Happy Marathoning Holidays

Image from healthkick.com

During the winter holidays the television networks like the fact that you’re off from work, often near food-coma status, and tired of hearing that same story your uncle tells you every year about the time he ran the Philadelphia marathon and had to drive himself the four hours home because his support person (your grandmother) popped a few Percocet and fell asleep in the car. (Are these conversations unique to my family?) In any case, during the holidays, you likely have free time, you don’t want to move, and conversations may have grown stale. Television networks know that you are a prime target for media marathoning.

With this scholarly project, we are focused largely on user-generated marathons (marathons initiated by viewers/readers because of a particular interest in a text). However, producer-generated marathons (those sponsored by the networks or the theaters) are important in the scope of marathoning. Producer-generated marathons are at once a sign that marathoning is a prominent trend and also a possible gateway drug for new marathoners. News outlets are even promoting marathoning by giving you a comprehensive list of the films and shows available.

CNN’s list of holiday marathons includes many of our commonly marathoned texts, the quality of which give viewers faith that they will have an enjoyable experience. (The Godfather and Godfather II even crack the American Film Institute’s top 40.) The producer-sponsored marathons also pave the way for franchises to make more money. It isn’t a coincidence that the Bond movies are on the TV marathon list just as Skyfall was released. The Lord of the Rings theater marathons are also on their way next week, just prior to the release of The Hobbit.

I am definitely seeing The Hobbit in December, but I can’t handle a one-day theatrical marathon of Lord of the Rings at this stage in my life. I really thought I wouldn’t marathon again for another few years. However, Josh and I have recently gotten hooked on the BBC television novel Downton Abbey (destined to be the subject of an upcoming blog post). I would like to say the Thanksgiving holiday helped us marathon, but we were actually busier than usual that week. This is exactly what a good show/film series/book series will do for you–call you away from your regular obligations. Sometimes the producers call to us with their marathons and sometimes the text speaks directly to us.

Did any holiday marathons call you away from your regular obligations? Did any marathons call you away from that same conversation you have every year with your uncle? If so, let us know. 




8 thoughts on “Happy Marathoning Holidays

  1. My cousins, my uncle, and I talked Game of Thrones for a while after Thanksgiving dinner was over. As my aunt and mother cleaned up ( they never let anyone else help) we got on the topic of GOT. My cousin was reading one of the books on the couch and the show got brought up. This conversation then spiraled into an hour long youtube video marathon of watching funny parodies of GOT scenes with my cousins and uncle. In addition, I recently started watching Sex and the City. I cannot believe I had never tried to watch the show before, but I put off many many obligations to watch it. I got thought three seasons in three days… marathoners guilt hit me. I even left late to leave for Syracuse because I needed to finish season 3 on HBOgo.

  2. I have a huge extended family, so holiday’s lead to many odd outlets for conversation. Though my family does’y really marathon anything other than the “God Father” series I did see some marathoning senarios going on during the holiday. Football is a major part of my families lives, especially being that I’m only 1 of 5 girls in my entire family, so there are a lot of men around the house. I found that all of my uncles and cousins were sitting around the big screen rooting for teams they didn’t even particularly like, they were just watching it because it was on. Meanwhile, I found myself re-marathoning “Sex and the City” episodes as well as the two movies that were playing all weekend long. I find myself re-marathoning most when I am sleepy and knowing I am going to fall asleep, that way I’m not missing out on any new information because I’ve already seen it a million times. Same goes for Harry Potter. Earlier in the week there was a Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family that of course I had to watch. Though it wasn’t a re-marathon because I was going in and out of watching and using it as background noise, it was still on!

  3. I haven’t done any marathoning in quite some time. This post. (in my opion) was very interesting and well written I might add!
    Good job Lisa.

  4. My family has traditions that revolve around watching holiday shows. I guess it would be considered a different form of marathoning since most of the shows we watch are not related, but have a general theme of Christmas. My mom and I always watch a Christmas movie every night on ABC Family up until Christmas day. On Christmas Eve night, all 13 of my cousins and I will sit in my grandma’s living room and watch 3 or 4 movies in a row, which every year always involve both Elf and The Grinch. Although it is not a film from the same series, one could consider this “holiday marathoning” because we are watching movies that coincide with the Holiday theme. As a big family, we have many discussions while watching these movies, it is hard not to when my cousins interrupt the movie and say “I love this movie, who’s your favorite character?” almost every 20 minutes during a film.

  5. There are always a lot of movies released around the holidays that I am eager to see. This year, I am looking forward to seeing the adaptations of Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina. Hopefully, I’ll see these movies during winter break, but in order to prepare I have started reading the books. That is what distracted me the most during Thanksgiving. I finished the assigned homework over break, but it was really hard pulling myself away from Pat’s adventures and general dysfunction in Silver Linings. I was so immersed in the novel, I genuinely did not want to anything but read. This is a general pattern in November and December; there are movies that I really want to see, and I prepare before actually going to them. I don’t always read novels in preparation, but I always look up reviews, trailers and interviews with the actors. It’s my way of tiding myself over until I actually get to see the films. Somehow, this always manages to take my attention away from finals and the last week of classes. During this season, marathoning tends to take precedent over final exams.

  6. My family and I were actually late to Thanksgiving dinner this year. Appetizers were being served at my aunt’s house as we were still in our living room, glued to the TV watching the Godfather! We have all seen these movies more than once but we can never tear ourselves away once it’s on TV. I blame this not only on the networks but on our bloodline as well–Italian-American’s tend to feel an intense connection to the storyline. It reminds us of our history as a culture which resonates even more during the holidays.

    My cousin’s daughter, who is twelve I might add, made them leave Thanksgiving dinner early so that she could get home to watch the marathon of Castle that was airing. She put her foot down and explained that she was only willing to miss two hours of the thirteen hour marathon. The networks are even getting the younger ones!

  7. I did a little marathoning over the break, I watched Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery. I love true crime shows, I think I may have an obsession with them. I don’t have to think when I watch them because there is no complexity and it’s the truth. My husband hates that I watch them and always tells me, “don’t get any ideas”..lol.

  8. Pingback: On a Downton Train | Media Marathoning

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