(Worry not! There are no Mockingjay spoilers in this post. None at all!)
Two weeks ago, I read HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. Last week, I read CATCHING FIRE and MOCKINGJAY. I enjoyed the series very much, but it's too soon to say whether they are going to stick with me forever. I do know that as much as I liked them, I wouldn't have voted them as The #1 Best YA of All Time.
But what if I'd read the series the way that many others did? Waiting a year between each book? Would the anticipation of what was going to happen, how it was going to end, have made it have more of an impact on me?
It seems that for me, personally, the opposite is true. I was really into the first four Harry Potter books, which I read boom, boom, boom, boom. But I had to wait for book 5. And then for book 6. And then for book 7. By the time the series ended, I still cared. I did. But I couldn't even remember a lot of the details of the earlier books. I just wasn't as engaged as I'd been originally.
The same has held true for television. I came into Buffy the Vampire Slayer late in the game. I started watching the Seasons 1-5 reruns shortly before Season 6 aired on television. Dwayne and I binged on it. We started with Season 1 and watched two episodes a day, five days a week, for a full hundred episodes. When that was over and we had to wait for Seasons 6 and 7 to air, I didn't like the series as much anymore. I'm not sure if it's because the writing kind of sucked (which is what I tell myself) or if the time between episodes let my enthusiasm wane. I hear of people saying Season 6 or 7 is their favorite season and I am shocked. Shocked!
Veronica Mars and Friday Night Lights were shows that I quickly watched (and loved) the first season on DVD and then was let down by the second season, which I watched weekly as the episodes aired. I wasn't sure if the quality decreased substantially (as I believe to be true) or, you know, that other option. I loved One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy until I finally got caught up on the DVDs and then I grew to loathe and eventually quit them.
Battlestar Galactica and Alias were different. Both series had ended before I got into them. Which means I watched them both straight through. Start to finish. The quality did seem to decrease as they went on, but I wasn't as let down by the finales as many viewers who'd spent years of their lives watching these shows seemed to be.
I have no real conclusion to this entry, by the way. I tend to think that binging on series can make for a more intense experience in the present. The characters and storylines occupy my mind for those weeks/months and work their way into my dreams. At the same time, binging can mean that when the DVDs are over, it's really over. Everything fades more quickly because the show didn't have all those years to live in my subconscious.
Huh. I guess I had a conclusion after all. How about that? :-)