Who hasn’t binged a whole streaming series?

Recent favourites include the Queens Gambit, Mrs Maisel, Peaky Blinders, Stranger Things and Ozark. Hours on end, episode after episode through breakfast lunch and dinner, late into the early hours.

Amazing as it sounds, there was a time when you had to wait for a week for the next episode of your favourite TV show. Shows like Homicide, Number 96, A Country Practice, Hill Street Blues, Bonanza and of course Dallas. You couldn’t binge.

There were advantages. TV shows provided rhythms and rituals for life.

A particular day and a particular time when your show was on meant a snack, a drink, the comfy couch with the significant other. Maybe the kids, the dog and the cat. Life was more planned and regulated.

Work conversations at the water cooler were structured around critical episodes – who killed JR? Scott and Charlene’s wedding.

Miss the moment and you missed the show. Until the late 1970s it wasn’t even possible to record an episode to watch it later.

That all changed with videos and DVDs. Beta and VHS fought it out in the 1980s for format supremacy. A short, quaint battle from today’s vantage point. But the winner’s (VHS) impact was enormous.

Suddenly viewing on demand became a reality. No more being tied to a particular day and a particular time.

But you were still chained to hardware – CD, hard drive, TV, player. And there was the inconvenience of going to the video store to rent or, if you had too much money, buy the next episode or series.

The digital revolution transformed all that. Now we live in an access any time, anywhere on any device world. As long as you have an internet link and a streaming account you’re set. On the bus, the train, at the beach, in bed, even on planes – streaming on demand.

Content is king. On demand is everywhere. Devices are a dime a dozen.

Of course some smarties have refused to go with the flow. Game of Thrones made everyone wait, week in week out to see whether John Snow was alive or dead and what nasty surprise Cersei had lined up next. But that’s the exception now.

Bingeing has become a thing. There are even rules. The etiquette of bingeing. Don’t skip ahead of the family/significant other. Agree when to stop. No spoilers. One binge at a time and so on.

And there are binge categories. The out of control binge. Watch the whole 10 hours in one sitting until 3 in the morning.

The controlled binge. Watch an episode every night after dinner.

The sneaky binge. Watch a whole series behind your partners back – often a sub species of the out of control binge.

The separated binge. Family members binge different shows at the same time. Head phones, ear phones or separate rooms mandatory.

The marathon binge. Binge your way through a show with more than three series, like The Closer, Breaking Bad, Vikings, West Wing, The Good Wife.

Too much bingeing and you risk binge addiction. Yes, that’s a real thing – when bingeing gets in the way of life. You start  missing work, not sleeping and so on. You are addicted.

Luckily there is online binge therapy.  You can always binge on that.