Friday Debate – How focused are you when watching a movie or TV series?

3 min read

Multi-tasking is a silly gimmick. It’s inefficient and a waste of time except for the most basic of tasks that don’t require any real attention paid to them in the first place. By not giving your full attention to a task that requires it you run a far greater risk of making mistakes or missing things you shouldn’t, and watching a movie or TV series is serious business damn it!

We’re all used to sitting quietly in a movie theatre and focusing on the movie we’ve paid eleventy three and seven Nkandlas to watch. We’ve also all got the horror stories about that person who starts playing with their phone, or the one who struggles to open a packet of sweets for what seems like forever, or who can’t eat their popcorn quietly and slurps noisy on their cool drink every chance they get. I like to call that person Nick.

These days we’re spending far more time watching our favourite entertainment in the comfort of our own homes (hi Netflix!) where there are even more distractions around and we don’t need to feel the slightest bit guilty about hauling out our phones.

However the rise of the so-called prestige drama on TV has provided us with far more intricately plotted and acted series, some of which revel in subtlety and foreshadowing; and sometimes it’s not what the characters say or do, but what they don’t, that clues you in to their character’s motivations and plans.

Blink, as they say, and you’ll miss it. And heaven forbid you tell me something didn’t make sense and I find out that you were doing something else at the time it was explained.

Read  Friday Debate – Freddy totally won in Freddy vs Jason

My feelings on the matter should be fairly obvious (unless you didn’t actually read anything I just wrote which proves my point), but how about you?

Do you focus exclusively on what you’re watching, will you have a conversation on your phone while watching something, or is the whole thing just playing in the background while you’re doing something else – quickly turning to look when something happens? Tell us in the comments below!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Critical Hit as an organisation.

Last Updated: April 28, 2017

  • TJames47

    100% Focus on what I am watching. The bachelor life is still pretty good to me.

  • Original Heretic

    Depends on the series or movie. If it’s something I really enjoy, I demand quiet and no distractions. Like when I watch Dr Who, before I start watching, I say to my wife,” I’m about to watch Dr Who. What does this mean?”
    She responds with “I don’t talk to you unless the child is on fire.”

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      That’s not what I’d say if I were your wife.

      One reason among many many many reasons you should be very grateful I’m not your wife. 😀

      • Original Heretic

        She says that, but then she talks anyway.

        And believe me, trust me, HEAR what I am saying (even though you’re only reading it), I am ALREADY very grateful that you’re not my wife.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          You don’t mean that.

          • Original Heretic

            Do I have to use smaller words in order for you to believe?
            If that won’t work, what will?

  • Admiral Chief

    100% focus

  • Admiral Chief


    • Hammersteyn

      Innorite? As I was typing I saw one new comment above appear, I nearly stopped typing to read it.

  • Hammersteyn

    Depends on the series, most comedy series, like Two and a Half men(when it was still good) the basic plot and the characters stays the same for the most part week in and out, but with a series like GOT anything can happen at any time so you need to focus 150%

    Then again, who has time to watch series and play games at night? I don’t

  • Dresden

    Seems people are too focused on watching their series to voice their opinion on this article.

    • Original Heretic

      Or they’re away on an adventure, in an adventurous place. Like where I wanna be now instead of AT THE BLOODY OFFICE.

      • I feel your pain. Just walked out of a meeting I could not reschedule. Going to pack up and go home right after I eat my lunch and have a coffee.

        • Original Heretic

          Lucky bastard, at least you get to go home soon. I’m stuck until end of the day.

          • Dresden

            Same here. And the fun doesn’t there, I have to work the whole weekend 🙁

          • Original Heretic

            Oi vey! I’m not in that boat, at least.
            I have a fun-filled weekend of garden chores, house clean up and pool maintenance ahead of me.
            Woo hoo….

          • Dresden

            Cheers to menial house work on a long weekend. HUZZAH!

  • Captain JJ

    Unless it’s something brainless like a comedy soap like How I met your mother or the like, I tend to be quite focused on it.

    • Original Heretic

      My wife loves Ghost Adventures. She asked me last night “doesn’t this stuff scare you?” “Not anymore,” was my reply.
      After seeing the same shit over and over again, one tends to become desensitized.
      Hence, while she watches it, no focus required.

      • Captain JJ

        Yea. My wife also loved that show 😀

        • Original Heretic

          The lead presenter cracks me up. He looks like the high school nerd who bugged up and then starts acting macho, but inside he’s still just a little girl trying to get out.

          We call him….
          the Bagginsssesss!

    • But why would you watch trash like HIMYM?

      • Captain JJ

        I had to mention something people do watch, and I got to call it brainless. I never actually watched it myself XD

  • Magoo

    I recently binged The Office, and for the most part played Pixel Puzzels on my second monitor (a literal puzzle game) while I watched. I was able to listen to 100% and watch 50% of it. Similarly, sometimes when doing tedious work at my office I listen to Family Guy episodes on my phone (all of which I have already watched before.) That is, listening 100% and watching 0%.

    That said, when it comes to something like Avatar or Arrival, the immersion really counts. Distractions of any kind are not welcome.

  • Sageville

    That cartoon is literally me and the missus watching any Star Wars….

    • Original Heretic

      I can relate….

    • Your missus has great taste in movies then

    • Hammersteyn


  • Subbed anime … no. Stuff I have not watched …. no. Stuff I am rewatching … hell yes. I often play Wow on one screen and rewatch South Park on another. Or yesterday I watched Bill Nye saves the world on netflix and could not do anything else as I was engrossed.

  • Matthew Figueira

    I must pay 100% attention. The moment I look at my phone to read a message I end up rewinding to catch that 10 seconds I missed XD

  • I choose to be single so I don’t have to have my show ruined by an idiot asking me what’s happening. Unless Trevor is visiting of course…

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