The Stages of Binge-Watching TV


So you’ve expressed interest in a show that is no longer running, meaning that every single episode ever is readily available without the need to wait a whole week for the next episode. You promise yourself that you’ll only watch one episode a day to savour the show and leave yourself an abundance of time to complete more enriching tasks. To that I say: Hah! You may think that now, but you obviously overestimate your self control. Pretty soon it’ll be two episodes a night, increasing until you get to an uncountable amount a night. The pros do a season a night, but that takes sever dedication most people cannot let themselves commit to until at least their third series. Here is a further breakdown of the steps to absolute life ruining obsession:


  1. Find your show. Basically pick anything that is no longer running, it isn’t the same when you have to go back to weekly episodes, and it really takes a toll on your mental stability.
  2. Watch it. Uhm, duh. It is important to note that while you need to allow time for the show to completely capture your attention, if you aren’t totally hooked by at the very least the fourth episode move on. You cannot hope to get to professional binge-watching status if you are not fully consumed by the show early on.
  3. Keep watching it. As previously stated, you’ll start to watch it more. Episodes will begin to end on cliffhangers that can be resolved within the seconds it takes to start up the next episode.
  4. Never stop watching it. You should be at at least 6 episodes a night by now. Just one more episodes translates to just one more season. You’ve seriously contemplated getting out of plans so you can keep watching. You’ve begun to forget to eat.
  5. Live it. The catchphrases of every character have become intertwined within your vocabulary. You talk about the events of the last episode as if it were real life events. Sometimes you forget that they weren’t.
  6. Be it. You are now at the point when you become genuinely depressed that the characters are not real. You begin researching Frankenstein-like procedures and borderline celebrity harassment. Restraining orders have been discussed. Unbeknownst to your preoccupied mine interventions are being planned.
  7. Finish it. Eventually you will go to load that next episode and discover that there isn’t another one. You scour the internet in hopes of a possible season that you missed, even a missed throwback episode would satisfy the craving, if only temporarily.
  8. Grieve. Naturally, the first step to finding a new T.V. show is finishing your old show, but after that amount of dedication you must give yourself time to grieve, to mourn the loss of your almost constant companion and the current reason behind your emotional instability. This will take time. I’ve read it takes half the time of a relationship to get over your ex, I believe that applies more so finishing an especially good show. As such, the steps to mourning a completed television show are similar to that of grieving a broken relationship: wallowing in self pity and junk food. I highly suggest Cookie Dough Ice Cream, that shit has gotten me through the end of Buffy and How I Met Your Mother (which also required booze ‘cause honestly what even was that shit-show of an ending). It is important that you don’t distract yourself from feeling all of the feels, reminisce over the memories of staying up all night because “just one more episode won’t hurt, it’s only 45 minutes and I don’t have to be up that early…”
  9. Find another show. Once you’ve given yourself ample time to overcome the emotional turmoil you can begin searching for a new show to ruin your life to the point of eviction and intervention. At this point you can start the process again.