So as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’ve been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to the relief of many among my friends and acquaintances. A chorus of folks has been telling me for years that my Buffy illiteracy represented both a gaping lack in pop subcultural knowledge and a bunch of fun out on which I was missing.
I concede. And yet, I’m glad I waited. I watch two or three episodes at a time — I can get through a season in a weekend, assuming deadlines and non-screen-based life don’t interfere — and that means I watch differently.
Sure, I’m finding my Buffy binge-viewing fun: Don’t Have To Wait So Long To See What Happens, More Witty Banter Per Day, Plus There Is The Amusement To Be Derived From The Morphing of Cast Member Hairstyles and Fashion.
But I’m also finding it useful.
When you consume a lot of stories in a row — perhaps especially, as in this case, a lot of related stories — it gets easier to see how they’re put together.
There’s less time between when you first see the rifles on the wall and when they’re fired.
Character arcs also come into clearer focus when experienced in a compressed fashion.
In my own work, I’m trying to become, as my yoga teachers would say, more intentional about pacing and structure. Making and working from more detailed outlines is part of that process. (I seem to do better when I operate under constraints, even if I’m the one imposing them.) Apparently, another part of said process is absorbing story-structure thinking via multiple-episode-watching osmosis.
(Maybe what I’m really working on is my capacity to rationalize…)