Like any well-adjusted
druggie, I acknowledge when I have a problem. No, I’m not talking about crack, heroin or that awesome stuff that makes your ears hyper-sensitive to hurricanes. I’m talking about a much a more popular drug sweeping the nation, one that has sucked me in like a shady car dealer: binge watching.
Binge watching, for the innocent ones out there, usually involves one person sitting at a TV while staring at eight bags of Doritos going, “What activity can I do that involves inhaling all this like a dying star?” The answer is simply to pop on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime and lay
Though I have yet to develop bedsores, I have consumed an ungodly amount of terrible food while clicking “start next episode” on my remote. I have sat down and devoured shows like The Office, 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, South Park, Saturday Night Live, House of Cards, etc. And when I have consumed all one show has to offer, I just start on the next.
But I am not the only one. Binge watching to the new generation is
what flag football or soccer is to 3rd graders: everyone is doing it. This is true and it’s all terrible.
We all think it’s amazing to live in a society where entire seasons of shows are accessible at the click of a button—and in a way it is. Before you would have to shell out serious cash to get every episode of Seinfeld on DVD; now you can watch them all for $8 a month.
No longer must you sit alone at your desk and sigh as everyone around the water cooler chats about a show, only pausing to talk about how lame you are for not watching it yet. But the reality is far worse. There are two sides to every coin—and binge watching’s other side is cloaked in gum and that gross black stuff old coins have on them.
Like weed, binge watching makes you cool with being a lazy, non-contributing nothing. Here is my day on binge watching: Get up and go to school so I have an excuse to say, “hey, I have a lot on my plate, alright?”, go home, take off my pants, put on saggier pants, and then lay in bed and watch every episode of whatever show I’m marathoning.
There’s not even a process of what else I could be possibly doing. Not reading a book, taking my dog out or writing what would start out in my head as the greatest screenplay ever before becoming a mess like Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Nope, binge watching has become as natural as going to the bathroom: I just sit down, unzip my pants and let whatever happens happen.
Society even treats it like some quirky, modern-age thing that all the cool kids are doing, like cigarettes or One Direction. Every week there’s a new article about “what to binge watch this weekend” or, “top ten shows you should binge watch right now!” It should be illegal to peddle this sh*t.
In fact, a study done by HealthDay Reporter found links of binge watching to depression and loneliness. A separate article by the Huffington Post cited studies that show it can alter your mood, your metabolism and even how you view the world. Sound like anything a bearded man in a duster would sell you behind an abandoned Denny’s?
Hell, as I’m writing this I’m binge watching South Park for the umpteenth time. I can’t even do my job without something in the background. I get the hives otherwise. And I’m not even watching my favorite episodes. No, I’ve watched all those and now I’m going back to the ones I skipped because they aren’t the best. Even the episodes I don’t like I am going back to waste time on because, hey, they’re there. That’s like a crack addict getting a terrible batch of crack and going, “Well, of course I’m still gonna smoke it, it’s crack!”
I love the convenience of easy access to mass amounts of TV
. I can watch new episodes or go back and watch classics, expanding my understanding of a show’s early days like Seinfeld or SNL. It’s too good a thing. But the same can be said of any drug. Too much and too good of anything is always awful. But this is the world now . There’s no turning back. Until gangs form around the selling of Netflix subscriptions, no one will view it how it actually is. And I’m just as much a proponent as anyone because, like any addict, what am I gonna do? Go back to a normal life of renting shows on DVD? Next I’ll be wearing polo sweaters and driving a mini-van. I won’t do it, I tell ya!