To Binge or Not To Binge, That is the Question…

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Guest Writer Gary “John” Schofield,

So the phenomenon of binge watching TV is nothing new, but I am always a little late to the party so when we signed up for Netflix last summer it took me a while before we dove into a series that was binge worthy. First it was Bloodline, but because there were only 2 seasons we were done in about 3 weeks and it didn’t feel like it had taken over all of our free time.

Then it was Stranger Things and same deal, just one season, 8 episodes if my memory serves, so in about 2 weeks it was over and I felt like my usual entertainment loving self. However, now my life has changed…over the holidays when I had taken some time off of work I decided one day to just relax and watch some tubeage (that’s what my wife likes to call TV) and as I was scrolling through the never ending list of choices on Netflix I remember that on several occasions my brother had mentioned the Showtime series “Shameless” and said I should watch it. Not being a Showtime subscriber I never really had the opportunity to check it out, but then there it was on Netflix, the first six seasons all in a row, ready for my consumption.

After 2 episodes, I was hooked, I liked the characters, the raunchy comedy, I decided that my brother was right and I should have been watching this a long time ago. But it was no problem, it was just one afternoon, 2 hours, no big deal, right?!? WRONG!!! That Saturday, my wife had gone to pick up our oldest son who had been out of town, and I spent 4 hours watching 4 more episodes…housework? Nope, I’m not even sure that I ate that day, but it still wasn’t a problem, it was just one Saturday, I work hard, I deserved a little R&R. That’s what I was telling myself anyway.

The next day I woke up before anyone else, so as I stirred my morning coffee, I thought, hey maybe I can sneak in an episode of Shameless before Jay wakes up (this show is SO not appropriate for kids), well as I was watching my wife woke up and starting watching as well and then she was hooked. Ever since that morning, all of our free time seems to be spent watching the shenanigans of the Gallaghers and their family of dysfunction, which has me worried that I’m becoming dysfunctional!

We finish dinner, “Wanna Watch Shameless?” Wanna Hang out with friends? Nah, let’s watch Shameless. It seems like the only thing we haven’t done is play hookie from work so that we can sit down and watch Shameless!
We’re almost the end of what Netflix has to offer, so I’m thinking some normalcy will be returning to our lives soon, but I worry about what series we may find next! There are several down sides to Binge watching though if you ask me, it’s hard to talk about the series with friends if they aren’t watching it too or you’re not on the same season. Ya know, remember when you watched Friends or Seinfeld on Thursday night and you could chat with your friends about it when you hung out that weekend. Well with binge watching you don’t have that to look forward to.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of the “On Demand” world that we are living in, but sometimes more isn’t always better. Sometimes I find myself wishing that I had never watched even one episode of Shameless because I imagine how many other things we could have done this last month.

I’m exaggerating a bit as we haven’t become shut ins that do nothing but watch TV, but pretty close. I just find it interesting that it sometimes makes me feel a bit guilty. Sometimes I find myself longing for the days of looking forward to the night that your favorite show came on and planning your day around it starting at 8 o’clock. I know with Netflix, Hulu and DVR’s it’s more convenient, but in this instant gratification world that we are living in, patience and anticipation is being lost.

So just some food for thought before you just let that next episode start in 20 seconds, maybe stop and look around a bit to make sure you aren’t missing anything important in the “real” world!
Oh and if you have any series suggestions, I’m open, at this rate we’re probably done with Shameless! @GaryEagle977 or you can e-mail me gary@eagle977.com Now I need to catch up on “This is Us”.

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