Go Binge is the service that lets you binge-watch your favourite shows to your heart's content. But the question is, what will you be watching? Turns out, 34.5% of those in the UK are all about the comedies: shows that make them laugh, then laugh some more, and then laugh again. Until their sides hurt. Who can blame 'em? According to science, watching comedies is good for us, too. So next time you're thinking about the gym, maybe just tune into an ep of The Big Bang Theory instead? Worth a try we think...

People always say that laughter is the best medicine (other than that utterly delicious sticky-pink Calpol those lucky under-6s are always glugging), but what does that really mean? Is laughter actually good for us or do we just like laughing more than crying because wrinkles are far less offensive than puffy eyes?

Ever the investigators, we’ve made it our mission to find out. You may know us as the mobile experts and the travelling-abroad-with-your-phone-and-not-having-to-pay-any-roaming-charges experts, but we’ve also become experts on your other favourite thing: watching TV.

We recently went around the UK, chatting to thousands of you about your TV prefs for a project we’ve named the Binge Files. And we found out pretty much everything there is to know about how, where, when and why you like to consume the shows you do.

Thanks to a clever little thing we came up with called Go Binge, it’s easier than ever to watch TV and listen to your favourite tunes. We’ve partnered with Netflix, TVPlayer, SoundCloud and Deezer to bring you non-stop entertainment – without eating into your monthly data plan.

Now, back to those funny bones. Comedy feels like light entertainment, but it’s often so much more than that: watching the underdog triumph, being able to laugh out loud at situations deemed totally inappropriate in polite society and putting our own  issues into perspective, even helping us to realise that we can overcome the obstacles in our path. Here’s what we discovered about why comedy continues to dominate our screens…

 

 

No matter what we might pretend to others, we’re really just watching comedies most of the time

Sure, we all claim to be fans of The Wire, obsessed by The Sopranos, intense and avid watchers of Breaking Bad, Gomorrah, Narcos… But when push comes to shove, if you looked over our shoulder on the train to see what we were actually watching, chances are, it wouldn’t be any of the above.

In fact, we’d bet it was something more along the lines of Orange is the New Black, Gilmore Girls, Arrested Development, Friends from College and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We are a nation of comedy lovers. Don’t believe it? 34.5% of you told us your binge-watching shows of choice are comedies.

Science backs up the benefits of comedy: studies have shown that laughter can help boost your immune system, reduce anxiety and fear and help to increase blood flow, even linking laughter to healthy blood vessel function. Which basically means that laughing while watching a funny show or movie can lower your blood pressure in the same way as physical activity. Which begs the question: why should we ever bother to work out again when we can just binge-watch a series of Seinfeld instead?

16-24 year-olds can’t stop watching this 90s classic…

One show kept coming up as a firm fan favourite as we went from county to county, chatting to you about how mobile streaming has changed the way you watch television – even though it made its original TV debut over 2 decades ago. Friends. Yep, we’re still totally hooked on this cult comedy and the antics of Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey.

Interestingly, the people most into Friends don’t belong to the 30-40 brigade, who grew up watching the show in its original form, on the television (Remember those days? When you had to wait a week to watch the next episode? Ha!)

Nope, Friends is the top-rated show for 16-24 year-olds. Aside from the obvious hilariousness of the show, we’re thinking they must be utterly fascinated by a world in which people just sat in cafes talking to each other. In. Real. Life. Instead of communicating primarily via WhatsApp. It’s a totally compelling history lesson for them.

BTW, when 16-24 year-olds aren’t watching friends, they spend their screen time watching short online video clips and dreaming of how to turn themselves into vloggers.

Comedies are our breakfast of choice

Breakfast is no longer just about whether to enjoy avocado and poached egg on toast or indulge in a bowl of Coco Pops. It’s about what you’re going to be watching before you shower, as the backdrop to getting ready for work and en route to your office each day.

According to research undertaken by our favourite streaming service, Netflix, viewers like to start their day with shows like Fuller House, The Office and Friends, with members 34% more likely to watch them in the morning (as opposed to later on in the day). We get it: comedies are the perfect antidote to your unpleasant commute or drag of a morning, especially if you’re dreading the workday ahead.

And the best comedies ever are…

We’re pretty skilful binge-watchers ourselves, so if you’re looking for some fab old and new comedies to get you started in your quest to binge-watch more shows, we’re here to help. In no particular order, watch all of these. Even if it means skipping 3 months of work to make it happen…

Arrested Development

Seinfeld

Curb Your Enthusiasm

The Office (UK and US)

30 Rock 

Parks & Recreation

Friends

The Thick of It

Peep Show

Community

Louie

The Simpsons

Modern Family (early seasons)

The In-Betweeners

I Love Lucy

Fresh Meat