ByTom Chapman, writer at
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Tom Chapman

We have all been there...those lonely Bridget Jones evenings, where you grab a tub of Ben & Jerry's and while away the evening watching 'just one more' of that must-watch show. There appears to be some science behind the system, as streaming giant Netflix knows exactly which episode got you addicted to your favourite series — and have revealed some of their finding. How long did it take you to dream of McDreamy, or go bonkers for Barb?

Image: Netflix
Image: Netflix

Netflix has pinpointed the exact moment when audiences went from 'casual viewers' to 'hardcore binge-watchers' for each of their series. It looks like it only takes us 2-4 episodes to catch the binge-watching bug for most shows; which is hardly surprising, given the calibre of shows the platform is currently offering. Research conducted looked at member's viewing habits from January last year until August this year - taking into account over 30 countries and shows. To define 'being hooked', the episode had to be the one that kept 70% of viewers watching the rest of the first season - Netflix's research states:

Netflix discovered viewing behavior - and fandom - is quite universal. Regardless of whether they live in Argentina or Japan, members are not only getting hooked on similar episodes, but identifying with similar storylines.

Image: FX
Image: FX

It was good news for gruesome shows like Scream and American Horror Story, whose sense of mystery had us hooked by Episode 4. AHS's petrifying Halloween special ('Halloween, Part 1') lured us in, whilst Barb vs. the Demogorgon ('The Weirdo on Maple Street') from Stranger Things solidified us for the rest of the season. However, for romantic slow burners like Jane the Virgin and Gilmore Girls, it took a full seven episodes for audiences to become hooked. It isn't just our obsession with the macabre that keeps our attention; love also seemed to be a key factor. We became avid viewers of Grey's Anatomy after Meredith locked lips with McDreamy in Episode 2 ('The First Cut Is the Deepest'), and fell for Rory's first kiss in Gilmore Girls Episode 7 ('Kiss and Tell').

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Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix said:

We've always known there is a commonality to great stories...The hooked findings give us confidence that there is an appetite for original and unique content, which is why we're excited to deliver variety in stories to our members, whether they're political dramas from France or musical dramas from the Bronx.


From political corruption in Narcos, to the smouldering tension of Prison Break, it is clear that our tastes of Netflix shows are certainly varied! The research shows that none of us need to feel guilty about our Netflix obsessions — people worldwide are going crazy for TV marathons. Phew — just when we worried we would die alone, surrounded by cats, it look that we're not the only ones who just can't stop gorging on Grey's! Just Netflix...and chill.

What are you watching at the moment on Netflix? Let us know in the comments — and if Stranger Things is your 'Netflix and chill' show of choice, check out our VFX breakdown below!


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