Everyone talks about the social power of TV – but the ways it can change us as individuals are often overlooked, says Kate Holman
Whether it’s the spike in sales of canned Marks & Spencer gin and tonic or Google searches of priests – both inspired by season two of Fleabag – never underestimate TV’s power to influence people’s behaviour. Yet, sometimes, it is the smallest detail of a TV series that can effect a change in someone’s life.
Joining Netflix’s host of original podcasts, storytelling series Because I Watched looks back through the screen of the latest binge-watch and into the lives of viewers at home.
Each episode tells a touching real-life story about how a specific Netflix series has had a lasting impact on someone’s life.
It could be plucking up the courage to do stand-up comedy after being inspired by Grace and Frankie’s Lily Tomlin or breaking down prejudices via diverse stories or people depicted on shows such as Queer Eye.
The fortnightly podcast turns the attention on the viewer, as a star from each of the chosen series narrates one fan’s personal journey triggered by their favourite TV show.
Because I Watched features familiar voices such as Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk. He details a mother’s slow acceptance of same-sex parenting.
In another edition, Helena Bonham Carter recounts how The Crown (in series 3 she plays Princess Margaret) brought together two sisters living on opposite sides of the world.
Laugh and cry your way through the personal stories of acceptance, love, heartbreak, friendship and sisterhood from all over the world.
From crime dramas to comedies, the podcasts highlight the unexpected ways that TV impacts on our lives. Have a listen. You never know, it may encourage you to reflect on the ways your favourite show has made a lasting difference to your own life.