A New Life in Seattle

A New Life in Seattle
August, 2018

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Not Tonight, Dear--I'm Not Binge-ing:

There are three types of binge TV watchers. And over time most of us can say that we have been all three.

Type 1

Deceptive, even innocent, the Circumstantial Binger may lack funds for cable or the purchase of new DVDs. Or s/he may be in an emotional groove where nothing will do but an old favorite show. So the CB will happily rewatch all 4 seasons of Prison Break or 6 seasons of The Good Wife before the crazy itch is satisfied. Then, with the new TV season or bigger bucks for new DVDs, the CB returns to normal excess viewing of a fresh spate of shows.

Type 2

More poignantly, the Van Winkle Binger discovers a classic TV show that s'he had never heard of or couldn't be bothered to watch. Suddenly, finding the greatness s/he's missed and faced with the Everest of episodes compromising the show's 7-10 seasons, s/he digs in half-helplessly. S'he has no choice but to watch nothing except Breaking Bad, show after show for six seasons. Do that or remain incomplete.

Type 3

The Netflixed Binger, though, has it badder than all others. S/he's waited...and waited...and waited...for the next season of a great show that it's hell on earth to wait for:

House of Cards Season 1 Poster

Then, finally, the new season arrives--released in its entirety in a single drop. Or, finally, the last season is available on Instant View for those who don't have cable:

Homeland: Season 4 [4 Discs] (Boxed Set) (DVD) - Larger Front

You've waited sooooo long, you're soooooo hooked, you can't stop. And the best 12-13 episode shows are so perfectly plotted and paced that you simply have to devour them whole in only a couple of sittings.

                                     OR DO YOU?

Think of the world's greatest pizza, delivered to your home, a magnificent pie that's intended for six.

You've been waiting a year for this pizza, drooling at the thought of it, and you could eat enough for 12, let alone for six. So you devour one slice, scarcely chewing...then another...and a third...And before you know it, God help you, not a crumb remains. You're so overloaded that you can scarcely stand. And you'll be sick for days.

The answer to that plight is easy: eat our pizza by the slice.

Image result for pizza by the slice images

Take time to chew and digest it...and, just as important, enjoy it. We may enjoy a second slice--but we don't eat the whole damned pie in a single sitting. Not without expecting real Elvis-style grief on 'the throne'. And yet we're content to binge on a dozen or more episodes far better enjoyed at a helping per week.

If our focus is purely on learning, as fast as we can, what happens next, maybe we're missing the heart of the experience: fully savoring each episode while we await the next.

In part 2 I'll tell you my own strategy for enjoying a varied, binge-free viewing life on a schedule that allows only about an hour per night.

Till then, be free and tell yourselves: 'A slice a day'll do me.'

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