Emmy Round Table

Drama: Is binge-watching a blessing or a curse? Actors say both.

Drama: Is binge-watching a blessing or a curse? This group of actors says it's both

The days of eagerly waiting a full week to watch the next episode of your favorite TV series are over. With the slate of content platforms available these days, you can consume every episode of every season of just about every show in one sitting.

That availability has changed more than audience viewing habits. It also has affected how series are written and presented. Shows are no longer viewed as multiple self-contained hourlong episodes; they've become something more akin to a single 12-hour film. 

And that's just how the actors who joined us for the annual Envelope Emmy Drama Roundtable like it. We gathered Alan Cumming ("The Good Wife"),  Taraji P. Henson ("Empire"), Felicity Huffman ("American Crime"), Michael Sheen ("Masters of Sex") and Sissy Spacek ("Bloodline") to share their thoughts on the new binge-watching culture — and got a mixed response.

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The actors concluded binge-watching was much more convenient than trying to keep up-to-date with a show on a busy schedule, but some wondered if doing so takes away from the excitement and social aspect of anticipating the next installment.

"Having the gap is really important in a way for social media people to exchange their ideas," said Sheen.

The break between episodes creates conversation among the audience. As people eagerly wait to see what happens, they engage with others and share their thoughts on social media sites like Twitter.

"If everyone just watched it in one go, they wouldn’t have that opportunity in a way," continued Sheen.

Cumming took an opposing stance when he explained that social media actually can take away from the viewing experience.

See what else they had to say in the video above and check back soon for more clips from The Envelope's conversation with drama show stars and for other Emmy conversations.

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