Binging food is bad. Binging alcohol is worse. Binging is synonymous with gluttony, but for someone like me with questionable self-control, it’s a Guilty Pleasure: 101.
On the day one of my favorite Netflix shows dropped a new season, the summer activity gods smiled upon me: I was alone in the house at noon.
I could sit down with a sandwich, dinner leftovers or a bowl of sliced strawberries without someone swooping in as I took my first bite with a, “Can you make me that?” A blissfully lonely lunch held great appeal but the part that thrilled me the most?
I could binge.
Never miss a local story.
Not on sandwiches, strawberries or leftover chicken but on a show that I can only watch when there’s no kids around. It’s a great show but sometimes, well, you know…not for the kids. Even the oldest one questioned my viewing taste.
“Really, Mom?” Bekah asked as she got ready to leave for work and I queued up season four, episode one.
“I’m researching,” I lied.
“Ummm….” I needed a change of strategy — my brain screamed, “DEFLECT! DEFELCT!”
“So, Bekah, did you finish binging that sci-fi show that no one has ever heard of?”
She ranted about how a show should never end before its time, then she left and I was alone — no strategy needed, just popcorn.
I had things to do, of course. Deadliney things, but this golden, alone-with-the-big-TV opportunity was too tempting. Besides, I justified, if I don’t ravenously devour all the episodes someone is going to spoil it.
Not intentionally. (Probably.) But it’s happened enough.
Mad Men? Spoiled on Twitter.
#madmen I’d like to teach the world to sing…mad applause, peace out, Donald.
Season four of The Walking Dead? Facebook friend spoiled: Hershel AND baby Judith!?
Harry Potter has been around for 19 years, but I never read any of them. I would love to binge read books…but so many words. So many. After years of incredulous comments and references I only vaguely understood I sat down this summer to watch all eight movies with Bekah, a Potterhead.
“Don’t spoil them,” I insisted.
But she couldn’t help it, she spoiled with her excited, non-stop, back-story verbal annotated Potter.
I had binged Doctor Who in secret to avoid well-intentioned (probably) comments like, “The 11th Doctor? You’re going to love him! I don’t want to spoil it for you but….”
Sure, you don’t.
Binging recently released seasons allows me to experience the show without storyline foreknowledge. I took the timing of the alone-at-lunch-with-the-big-TV opportunity as a sign I could do that with the women’s prison show.
I only got through one episode (and a bowl of popcorn) before guilt drove me back to work.
“Do you want to exit Netflix?” was the message on the screen.
Want to? Heck, no! Have to? Sad, yes.
That night I stayed up past my bedtime to watch the next two episodes.
After seeing a tweet about the show with a GIF of Oprah crying, I stayed off social media and stole time to binge. By day four I only had three episodes between me and an unspoiled victory.
I stayed off social media.
I didn’t Google.
I didn’t tell anyone I was watching.
But I could read the newspaper, right? News, comics, FYI features — no spoilers.
It was my own fault. The first line of the article warned, “spoiler alert.” I could have looked or walked away …but I Pandora’s boxed it when I saw the accompanying photo.
Someone died. The caption didn’t say who it was, only that a character that I cared about was going to be killed off.
It was my own fault. But I binge watch. My self-control is questionable at best.