were eager for a longer runtime and for episodes to be released weekly, which might have led to the more stable, staggered release of the second half of the season.  

Truly, Young Justice has always had a chaotic release pattern, to say the least (and not at the fault or blame of any of the show's crew, who likely had no say in the decision). Between Season 1 ending and Invasion releasing a week apart from each other, and the many (many) hiatuses throughout the original Cartoon Network run, it's fair to say that Young Justice has never had a consistent viewing schedule. However, now we can fondly (semi-fondly) look back on it as a critical moment in the early fan experience of the show. We genuinely believe that Young Justice is more enjoyable when consumed with a bit of a break, preferrably with weekly releases. The bingeing formula just doesn't work with this show. Young Justice thrives off little details and stories being pieced together over time, with wild speculations and community engagement throughout the process. Weekly releases allows us more times to fall in love with the characters and keep them in our lives for just a little longer, you know, before the inevitable waiting period for new content. 

So, despite the two arguments, the question remains: should you binge Young Justice, or should you continue to watch it week by week? First and foremost, it’s always up to your viewing preference, and sadly the availability of the show where you call home. If you are lucky enough to have access to HBO Max and are able to watch the show weekly, we suggest sticking to this pattern. It is undeniable that the show was meant to be seen one glorious episode at a time, with bingeing kept for after a significant amount of episodes have aired. And binge you should, time and time again! Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, but in our heart of hearts we are very happy to have a consistent amount of Young Justice to stream, and hope that statement remains true for years to come.

(We were serious, though. If you want a new season, #KeepBingeingYJ to #SaveEarth16!)

Do you wait to binge? Do you watch each episode as it comes out? Some mix of both? Let us know in the forum, or on our Twitter; we love hearing from you!

Author: Neal PowellEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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