The Big Problem With Binge Watching, According To The Office’s Rainn Wilson

Dwight looking off camera in a confessional

It's no secret that streaming services have changed the world of television. In addition to producing new and exciting content, streaming service have also introduced the idea of binge watching into the pop culture lexicon. This extremely popular fad sees cinephiles and TV fans mass consuming an entire series of television, ingesting years worth of content in a relatively short amount of time. But there is a downside to this, according to The Office's Rainn Wilson. I recently had the chance to speak with Willson about his streaming play Thom Pain on BroadwayHD, as well as how The Office has remained immortal through its availability of Netflix. And while he's happy the show has reached new audiences, he does think binge watching can get unhealthy. He told me,

People come up to me all the time and say 'I've seen every single episode eight times'. And though it's flattering, there is something negative to be said about streaming. Because, guys get a life. If you watch 200 episodes eight times, that's like months of your life you'll never get back. So I appreciate the fans, but the streaming can be a little intense.

Although Rainn Wilson does seem to understand how he personally benefits from streaming services like Netflix, he thinks there is a line to be drawn. Perhaps binge watch The Office once or twice, rather than doing it annually and giving up so much of your time. So says Dwight Schrute.

And Rainn Wilson isn't wrong. The Office is one of those shows that is extremely bingeable, due to its short episode lengths and fantastic pacing and performances. Just how easy it is to binge-watch and rewatch has even become a meme in the past few years, like the one below.

The office meme

Indeed, Netflix also seems aware of just how easy The Office is to binge watch. It reportedly even checked up on one subscriber after he had watched the entire series in around two weeks. The reason for this is reportedly the user's insomnia, and he recently told the story about Netflix's check up via Reddit.

Netflix's streaming catalogue of The Office, as well as its constant airing on syndication, is why the series has remained to beloved in the years since its finale. In fact, NBC is even making steps to bring the series back, although Rainn Wilson told us that he and the other actor's hadn't been approached by the network yet.

You can catch Rainn Wilson in his one man play Thom Pain on BroadwayHD, and can catch his run as Dwight Schrute on Netflix. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.