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CONVERGE | Entertainment

Communal Binge Watching: The Book Club of the Future​

March 11, 2019

Gather your friends for a new, binge-worthy spin on book club!

With the wide array of amazing television content that's available these days, it's not hard to find a binge-worthy show. Problem is, it can be a challenge to find someone else who's seen it! That's where a Communal Binge Watch comes into play. 

When you're just dying to dish about the latest episode of your most recent TV obsession, you'll have a special event set aside for that very purpose. A Communal Binge Watch is the book club of the future; you select a group of friends, assign a TV episode or season, then get together to discuss.

Staring a Group

So, you've decided to start a Communal Binge Watch. What's next?  First, you'll need to decide who to invite. This is a great excuse to get that group of old friends together who never seem to have the time to meet up. On the other hand, a Communal Binge Watch could be a great way to get closer to work colleagues or meet those new next-door neighbors. Or if you have local relatives with similar tastes, why not make it a new family tradition?

Getting Organized

Once you've selected your members, there are still a lot of decisions to make. What kind of shows should you watch? How do you structure the meetings? Do we need wine? The possibilities seem endless, but don't worry—we've got you covered! 

Here are a few sample group ideas to get you started:

Traditional Book Club: Invite a mix of neighbors and work colleagues. Meet monthly, and try a democratic method of selecting material (each member makes an anonymous suggestion, and everyone takes a vote). Try a docuseries like Murder Mountain, or a limited series like Maniac. Trade off hosting at peoples' homes, and set a sophisticated tone at the first meeting by serving wine and cheese. You may want to designate one person to lead the discussions or change moderators monthly.

Collegiate Study-Session: Invite family, close friends or anyone you have a good time disagreeing with. Meet weekly or monthly, depending on what the material demands. Assign each person a different week or month for selecting a show, so everyone gets a turn. Whoever picks this week's material is responsible for coming up with discussion questions. Try watching juicy episodic dramas with plenty to dissect, like The Crown or Narcos. Find a cultured coffee shop to house your meetings, or if you host at peoples' homes, create the atmosphere by offering coffee and pastry, and playing soft jazz in the background.

Party Hearty: Invite a variety of energetic friends, colleagues, family and neighbors. The more, the merrier! Try a more laidback approach for selecting material—first come first serve! Let the discussion be organic, no need for study questions here. Try watching entertaining 30-minute dramedies like Glow, or interesting comedy specials like Hannah Gadsby: Nanette. Meet at a bar or tavern, or if you're hosting at home, make it BYOB and serve a variety of chips and finger foods.

I Need More Show Suggestions!

Out of ideas? Check out this article for the best new limited series to watch. Looking for laughs? Try one of these great comedy suggestions. Or perhaps you're looking for new drama to sink your teeth into. Last but not least, ask your friends! Nothing beats a personal recommendation when it comes to your next TV binge.

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