Why Binge-Watching TV Is Never A Good Idea, According To Damon Lindelof

the leftovers season 3 hbo

Gone are the days when the only options for watching TV were via live broadcast or reruns. Nowadays, we have streaming services like Netflix and Amazon that give us the option to watch shows one episode at a time or sit down and binge-watch whole seasons at a time. For those of us who don't have the best self-control when it comes to TV, binge-watching has become a way of life. According to Lost and The Leftovers executive producer Damon Lindelof, however, binge-watching is never a good idea. He had this to say about binge-watching:

Bingeing is bad. I am old school. And not just because I agree with Joss Whedon about everything. Never before in the history of the English language has 'binge' been associated with something healthy or productive. Just because there is an entire can of Pringles in front of you does not mean you should eat them all in one sitting. Every time I have done this, I feel sad and guilty, and then mad at The Pringles Corporation. Which is probably not even a thing.

Damon Lindelof shared his thoughts on binge-watching (and Pringles) in a letter to the press that accompanied the first seven episodes of The Leftovers Season 3 for review (via The Wrap), and he makes an interesting point. We're never really encouraged to binge on food or drink because it would be bad for our health; should we really binge on TV just because we can? Just as we probably shouldn't scarf down an entire package of snacks because they're on the table, maybe we shouldn't watch a whole bunch of episodes at once just because they're available.

Or we could always start referring to "binge-watching" as "marathoning." Bingeing may not be good for your health, but a marathon is an accomplishment, right? Admittedly, Damon Lindelof probably wasn't indicating that we should simply find a less awful term for watching entire chunks of seasons at once, and he's not the only behind-the-scenes mastermind to openly oppose binge-watching. Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Joss Whedon has also spoken out against it, arguing that TV "loses its power, and we lose something with it" when we don't watch at a moderate pace.

At least Damon Lindelof doesn't have to worry about viewers binge-watching the new season of The Leftovers right off the bat. The HBO series will air one episode at a time during its third and final season, which kicks off on Sunday, April 16 at 9 p.m. ET. As somebody who actually binge-watched Lindelof's Lost not so long ago, I can see his point. During the binge-watch, I had no regrets about what I was doing. By the time I was done, however, I deeply wished that I had taken my time, and not just because that ending really didn't make much sense after the sensory overload of six seasons in a short span of time. I'm perfectly happy to watch The Leftovers on a weekly basis rather than in one sitting.

Tune in to HBO on Sundays starting on April 16 to catch new episodes of Damon Lindelof's The Leftovers, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule. To see what show's will be back and what won't, take a look at our rundown of TV renewals and cancellations.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).