Top Stories
Top Stories

Meet the man who set a Guinness World Record for binge-watching

Getty Images

It's one thing to binge watch three episodes of a show in one sitting. It's another to devour an entire season in a day.

But Alejandro "AJ" Fragoso is on an entirely different level. In April, the 25-year old from Brooklyn set a Guinness World Record by binge watching shows for 94 consecutive hours.

"Towards the end, my brain was struggling to comprehend a lot of what we were watching," he admits. "The slower episodes, with not a lot going on were easier for me to digest. It was around the beginning of the final day that I tried to watch 'Better Call Saul' ... but I was so out of it, I was having trouble piecing together what I was watching."

While psychologists are split on the pros and cons of binge watching — and no long-term studies have yet been published — everyone (including Fragoso) would probably agree 94 hours is a bit ludicrous.

But if you think watching that much in a row might turn someone off of the concept of binge watching altogether, think again.

"I'm definitely doing it with less frequency, but a few weeks ago, I plowed through 'Silicon Valley' in a weekend," says Fragoso. "I have no regrets."

Like a lot of millennials and Generation Z, Fragoso says he prefers to watch shows at his own pace, rather than one that's dictated by a network executive, but he says that's not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes, waiting for a season to wrap up before sitting down to watch it can cost social capital — or worse, ruin some of the surprises.

For that reason, Fragoso says there are some programs — like "Game of Thrones" — he considers "must watch live". But if it doesn't have a big buzz factor (and he's not likely to stumble upon spoilers), he's content to wait.

"I'm waiting for "The Night Of" [on HBO] to wrap up," he says. "My roommate watches it and I've almost got sucked in a couple times, but I think I'd rather save that whole thing for a boring Saturday."

Saturdays and Sundays are when Fragoso says he does most of his binge watching. During the week, he has a rule of watching just one episode per night (though he admits to breaking that rule for Netflix's "Stranger Things").

And when he watches, he watches. Nothing else. Rather than multitasking as many binge watchers do, he says he prefers to focus on the entertainment in front of him. Sometimes that's on the couch, but just as frequently, it's sitting at his desk at home, watching on his desktop computer. Despite his world record and title of the binge watching king, however, he says, he doesn't try to sneak in shows while on the job at iOS developer Fuzz.

But back to that 94 hours... It turns out Fragoso kind of stumbled into his world record. A friend was organizing the PR campaign for the record and needed someone to help out. Fragoso half-jokingly said he could do it — and before he knew it, he was committed.

Training for the feat wasn't done in front of the TV. Instead, it was done in the kitchen.

"I tried to detox by eating a lot of fruit and drinking a lot of water," he says. "I stopped drinking coffee and got regular sleep in the week or two leading up to the event. I wanted my body to be in as healthy a state as it could be, because I knew at the end it would be destroyed."

Destroyed might be a bit of exaggeration, but it certainly took its toll.

"I can still remember it as feeling miserable, very much like you're in a fog," he says of the end of the marathon binge. "It took a little while for my body to slow down. I has been forcing myself to stay awake for the past four days, so my body was still in that zone. I had to break down the walls I had build up the past several days."

When he finally managed to fall asleep, he says, he stayed that way for 12 hours, after which he woke up, had some food and a celebratory beer.

Then he promptly went back to sleep for another 12 hours. There was nothing on TV anyway.

Coming Sept. 6 on "Binge," Carl Quintanilla talks with Morgan Freeman and his producing partner, Lori McCreary, about how Trump vs. Clinton has changed Hollywood.