Addicted to TV: A Binge Watcher's Confession

I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to TV. Whew. Yes, I am and I know it’s been brewing for a while, but it’s become all the more clearer this month. The last half of February and these early weeks of March found your dear, sweet author suffering from a horrendous chest cold, followed by a back spasm. I know. It was a painful time and I still have an annoying residual cough. So, what did I turn to while I was willing my body to heal? None other than Netflix, who may or may not be my significant other, considering the amount of time we’ve been spending together.

So, not only am I addicted to TV – I know so many of us are – but I’m addicted to all-at-once, on demand, viewing. I am a binge watcher. I blew through House of Cards in less than a week once I really sat down and got into it. Then over this past week, I watched three whole seasons of another show that will remain nameless to avoid embarrassment. THREE SEASONS! Granted, the first was only 13 episodes…but…. Even I’m impressed. Back when I was in school, I devoured all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in record time – something like 3 months – all while juggling a heavy course load (we did happen to have an inordinate amount of snow days during the semester, and I did only have classes on 2. 1/2 days a week, but impressive nonetheless).

The same can be said for the way my roommate and I blew through three seasons of Dexter on demand in the two weeks before the fourth premiered, or the way I hungrily caught up on five seasons of Weeds (before it got too weird) during the summer I spent in Boston catching up on credits at school. And then there’s the epic viewing of Game of Thrones that occurred last March. Seasons 1 and half of 2 were no match for my viewing skills. Oh, and have I mentioned Downton Abbey yet? Because, the Crawleys and I were the best of friends when I caught season 1 on Netflix, then was lucky enough to catch a marathon of the season 2 episodes that had aired so far the next weekend, bringing me up to speed to being regular, weekly, viewing.

I might be making it sound like I have 1- no life and 2- do nothing but watch TV, but that is hardly the case. Not only am I spending my days interning, I also have time for the gym (when I’m not sick on the couch), dinner outings with friends, weekend shopping activities…I have a life, I just also have a love affair with episodic TV. I mean, come on, even Portlandia picked up on it – check it out for yourself (Portlandia also happens to be a show I watched all at once….)

What I love about on-demand TV and Netflix, is that all the past seasons/episodes are there for the taking. You can literally fall into the void and just keep hitting ‘next episode’. I love it because it really lets me immerse myself in the world the writers and actors are creating. Game of Thrones was amazing when I could just keep watching, chapter by chapter, and really feel like I was in Westeros. Dexter’s twisted mind games were so much fun to fall into when we didn’t have to wait week to week to see how he was going to wrangle out of his close calls. I’ve heard Homeland is amazing to binge watch, but I was lucky enough to have Showtime when it began and was hooked from the beginning. Trust me, waiting that week in between episodes was torture (see what I did there….).

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  • Kendra Lewis

    Another binge-watcher! Yes! My favorites have been Parks & Rec, Walking Dead, 24 (!!!) (Best show to binge-watch EVER in my opinion), UNITED STATES OF TARA, The Office, Revenge, Doctor Who

    As well as a few you mentioned. Oh, TV. I have a problem, but I have accepted it.

  • Michelle Chapin

    You can’t go wrong with “Grey’s Anatomy.” Although, an unfortunate downside is you’ll end up convincing yourself that whatever the patient has been diagnosed with, YOU also have. “Alias” is also good. And might I suggest the 6 episode mini-series “Circus,” I’ve already watched in 3 times through since discovering it. So glad I’m not alone as a binge-watcher!

    • Shannon Robb

      OMG I was soooooo excited when Alias got put up on Netflix- watched while it was on ABC but have been having fun catching it again!

  • Jess Allen-Summers

    I am totally guilty of this and am pleased to hear I’m not alone! My proudest achievement to date is watching the whole of Grey’s Anatomy in about 3 months, but I have since done it with many, many other shows and you’re dead right, it’s the worst once you’ve caught up and have to watch them once a week- and don’t even get me started on the hiatus, its torture!

    • Shannon Robb

      Grey’s is one of my faves to rewatch! I love that show…good choice!

  • Des Jensen

    There is also the total and complete depression of getting to the end of a canceled series. Sure you can always go back and watch it again, thanks to these miraculous services but it’s never quite the same as it was the first time. I try to stop myself from shotgunning entire series in one gulp but it’s hard. Especially when you’re really into the story. Warehouse 13 was one of the worst for me and now I’m on the week-to-week, hiatus train with that. I also, for the record, have this same problem with book series and tend to wait until the author has finished the series before starting to read.

    • Diana Hill Crockett

      I so relate to your comment!!!! Also love Warehouse 13…but some how lost track of it and cannot figure where I left off.
      Don’t like when I become disoriented and therefore will stop a series.
      Yes .. same way with books also….
      I kind of avoid series of books now.

  • Katie Kay Snoad

    Party Of Five is my new Binge Watch! My fiance and I also just watched all of seasons 1 and 2 of Lost Girl in a couple weeks. Such a good show!

  • Leraine Tass

    I binge watch everything, I went through 5 seasons of bones in 1 month, same thing happened with castle, grey’s anatomy, 30 rock, star trek etc. This is literally the best article I have read in so long :)

    PS if you watch Parks and Rec you’ll know what I just did there 😛

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