Hi, Hey, Hello!
So, fair warning this is the most ridiculous first world problem thing ever. Seriously, I am not pretending that this is an actual issue, but it is a thing that has been swirling around in my head for days.
Now, if the title hasn’t given it away, this is about my good old friend ‘the binge watch’ and why it is the worst best thing ever (told you, first world problem).
I love ’em. They got me through procrastination sessions (aka my entire life) at uni. They got me through that whole stretch of unemployment. They get me through weekends. And I hate them.
They do this thing where (and I am talking mainly Netflix here, which is important for this paragraph) the show makes you think that you have an out. You can just click ‘back to browse’ and then get back to your life. Except for the fact that 15 seconds isn’t long enough. It is barely enough time to take a deep breath and digest what you have just finished watching before you are flung back into the story.
And then at some point, you are flung out of it permanently and just left to pick up the pieces of the rest of your life that you have put off while you paid attention to nothing but your screen of choice. Which is the worst part. The worst, worst part. Like how am I supposed to carry on with my life when all I have known for hours was this show?? What even is real life at that point? Seriously?
It’s fine when you’re watching a comedy or something frothy and frilly, but not when you are watching anything else. I finished Making a Murderer TWO weeks ago now and it is still messing with my head. There is still this one episode of Daredevil that haunts me waves and I finished that in APRIL. I wait each year, and have done for 3 years now, with bated breath for Orange is the New Black to come back because I crave it so much after I’ve blitzed it in a weekend. I watched so much Buffy that I hit a wall with and still have 2 and a half seasons left, but I still made my way through 5 and a half seasons in a matter of weeks (I should also really hop back on that train, because I love that show and also I hit this wall in 2014…). I watched the first episode of Breaking Bad at the worst possible time (it was exam season) and had to actually move far away from my laptop after that to avoid just blitzing through all 5 seasons in one go.
Guess what I still did anyway?
Yuh huh (it’s fine, nothing terrible happened to me academically and I witnessed greatness. True television greatness).
Apart from this one episode of Cucumber that happened to me about a year ago now and that episode of Game of Thrones things watched a weekly (or thereabouts) pace don’t mess with my life so much. Even the truly great television doesn’t actually haunt my life when I am just trying to go about my business (but seriously this one episode of Cucumber really does mess with me still, it was horrifying. Brilliant, but horrifying). I have spent the time since finish Making a Murderer just thinking about it all the time (and no I am not about spoil it). When I’m not focused on work or writing I am pretty much trying to figure out my thoughts on the whole thing.
Reading my book on the train the other day I actually read the same sentence about a million times I was so lost in my thoughts about the matter. Walking to get my lunch? Thinking about it. Loading the dishwasher and cleaning the coffee machine? Thinking about it. Little periods of silence in a conversation? Thinking about it.
The only thing I think that would be worse than watching all 10 episodes in one go and then being haunted by it is not watching all 10 episodes in one go and being haunted by it for a completely different reason. Because that’s the catch right?
That’s the catch with binge watching. When it’s all there right in front of you. All the episodes you could possibly imagine just at the touch of your fingertips, waiting for you to press play and then never press stop. Until it’s done. And life starts happening again.
And even if you’re good and you stop after one of two episodes, if it’s something that is happening to the world around you, then you’re gonna be haunted by it. You’re gonna not want people to talk about it because you’re not there yet and you don’t want it ruined for you. And then you’re gonna accidentally carve out your time and finish it before you know just so someone doesn’t Sixth Sense you (I know how that goes, is there any point in me watching it?).
Then enter some kind of weird cycle.
That is entered in to multiple times. For some strange reason.
Actually no, it’s not weird, the possibility of discovering great television is thrilling. And getting to immerse yourself totally in that world, good or bad, is one of the greatest pleasures in life.
So it’s the worst thing ever, because it consumes your life and makes you lose days and has become THE greatest method of procrastination ever. But then also it’s the best thing.
(I honestly don’t know what the point of this was, you just witnessed me thinking out loud with a keyboard underneath my fingertips.)
Parentheses count: 10. See you tomorrow!
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