Another addiction

I’m going to talk about something very private, something I am not proud of, but secrets keep us sick and its time I came out about this.

I have become a binge TV watcher.

Now, to  be honest,  I have not always been ashamed of this particular vice (and time suck). In fact  I have  prided myself on the shows that I have binged on  in the past. But those binges were different, at least in my mind, justifiable. I think Dexter was my first and then Friday Night Lights. There were others, shows I had heard about and idly caught up to  a few episodes at a time over a course of weeks. Being cable shows they were usually no more than 13 episodes long, and I would watch a few here and there, in order but in my own time.  Nurse Jackie, the first season of House Of Cards, Boardwalk Empire. I was very good at controlling my habit. Some, Like Homeland and Girls, I even watch week-to-week.

Something changed last year however, a switch was flipped,  and things are different now.  It started with Game Of Thrones. I was in the midst of getting my home ready to sell and I got sick, really sick. I could do nothing but lie around trying to breathe and so I figured I would try and figure out how my Apple TV worked and finally watch something everyone was telling me too. And so I did and Game Of Thrones got me by the balls (metaphorically. Obviously). I descended into that hellish world and ended up binge-watching all 3 seasons in ONE week.  Frankly, I blame those fucking Lannisters, but be that as it may, something shifted. It was …different.

Once I moved and settled into my new apartment I found  more time on my hands, and it seemed logical that I headed for the TV once again.  However, my habit had been growing stronger while I was busy doing other things and, well, that’s what they say, isn’t it?  Last year I slowly enjoyed  and savored House Of Cards. This season?  Binged on it like a half gallon of ice cream.  Watched 2, watched 5, watched 5 and, with great hardship but not wanting it to end I waited 4 whole days before succumbing to the final 2 episodes. I watched Sherlock on Masterpiece theatre, 6 episode in less than a week. Luther and Call The Midwife on BBC America, equally as fast. Any spare time I had would find me in front of the TV, feeding my beast. And it has come back to bite me hard, because now that I am caught up, well…I have to wait for more.  I found out this painful truth on Sunday night after yoga when I settled into the Game Of Thrones premiere and…..it was over. In an hour. And there are no more until next week. Can you say jonesing?

But this  new one is different, this new binge obsession. First of all, it’s network TV.  Call me a snob, but I am not proud of that.  I haven’t watched network TV in years (well, besides DVR’d episodes of SYTYCD).  It’s also CBS, a station into whose demographics I actually fall. It’s hard for me to admit to not being able to stop watching a CBS drama while I have friends expounding on the intense mood that Jane Campion sets in Top Of The Lake ( I’ve seen most of those, but House Of Cards came back and now…)  Even with the advent of the DVR, it’s still a pain in the ass fast forwarding  through tons of commercials.   Of course, I am not yet at the actual network phase, because I have 4 seasons to catch up on. Hulu Plus offers almost commercial free watching, but you can’t fast-forward through the few they do have on there.

But this event TV network show  has me fully locked into its unholy embrace. I swear I can’t quit it. And by that I mean I just finished all of seasons 1 and 2 (and remember, network = 23, not 10 to 13 episodes!) in the last couple of weeks , and am almost finished with  season 3 .  As I am writing this I can feel the urgent pull of the TV set and Hulu Plus enticing me to get back on the couch, ON THE COUCH DAMMIT!  and back into it’s seductive arms. The show owns me. The only thing stopping me is that I have yoga in an hour, but when I get home? The last 3 episodes of season 3 are MINE! (UPDATE: 5 episodes later I am typing this. Finished Season 3 and am 2 into Season 4. *sigh*)

What is this show, this crack that won’t loosen its grips on me?

I am obsessed with The Good Wife.

There, I said it (well, technically wrote it but…)!

I am addicted to this show.  I am obsessed with those moments when Alicia finally shows some emotion (if the botox allows). I am entranced by  how slimy ( and surprisingly sexy) Eli can be. Will Carey ever stop with the smirk?  Who will Calinda seduce next and why, to what end? Then there is Chris Noth, er Peter, who I am just obsessed with period. Friends have told me for years to watch , egging me on, “just watch one, you’ll see it’s goooood…”‘.  Well, I finally gave in. I took the bait and now  I feel addicted, my thought patterns latching on to that  “oh, just one more episode ” thinking  and I am lost. Last night I got home fairly late and figured I’d watch one. ONE. Well, that slippery slope led me to 4 episodes and  bed at 2 am.

I am well and truly hooked, and, dare I admit it?  happily. I know future seasons will continue to be good;  those same friends  who hooked me have told me, andI believe them, oh yes I do. I know there is a big surprise death in season 5 which  I have careful avoided learning about, although I have plenty of ideas. (UPDATE: I went searching to see what season we are in now so I could gauge how much more I had to see and, unsurprisingly, there was a spoiler in a google headline. Oh well, my least favorite character. Does that sound cold, callouss,  maybe a little too David Lee?)

I guess it could be worse. The Good Wife is a well written, well acted,dramatic and entertaining show,  with gripping courtroom story lines. I love the way characters weave in and out through the seasons, the continuity is perfect. I am having a blast with this one, much better than Breaking Bad or The Wire, both of which I started and just could not watch, way too dark for me.

I’m a little worried though.  It is going to end, much sooner than I will be ready, I’m sure. Maybe a new Masterpiece Theatre will save me, return to me a modicum of my lost self respect. But I am worried, I have heard rumblings of how I might like Scandal, or Nashville…

God help me.

 

 

 

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14 Comments

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  1. Mmmmm, Scandal. Delicious, delicious crack. And Orange is the New Black. Those two are my couch cryptonite, although I do love me some Good Wife. If you are not caught up to real time on that one, DO NOT read about any current storylines!!!

    • I am EAGERLY awaiting season 2 of “orange”…LOVED it.
      Like I said, I saw who died because i was curious as to where I was in the show (season 4, and now the show is in season 5)…but I don’t want to know how, why, etc.
      And you are about the millionth vote for Scandal OY!!!

  2. I often say I’d get addicted to ice water if I could. LOL! Drugs, alcohol, TV, sex, computer games, food… man, anything that makes me feel remotely good (and doesn’t make me exert a lot of energy, of course. Sadly, I have NEVER been addicted to exercise) automatically triggers that thing in my brain that says, “If one [blank] is good, then ALL the [blank] will be AWESOME!” I have to be really careful with the new shows I allow myself to watch. I have had too many “Netflix hangovers” at work after bingeing until the wee hours the night before.

    But SYTYCD is completely cool and completely non-addictive *twitch*twitch* (pun not intended)… by the way, when does the new season start…? *twitch*twitch*

    • May 28. MAY 28!!!!
      Dare I speak the name of the only other reality show I watch? Project Runway? I didn’t mention that because it’s on a cable network, but those 2 have had me since their inception.
      I DVR both of them and watch them in real time right after they show..I definitely have that *twitch*

  3. I’ve recently gotten in the habit of not watching shows until they finish their runs, then binge watching the whole thing.
    It’s a lot easier to follow (and more entertaining) than waiting for weekly installments, with a multi-month gap every year.

    • I hear you Guap….
      it is certainly more fun this way, and I missed a LOT of shows over the years because of a TV aversion which is now, obviously, over.
      It’s a bit like watching a very long movie…

  4. I didn’t know I was the same. Until Game of Thrones (three seasons in three months, not so bad). And Grey’s Anatomy: nine seasons, over twenty episodes each… four months. (And I work six days a week. My social life actually stopped to watch this.)

    I recommend Nashville. 😛

  5. I feel your pain. I, too, am a binge watcher. I’m currently in season 2 of Nurse Jackie and I only started it a few days ago. Ugh. I guess there are worse things we could do. 😉

  6. Synchronicity: I read your blog for the first time in a while the morning after I stayed up past midnight watching 3 episodes of Downton Abbey. Ugh. I go to bed at 9:00 or 9:30 and get up at 4:45 to write. As I did my morning pages I was so angry at myself for staying up that late because I feel like hell — and don’t feel like writing, hence the web surfing and stumbling onto this post. I binge watched both seasons of House of Cards. I love The Good Wife. My eldest daughter and I watched all the back seasons together over the past 6 months, so I could only binge when we were both available. We finally caught up the very week of the spoiler death, so we go to watch that one before someone spoiled it for us.

    • yep, synchronicity….LOL…
      hanging my head in shame about how completely off TAW I am….
      oh well.
      I stopped watching last night with 3 left of season 4. Then on to season 5 and I will be all caught up and have to set my DVR and wait week to week like everyone else.
      The sick thing is I am already, in my head, trying to figure out what to watch next.

      • Being off TAW isn’t anything to feel shame about. The book and the program are there whenever you want to do them. It isn’t some obligation, something that you HAVE TO do for anyone else. It’s for you to do for you, and if this isn’t the right time, if you aren’t in the right frame of mind, then it probably won’t do much for you.

        You don’t want to do it now, so don’t force yourself. When you do want to, you will. As long as you see it as an obligation, “one more damn thing I have to do,” you won’t want to do it.

        What if you gave yourself permission not to do it, and watch as much TV as you wanted? You might get sick of TV, and start wanting to do it. And it isn’t as though you’re not doing anything creative. You’re BLOGGING, for heaven’s sake! And you get comments! Do you know how many bloggers would love to have as many comments as you get regularly? After I stopped blogging regularly, I lost all my regular readers and now my posts get one or two or sometimes even no comments, which feels like you’re writing to dead air.

        You are being creative. You are writing. If you want to binge watch The Good Wife, so what? It’s better than drinking. It’s better than binge eating and giving yourself diabetes. It’s better than a lot of things I can think of. It might be what you need to get you through things right now. And this time next year, you might not need — or want — it anymore.

        So be kind to yourself, and enjoy your shows!

  7. You crack me up! I haven’t seen The Good Wife, but it certainly looks great and Game of Thrones is on my list, but don’t know how to join mid-season.
    Don’t feel bad about your obsession…my son and I skipped out early on a school educational series so that we could book it home and be on the couch just in time for the season finale of Walking Dead. Since hubby lost his job, we have cut everything out extra–like the DVR. Yes, I have to watch stuff in real time now or it’s gone–forever…..

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