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.
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.