If there is one thing I feel like I might be an expert in, it’s binge-watching TV shows. I’ve been doing it since before online streaming existed. Hello? Box sets? My family and I used to watch five episodes a day every time a new season of 24 came out on DVD. During those weeks we would yell, “Do it—NOW!” when we needed someone to pass the salt or “We’re running out of time!” when someone else was doing the dishes. Oh Jack Bauer how I miss you.
Anyway, it’s an art really, and there are some basic things you should know:
1. If you’re a fellow creative who does some mindless work (like editing can be sometimes), it’s important to have shows to watch that lack intensity, ones that you don’t actually need to watch. Ones that only need your ear and an occasional glance at the screen. In this calendar year alone, I’ve watched the following series in their entirety: Friends, Hart of Dixie, and Gilmore Girls. I tried to re-watch Friday Night Lights and Parenthood, but that proved unproductive as I just sat and watched.
2. There are so many ways to do it now: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and don’t forget the aforementioned good old box sets. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, there are always the illegal sites that are 100% likely to eventually give your computer a virus.
3. My husband claims that watching that much TV gives him headache, but he’s doing it wrong. Eating salads and whatnot. If you break it up with good snacks, you’ll be fine. Daytime binge-watching requires some kind of coffee and bacon. You gradually move into the sandwich and french fry portion of the afternoon and you need to end the night with thai food and ice cream. It’s the only way it can be done.
4. I don’t typically watch TV at night. But when I do, I always convince myself that I can make it through one more episode. I fall asleep less than 30 seconds later and usually wake up as the end credits are rolling.
5. Speaking of sleeping … When I’m doing a lot of editing and watching multiple episodes of a show in one day, I dream inside of the show. I’ve had cups of coffee at Central Perk with Monica and Rachel, tried to help Ross pronounce things in a less annoying way, and woken up next to Chandler. Just last night I was eating a cheeseburger (the roll was a donut though!) with Lorelai at Luke’s.
6. I know that you can commit to three hours a day of watching LOST for a solid month, get to the last episode and want to throw your computer out the window. What.a.waste amiright?
7. Binge-watching can be a lonely road. The next time you reach for your sweats, some ice cream, and your iPad/iPhone (I almost forgot! Candy Crush and Pinterest can get you through the boringest of episodes!), call a buddy. Me, even. I’m down.