Binge-ing Bad: A Study on the Lifestyles of Selected Binge Watchers of Breaking Bad
Torrecampo, R.J.M. (2015). Binge-ing Bad: A study on the lifestyles of selected binge watchers of Breaking Bad, Unpublished Thesis, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.
This thesis examines how the lifestyles of Filipino viewers are influenced by binge-watching, particularly of the crime-drama television show, Breaking Bad. Binge-watching is a growing cultural phenomenon that is particularly gaining attention in research work in America; and Breaking Bad is one of the most binge-watched series of recent times. This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of binge-watching while making it more relevant to the Filipino context. Through an initial survey, the study was able to establish an observable phenomenon of binge-watching among Filipino viewers of Breaking Bad. Interviewees, whose lifestyles were later studied, were selected from this pool. Through the life history approach, this study examined selected viewers’ viewing habits, daily activities, and interaction with family and peers, among others. Guided by Gerbner’s Cultivation Theory, the study also looked into the selected viewers’ perception of violence in the show and in the real world.
The study discovered that among the selected binge-watchers of the show, there is a general trend to have a heightened perception of violence in the real world, and a stronger tolerance for violence within the show. The study also found that binge-watching Breaking Bad has had some influence on the viewers’ lifestyles, such as manner of speaking among some respondents, among others. Furthermore, binge-watching Breaking Bad has impacted the selected viewers’ social interaction, both negatively and positively.
Given the specific topic of the study it is recommended that further research on binge-watching be conducted. Other aspects that may be studied are binge-watching on other local and foreign series. This study also recommends further research that will shed light on the psychological and cathartic attributions to binge-watching, and the relevance of both mass and social media to the behavior and attitudes of the young binge-watchers.
Keywords: binge watching, lifestyle, Cultivation Theory, violence