When in doubt, fall back on the viewing habits of 86 million other users.
Binge watching a TV show is a big deal for me. I stock up on popcorn, chocolate and wine. I cocoon myself in a clean Snuggie and make sure that I’ve cleared my schedule for the rest of the weekend. But when I hit “play” on the final episode of a super absorbing series, I always have the same dark thought: What happens when the show is over?
Thankfully, new research from Netflix answers that question in the best way possible. The streaming service analyzed the viewing data of over 86 million users in more than 190 countries, and announced its findings on Wednesday.
One of the revelations that emerged from Netflix’s data diggers was this: 36% of subscribers — or about 31 million people — are in the habit of taking a break to watch a movie or documentary before they dive into another (addictive) TV show.
This trend makes sense, if you ask me. After an emotional series, I need a breather before beginning the next one. Luckily, Netflix published a list of exactly which films people most often paired with today’s popular shows. The result is a truly handy little guide for anyone who needs to unwind after gorging on an intense TV series.
For example, when you’re done with the grisly crime drama “Breaking Bad,” what are you going to do? Netflix said most people shifted from “Breaking Bad” to “Pulp Fiction,” another macabre crime drama, but one that’s a lot funnier than “Breaking Bad,” in case you need the take the edge off after indulging in dozens of hours of Vince Gilligan’s meth-addled mania.
Indulging in a light-hearted movie after bingeing on an intense TV show is common, Netflix found. For example, those who watched a full season of the creepy-paranormal cultseries “Stranger Things” moved over to “Zootopia” afterwards, which more than anything may signal just how disturbing “Stranger Things” is.
On the other hand, fans of the women’s-prison drama “Orange is the New Black” watched the Oscar-winning financial drama “The Big Short” afterwards. The fact that both stories attempt to make sense of real-world social problems by applying a healthy dose of dark humor may explain this somewhat-unlikely pairing.
Here are some of the other popular “binge pairings,” according to Netflix researchers.
The chart doesn’t show this, but if you’re more the documentary type, Netflix published some interesting pairings in that category, too. Fans of the excellent but bleak British satire “Black Mirror” for example, continued their dark-side-of-technology streak with “Hot Girls Wanted,” a documentary following the lives of 18- and 19-year-old internet porn stars that premiered last year at Sundance.
Now when I’m about to emerge from a totally immersive TV-watching experience, there’s no need to be anxious about the future. “Sixteen Candles” and “The Princess Bride” are always there for me.