Let me make this crystal clear. The Binge is no joke.
It demands perseverance and sacrifice. There is going to be discomfort. There is going to be pain. Don’t for a minute think that it’s going to be easy. There will be distractions and constant self-doubt. Sleepless nights are a given. The question is, are you willing to do what it takes?
Like I said, The Binge is no joke.
Are You Ready?
Can you ever not be ready for The Binge? Sure you can. Embarking on The Binge with a steady job or academic workload is difficult because, believe me when I say, you will suffer. A complete and utter state of joblessness and lack of social life is THE perfect setting for a true Binge. Try a job sabbatical, summer vacations or post-breakup depression.
Pro-Tip: The months from May-September are the most preferable. Most ongoing TV shows are on a season break (except GoT) so there’s much less pressure of keeping up.
Pick Your Battle
It’s a real Sophie’s Choice, I know. So many TV shows to choose from. Now, you want to try to pick a show that has already ended so you can enjoy a proper Binge experience. Ask yourself, which genre are you really in the mood for? Do you have the patience to stick to your chosen genre till the end? Until last month I would have told you there’s no exact science to a quick-n-easy Binge, but one of the Binge Gods, Netflix, came up with a Binge Scale.
Read the full article from Vanity Fair here.
And So It Begins…
Pro-tip: Don’t let the number of episodes in Season 1 fool you. Keep the second season downloaded and handy before you begin. Especially in case of torrent downloads. Because once the frenzy begins, and it will be a frenzy, you won’t even realize when you’ve finished Season 1 and suddenly you’ll be faced with a cliffhanger you can’t get answers to because Season 2 is still downloading! Or worse, the WiFi has stopped working (The horror!).
You have been warned. Brace yourselves. Episodes are coming.
Okay so, once you manage to get past the first three episodes and remain enticed by the show, congratulations. Season 1 is going to be cakewalk. Your dedication to The Binge is new and strong and therefore, it will endure. You will be watching S02E07 in no time.
By then, you would have already said goodbye to sleep, rehearsed excuses to get out of social commitments and hatched a million plans to ensure uninterrupted viewing, irrespective of time, place or company.
You’re warming up to the characters; you already have your own theories about how it is all going to end. You’ve already decided which character you love to hate and which couple to ship. If you’re lucky, Season 3 should be a breeze too.
But beware, Beginner’s Luck is bound to wane and with it will wane your resolve to see The Binge through. Testing times lie ahead, my friend.
They say how you survive the tedium says a lot about your character. This extreme juncture, somewhere between Seasons 4–6, is where your resolution is tested. It’s like eating the same meal all day, everyday. You crave for something new. You want to cheat, maybe a few episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S to cleanse your palate? Come on, an HP marathon on TV wouldn’t hurt, right?
You want to give up but how can you? After all that you’ve sacrificed? Your social life, your gym habit, all those fights with mom when you didn’t leave your room for days, the lost hours of the night when you should have been texting your boyfriend/girlfriend but you pretended to sleep early because, dude, season finale! You’re too invested in the show’s story, the relationships, the world. And that’s when you decide, there is no back, only forward…
No Way Out But One
With renewed passion that reminds you of why you started The Binge in the first place, you whoosh through the remaining seasons.
Boy, you’re on fire! You’ve put in the hours and now it’s time to reap the rewards. The show is ending, tying up loose ends, proving some of your theories right while shocking the bejesus out of you over others. Death, chaos, mayhem…. love, reunion, eternity…
And you’re here, soaking it all in. The end is nigh. This is it.
And at the end of that seemingly endless tunnel that you’ve traversed all this while, oh sweet euphoria and tears, the Series Finale! You delay the watch, making sure everything is perfect. You want to savour it. A gamut of emotions engulf you. You’re glad that you’re here now but melancholic for there is no more forward to go. How silly you were, when you thought of giving up! How then could you have relished this bittersweet end, closed your eyes and processed all the answers, and finally been at peace, like the show’s characters now were…
Breathe, for you are through. It’s time now to open your eyes. It’s time now for the reality check.
If, after The Binge, you think your life has lost all meaning, you’re probably right.
What’s the point of all this? Will I ever feel the same again? What is my destiny? Is there going to be a reboot of the show? These are a few questions that might run through your mind at the end of The Binge. Existential crisis is a prime symptom of withdrawal. You’ll probably end up reading everything about the show and its cast on Wikipedia and IMDB, scour Reddit and Tumblr for popular fan theories, perhaps even read all the fan fiction you can get your hands on.
But fret not. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. That’s how you cope. You’ve been through so much in a short span of time that should’ve technically been spread over a couple of years.
One thing is for sure. Life as you know it has changed and your mind is richer by an unforgettable experience. Now it’s time to switch of the screen and unpause your life. As for that gaping hole that the end left in your heart, you know what they say.
Time, and a new show, will heal all wounds.
Originally published at reveriesofanimaginationjunkie.wordpress.com on June 25, 2016.