The Dangers of Binging
When Peter Dinklage first coined the term “nerd glaze,” he was giving a name to a phenomenon that has been going on for years.
Most of us here have gone on binges of watching a television show. The first time I did it, I watched 4 seasons of 24 in two weeks. While that does not sound like much, keep in mind that each season of 24 lasted 24 hours. Out of 14 days, I spent 4 entire days watching television. So I definitely have a problem.
When I discover a new show, I am like a fat kid with cake. I keep shoveling it into my mouth until I pass out in a sugar coma or I choke. (Coincidentally, I am also like a fat kid with actual cake. I love cake.) I recently over-indulged in Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
At this point, you might be asking yourself, “So what, freak? You have a problem, I don’t. Sure I just watched the Orange is the New Black, but that was only 13 episodes and they were all there. I don’t have a problem.” To you I say, no you don’t have a problem per se. Do what you want to. I am not the boss of you. I do think that this overindulgence has some negative impacts.
- The Joy of the The Show – I love good TV. The first season of Lost or Dexter or even season one of Heroes, all stand out to me. When you know that you have to wait a while for a new episode, you savor what you have. You don’t rush through shoveling more and more into your mouth.
- The Story – Good shows build over time. Especially with a show like Lost, there was a full week or more in between episodes. The viewer watched that episode and then was left to think about it. I found myself thinking about what this meant and what was the symbolism of that over and over. You don’t get a chance to ponder when you automatically move on to the next episode.
- The Community – Lost gave rise to a very strong fan community online. This shared experience of watching this mystery unfold together brought people together online and in person. Everyone knew someone that had formed intricate ideas and theories based upon things like Sawyer’s book choice or Jack’s tattoos. In many ways, this was more enjoyable than the show itself (and it was vastly more satisfying than the eventual conclusion.)
- The Standard of What is Good – When you binge on a really great story, it feels great. When I binged on the new Battlestar Galactica, I felt great. To me, it had everything that I wanted in a show but when it ended, there was a hole there. So I looked for another show to binge on. And then another and then another. Each time, the quality dropped and I found I had to go deeper to chase that same high. I knew I hit rock bottom when I found myself doing favors in alleyways for DVD’s of Xena: Warrior Princess. (What kind of favors? Well, I cleaned an alley way behind a Blockbuster once for a used season 2 DVD set.)
Or don’t listen to me and binge. Really who does it hurt? There are more important things in this world to worry about rather than binging on Doctor Who.