Freeform’s Beyond premiered Monday, but viewers don’t need to wait a week to see the next episode. In a new twist to compete with streaming services, the network made the entire 10-episode first season available On Demand, meaning fans can binge-watch the whole thing. But is that such a good idea?
Shows like Stranger Things on Netflix have made binge-watching a way of life for some TV viewers, but that’s not necessarily the best way to enjoy every show. While Beyond does have an enigmatic mythology, it’s still designed as an episode series, not one continuous story.
Beyond is a slowly unfolding mystery, which makes waiting each week for a new episode the right approach for viewing. Every episode offers a few more clues to the bigger mythology as Holden struggles to understand where he’s been for the last 12 years in a coma and what’s happening to him in the present. If you’re impatient and just want answers, then by all means, binge-watch the whole series to find out what’s going on.
But that might actually leave you unsatisfied. Beyond may be more about the journey than the destination, so rushing to the end for answers isn’t how it should be watched. Holden is just as confused as the audience is about what’s happening to him. Who is the Man in the Yellow Jacket? What are his new powers and where has he been? These aren’t questions with instantaneous answers, so instead of binging, you can follow along every week.
Perhaps the best reason to wait until each Monday for a new episode of Beyond is simply the lack of quality television on Monday nights. Between The Bachelor, The New Celebrity Apprentice and the CBS line-up of sitcoms that range from mediocre to terrible, Beyond, as well as Shadowhunters, makes Freeform a network that offers something interesting and thoughtful.
If you watched the two-hour premiere of Beyond, you can definitely spend six hours binge-watching the rest of season 1. But instead, why not wait? As we learned from the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, it’s better to have big rewards later than immediate gratification right now.
Beyond airs Mondays at 9/8c on Freeform.
(Image courtesy of Freeform)