Updated March 2021 after original publication
MLT: What show inspired you to start Binge + Cringe?
JJ: The Affair, a Showtime series. It was 2015, and I’d just sold my business (I’m a recovering publicist). I was fried, depressed and up at night. Someone told me about The Affair, and I started watching it. I wanted to discuss it, so I posted on Facebook. Other people commented, and that’s how it started.
MLT: What are the demographics of the group’s members?
MLT: What are members’ all-time favorite shows?
JJ: Homeland, Game of Thrones, Schitt’s Creek, The Crown and Money Heist have been very popular.
MLT: Please share your thoughts on the Real Housewives phenomenon.
JJ: It’s socially acceptable voyeurism—and there’s the appeal of the revenge-redemption arcs. People hate each other, then love each other. With Housewives, there’s always a chance for a happy ending.
MLT: Has the group grown since the pandemic started?
JJ: Tremendously. We’re up 97 percent since March 2020. We’ve gone from 1,200 engagements to 2,400 engagements.
MLT: What have been the most popular shows and movies of the COVID era?
JJ: The Undoing, The Queen’s Gambit and Season 3 of Ozark were huge hits. I can tell you a movie no one liked: Wonder Woman 1984. I’ve never seen people rip apart a movie like that.
MLT: What are your top picks?
JJ: The Undoing was phenomenal. I loved The Morning Show. Then, it’s a tie between Schitt’s Creek and Below Deck (both the Mediterranean version and the original). I have a thing for Capt. Lee. My husband doesn’t mind.