Ever since Netflix made binge-watching a common pastime for nearly three-quarters of Americans, the phenomenon has offered ample material for studies that purport to tell us something about ourselves. We are more likely to take in a whole season of Scandal or Breaking Bad in one sitting if we are lonely and depressed. We get hooked on The Killing just two episodes in, but it takes eight to commit to How I Met Your Mother. We’re also at risk for impaired cognitive development and deep vein thrombosis, but we can worry about those as soon as we get through the last episode of Search Party.
On Wednesday morning, Netflix released the results of a new study that takes into account the viewing habits of more than 86 million members across 190 countries. For this study, the streaming service looked at what viewers do when they finish binge-watching a show—specifically, how long it takes before they dive into the next one and what they choose to watch in the meantime.
The study found that 59 percent of viewers take a pause of around three days before moving from one obsession to the next, and 61 percent of those interim bingers (36 percent of all Netflix members studied) watch a movie before they plunge into the next rabbithole, Snuggie and all.
The study also examined the kinds of movies members chose to watch after completing 100 different TV series, identifying several common pairings. After finishing all four seasons of House of Cards, viewers often watched Beasts of No Nation. Bingers of Gilmore Girls went on to watch Sixteen Candles and The Princess Bride. Bloodline was frequently followed up with a serving of Spotlight for dessert.
Many viewers segued from TV series to documentaries before committing to a new show. Narcos watchers followed up on their interest in drug trafficking with documentaries like Cartel Land and Narco Cultura. Fans of Marvel’s Luke Cage took in 13th, Ava DuVernay’s documentary about race and the American criminal justice system. BoJack Horseman devotees tended to prefer stand-up comedy specials, but a good number of them hunkered down with a motivational speaking superstar in Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru.
These TV-movie pairings, several of which are illustrated in the graphic below, may not reveal critical insights about human nature or erase those binge-watching health concerns. But they remind us that even in this Golden Age of Television, there’s still a place for the humble, streaming feature film—if only as a palate cleanser for the next show.
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