Joss Whedon has made shows people love to binge-watch on Netflix — from “Buffy” to “Firefly” — but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
Whedon, who of late has directed blockbuster films like “The Avengers,” decried the “all-at-once” release model for TV in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“I would not want to do it,” Whedon said of a Netflix-style full-season release on one day. “I would want people to come back every week and have the experience of watching something at the same time. We released ‘Doctor Horrible’ in three acts. We did that, in part, because I grew up watching miniseries like ‘Lonesome Dove.’ I loved event television. And as it was falling by the wayside, I thought, ‘Let’s do it on the internet!’ Over the course of that week, the conversation about the show changed and changed. That was exciting to watch.”
Whedon gave the caveat that Netflix is making a ton of “extraordinary stuff,” and that if Netflix threw a bunch of money at him to make his dream project, he wouldn’t reject it out of hand. But still, his preference is for a weekly release. And he worries that in the era of binge-watching, people don’t take time to really breathe and understand what happened in a given episode.
If shows are made for binge-watching, there is a sense of narrative that is lost. “It loses its power, and we lose something with it,” he said of binge-watching. “We lose our understanding of narrative. Which is what we come to television for.”
But Whedon will live, even in a totally binge-centric world.
“If that’s how people want it, I’d still work just as hard,” he said. “I’ll adapt.”