My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

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The Struggles of Binge-Watching a Show For the First Time that Literally EVERYONE Has Already Seen

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So there’s this little show called Breaking Bad, some of you may have heard of it. It didn’t get much attention, didn’t win any of those fancy shmancy awards, and there are most definitely NOT any pop culture references to any of the characters.

I’m totally kidding of course. BB was probably one of this generation’s most iconic television shows. It ran for a solid 5 seasons on AMC, and tells the story of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who learns he has terminal and inoperable lung cancer. After hearing his diagnosis, he teams up with one of his former students, Jessie Pinkman to start securing his family financially for when the time comes that he’ll no longer be there for them. Walter and Jessie decide to do what anyone does when looking to raise a little money: open a very profitable and lucrative lemonade stand.

And by lemonade stand I mean they began to criminally produce and sell meth. Hard core.

So there’s that.

Despite it’s nitty-grittiness, raw vulnerability and somewhat dark subject matter, BB became one of America’s most watched and talked about shows. Actually, it was probably because of these reasons that it did so.

BB aired it’s last episode on September 29, 2013…

…annnnnnnddd I just started watching it a few weeks ago.

I know. I know. I’m a bit [fashionably] late to the BB bandwagon, but when it was on TV, I never really took an interest in the show. In all honesty, I had watched the first episode and decided I wasn’t so much of a fan. I didn’t like how dark it was. And was it just me or did seeing Malcolm in the Middle’s dad as a cancer-stricken drug dealer just weird the beans out of you? After some thought (and serious boredom), I decided to give it another go. What I found was that BB was kind of like a good wine; it only got better with time.  I just finished the series a few days ago and am heart broken. Not just because the show is over and I can no longer look forward to enjoying a pizza and glass (or two) of wine with Walter, Jesse, Skyler, and Saul every night, but when I try to talk about my utter heart brokenness with my friends, they look at me like I have three heads.

In their defense, they’ve all had a good two years to get over it. They’ve gotten through all seven stages of the grieving process, they’ve come to accept that BB is over, done, kaput. But for me, the pain is still very real. Just one of the struggles of binge-watching a show for the first time when literally everyone and their second cousin twice removed on their mom’s side has already seen it.

Here are 13 more reasons why this can be just all of the worst:

1. No one wants to talk about the show. No one. But that’s literally all you want to do in life right now.

2. Spoilers. Spoilers, spoilers everywhere. They weren’t a huge problem before you started watching the show, but now that you know the characters’ names, everything is a spoiler. Everything. *Cries in a heap as far away from the interwebs as possible.

3. You’re terrified to even mention that you’re watching the show to other people for fear that they will pull the ‘ol, “OMG have you gotten to the part where____happens?!”” Ear muffs.

4. Or, you’ll get that well-meaning person who just can’t help but accidentally spoil it when they say, “OMG I was sooooo sad when____ died! I cried for days.” Bullet-proof ear muffs.

5. And then of course you get the fun experience of assuming that anytime something minorly not-so-great happens to one of your favorite characters, that’s the moment that they’re going to kick the bucket. Oh, they missed the bus? This must be it. They decide to walk home and get run over by a moose. Cool.

6. If the show you’re currently binging on is well past its expiration date, people will look at you like you’re crazy for just watching/finishing it. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to PLEASE TALK ABOUT THAT BREAKING BAD ENDING THOUGH!!

7. When someone asks you what your favorite show is, you may feel a little weird saying Seinfeld, considering it went off the air 17 years ago. But to be fair, Seinfeld is timeless so…

8. Oh, that actor that you’re totally obsessed with? They’re now 16 years older and have three kids so your fantasies about you casually running into them at Trader Joe’s and falling madly in love in the produce section are far less likely than if you had loved them when the show was actually airing. Not impossible, just a little less impossible. I will never let go, Jonathon Taylor Thomas, I will never let go.

9. When something huge happens on the show, very few people are still interested in freaking out about the fact that Jack, Sawyer, Kate and the rest of Oceanic flight 815 WERE NOT DEAD THE WHOLE TIME?!?! Nope, scratch that. Everyone is still freaking about that Lost ending. It will always be too soon for that one. Always.

10. You’re constantly recalling old celeb gossip while watching, which makes you a tad paranoid. Hmmm, didn’t this actor go to jail at one point and have to leave the show? When did that happen? OMG are they going to be written out of the show before they get back together with____?

11. You want to recommend the show to everyone, share the brilliance, the magic, the amazingness of it all! But everyone has already seen The Sopranos. Everyone. Except you. And maybe your grandma. Nope, even she has seen it.

12. Everyone and their mother is going to claim that they once told you how great that show was ages ago. And they’re going to want you to concede full credit to them. Boogers.

12. When you know that a show was unexpectedly canceled and ended the cliff hangers to beat all cliff hangers, you have a mini crisis trying to decide if you should stop watching at the point when things are mostly wrapped up, or if you should stick it out and risk the utter torment of an unresolved ending. RIP Firefly. RIP.

13. You finally start understanding certain references that have made their way into pop culture, and you want to use them all the time. But if you throw “Legen…wait for it…dary!” into conversation, people are just going to think that you just need to move on already!

Yep. I think I need to just start watching shows in real time from now on.

There’s this little show called Mad Men that I’ve been meaning to get around to watching. Apparently it’s like, the best.

Wait. What?! MAD MEN ENDED EARLIER THIS YEAR?!?

So your fave TV show is on vacation…

Old-School-TV

I don’t know about you guys, but I am all about [that bass] and my fave TV shows.

And this year, they are goooood.

I mean, really gooood.

I mean, you’ve got your breakout hits like Shonda Rhimes’ scandalous and hold-on-to-the-edge-of-your seat drama How to Get Away With Murder, the hilarious comedy Marry Me starring the charming Casey Wilson, and my favorite fan-girl series of the moment, The Flash (which, coincidentally is what my co-workers call me after that unfortunate ‘very strong wind while wearing a summer dress’ incident). You’ve also got your standby amazingly amazing hits like New Girl starring my girl Zooey Deschanel, the best family drama (in my opinion), Parenthood (does anyone else cry just all of the ugly tears while watching that show?!), Revenge and of course, Once Upon a Time.

Woofta.

With all of that high-quality couch time during the week, one has barely enough time to eat.

Hahahahaha. I kid, I kid.

Because how can one possibly binge-watch without the proper fuel (and by fuel I mean anything in the ‘ito family, chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.)

As most of us are getting ready to merrily head off on our holiday vacations, unfortunately so are our fave TV shows (if they haven’t already done so.) This can be a very hard time for many people. Like any break or break up in a relationship, there are often feelings of denial, depression, anger, frustration and sadness–especially after a shocking and jaw-dropping cliff hanger.

What?! I have to wait until March to find out what happens to [plug in pretty much any character from any of the aforementioned shows]?! In the words of my favorite Tanner, “How rude.”

I know. It can be hard. But you know what? It can also be kind of awesome.

Think about it. You literally have hours upon hours upon hours during the week that are now free to do whatever you want. The possibilities are endless, really. Here are just some suggestions on what you can do with that spare time:

1. Pick up a book. I know what you’re thinking. A book? But that’s so 1999. Here is where you are wrong, my friends. Books are the OG of TV shows. They come in all genres, tell captivating stories, and don’t require a WiFi connection. Bonus points for giving the ‘ol brain some exercise.

2. Get together with friends. Instead of watching a group of Friends on the telly get into crazy shenanigans, call up your own besties IRL and create some shenanigans of your own. Dedicate a night of the week where you get together and catch up, let your hair down and have some good-quality FUN! Have an epic karaoke battle, grab drinks a that funky new bar downtown or even just relax at home with some wine, pizza and board games.

3. Go for a walk. It might be a tad chilly outside, but there is something magical about taking a stroll on an early December eve, the stars above you and the crunch of the snow underneath your boots. Plus, it makes it all the more special when you have that warm fire and steaming cup of hot chocolate waiting for you when you get back.

4. Let your crafting freak flag fly. There is nothing I love more than getting my hands dirty. And by dirty, I mean covered in paper mache, hot glue and glitter. Spend some time perusing Pinterest or the aisles of any craft store to get inspiration , find a fun project to do and get to crafting!

5. Channel your inner Martha Stewart and get your cooking on. Throw that ramen noodle cup away, get rid of that stale Chinese food in your fridge and tell the pizza delivery guy you’ve made other plans. Tonight, you’re making dinner! The kitchen can be a scary and unfamiliar place, especially if you use your oven as a place to store your shoes and live and die by the “reheat” button on your microwave. But have no fear! It can easily be tamed. Grab some of your favorite cookbooks, a recipe or two from your mom/grandma and give it a whirl (or a swirl, or a bake or a broil.)

6. Volunteer. There are so many organizations out there, especially this time of year, who are always looking for an extra helping hand (or two). Spend some time at your local rescue shelter walking and playing with the animals, donate a few hours a week cleaning up parks an other community areas, help with donations and food delivery at your nearest Red Cross. Nothing compares to the feeling you get from making a positive impact on others.

7. Call your mom/dad/sister/brother/Aunt Martha. You know that thing you use to play Words With Friends, take selfies and occasionally text your friends with? Did you know you can actually–wait for it–call people too?! It’s kind of a crazy concept, I know. But sometimes, picking up your phone and giving someone you love a ring can be pretty spectacular. Fill them in on your latest relationship drama, see how their new job is going, and most importantly, let them knowhow much you love them.

So there you have it, folks. Just a few ideas to help get you over those post-TV show hiatus blues. Now if you’ll excuse me, my mom is on the other line and I’ve got a pan of lasagna in the oven that needs to be taken out.

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