The Binge

We are all aware of it. Proud or not, we have all done it. It started with Netflix, but it didn’t end there. With “on demand”, and DVR options, the problem has gone wide spread. Of course I’m talking about “The Binge”.

It starts out innocent enough.

“How could I possibly go to bed leaving poor Donald Draper in such a predicament?”

Makes sense to me. See him through this rough patch and then hit the sack.

Two bleary-eyed days later, you’ve finished the show, missed work, and lost all self respect. Was that satisfying? I would venture to guess not.

Somewhere around the sixth episode it stops becoming a show or any form of entertainment. It becomes a job. A challenge. I get it. Besides, how can you be expected to stop? When an episode ends you have 15 seconds to refuse to watch another one. Inaction is taken as approval. If pizza were served under these guidelines we would all be morbidly obese.

When you finish a slice you have ten seconds to push your plate away or another hot delicious slice will just appear. No one in their right mind is refusing magically appearing pizza! Walter White is magic pizza. I know you agree. It’s science bitch.

The popular justification for this behavior?

You guessed it. Avoiding the dreaded spoiler.

I’m sorry but I can’t get behind that excuse. If a show has been on long enough to amass the amount of episodes necessary to binge, you have missed the spoiler alert window. You had your chance!

  • Walter White dies
  • ALF never eats the cat
  • The island was purgatory
  • The war ends in MASH
  • Kevin Arnold kisses Winnie Cooper

I could go on but I won’t.

The one exception to this rule is the Netflix original. These maniacs drop a full series on us as if self control still exists in this world. How are we expected to behave when you lay ten episodes of House of Cards at our feet? Do you think we will take our time? Savor the experience? Appreciate the nuances of the story ? Impossible!

I can’t risk having the sweaty chatter box in the cube beside me tell me what Frank Underwood is up to! And he will. Oh he will! He’s done it before. He acts like it’s a mistake. It’s not. People are sick.

What choice is left? We both know the answer to that. The binge is on. Make some coffee, turn the phone off and dig in.

Ten hours later and it’s over. You’ve waited over a year. Writers, directors and actors spent over a year pouring their hearts and souls into this project and we tear through it like we are ripping open a Christmas present. We didn’t pick the box up and shake it. Try to guess what’s inside. Quite the opposite. We rip through it.

All that work, all that anticipation, over in no time like a Thanksgiving meal that is slaved over for hours on end only to be devoured in minutes. We are left looking at a picked over carcass once again feeling both empty and overcome with anticipation. Anticipation that won’t be fulfilled for at least a year.

Next season will be different though. We will watch one a week. We won’t binge. We won’t rush through it.

If you believe that, you probably believe that ALF never ate that cat.

Binge on!