Originating with the advent of DVD box sets, binge-watching is often described as “an emergent media behavior that blends culture and technology.”1 Despite its ever-growing popularity, bingeing continues to be a relatively undertheorized spectatorial mode. As demonstrated by Caetlin Benson-Allott, bingeing scholarship to date has often relied on metaphors of inebriation, distraction, or addiction.2 Pushing against this trend, the authors in this Special Focus section argue that the COVID-19 pandemic recast bingeing as a civic duty and a survival mode—an ideal antidote to quarantine malaise.

In order to “flatten the curve,” those living under lockdown were told they must stay put, avoid contact with others, and consequently double down...

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