by phil on Tuesday Feb 17, 2009 5:52 PM
mainfeed, neologism

A word of mine made the front-page of Urban Dictionary! I submitted marathoning a couple days ago, and now it has over 1000 votes. These kind of moments of Internet fame are always fun, albeit pointless.

Anyway, here is the definition:

marathoning v.
Watching an entire season of a TV series in a short period of time, especially if you are watching it in one sitting.

ex: Hey, I can't come out tonight. I just got the last season of Lost on DVD, and I'm marathoning it right now. I can't put it down.

And here's the mention on the front-page:

Here are the shows I've marathoned in the past two years:

I love marathoning. It's better than watching a movie. It fits in with my multi-tasking lifestyle. Can I spare 40 minutes for entertainment? Absolutely. Especially when 20 of those minutes are accomplished while consuming Chinese take-out.

When you get into the habit of marathoning, you start to notice how much better it is than watching a movie. You realize that a 1 and a half-hour movie really cuts out a lot of the gradual character development necessary to get a deep attachment. The length of a marathon is roughly the length of reading a novel (depending on how slow or fast you read).

I think our on-demand media environment has played a major role in ushering marathoning. From hulu, to torrents, to Netflix, to DVDs packed with 4 episodes, watching a full TV season is the way of the future. I believe it has contributed to a little renaissance in the quality of television. It has also helped prove to media moguls that technological advances are just as likely to create new ways of making money as they are to enabling piracy. The Sopranos, the complete first season, for example, is $49.99.

I was going to see Milk on the same night that they had a premiere of the first episode of 24. There was a lot of people waiting in line to see it, and I trolled them by yelling, "Why don't you wait till June? (when the season is finished)" Right now, I'm avoiding the temptation to watch the episodes of 24 as they come out. I'm also doing the same thing for the 3rd season of Big Love. This requires a lot of discipline, but the delayed gratification of watching them in one shot is so worth it.

When I first used the word marathon to describe what I've been doing, people immediately understood what I was saying. One of my friends added, "marathoning is the only way to watch TV."

I'm most likely not the first person to use the word "marathon" to describe watching a TV season. However it's fun to recognize something happening in society and put your stamp on it.


Squidhelmet said on February 17, 2009 6:33 PM:

Awesome work! Way to surf the information superhighway! I am marathoning Battlestar Galactica Season 1 right now. Someone recommended it to me after I marathoned Firefly and needed something to keep the scifi fire alive!

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