Will we ever see a new Friends?

The death of the shared experience

Releasing the full season of a new TV series in one go caters to the trend of binge watching and it’s been welcomed with open arms by TV fans around the world. Thanks to Netflix there’s no need to wait for the House of Cards DVD box set to lock yourself in for the weekend with popcorn and a few tubs of Ben & Jerry’s.

But is this approach eliminating something fundamental? Something that has helped shows like Twin Peaks, X-Files, Friends and lately Game of Thrones propel to global success.

The shared experience.

A big part of the joy of following a landmark show is the real and virtual water cooler discussions and speculation after each episode.
Who did it?
Is the Truth really Out There?
I can’t believe Rachel said that at the wedding!
Will they really kill old man Stark?

With the whole season available instantly you never know how far your friends are into the season. Did they already see the finale or just a few episodes?

As a result there is no more shared excitement. No more speculation at the office or on social media. What used to take months can now be viewed in a weekend. We are watching the same shows but we no longer share the journey.

In the age of sharing it looks like TV is becoming a more solitary experience.

Will this be the end of TV shows that become shared lasting cultural icons around the world? Can Netflix create a new Friends?

What do you think — let me know in the comments.

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