The other day I woke up with a terrible flu-like thing that basically rendered me unable to get out of bed. It really sucked. But, after I had begged off work for the day and dragged myself downstairs for a cup of tea, I curled back up in bed with my laptop and began streaming some Girls, where no matter how terrible or how out-of-control I feel, it’s never worse than what’s happening with Hannah and co.
I think Girls is one of my favourite sick day binge shows. Everyone is flawed and terrible and they don’t look super-polished, which is nice when you’re a walking zombie.
I was very quickly distracted by the angst-ridden growing pains on display and started to feel a little less sorry for myself. I felt my mood lift as I watched other people adulting terribly, and I even managed to laugh a little. As I ploughed through the fourth episode in a row, it occurred to me that I am maybe just a little dependent on TV, almost like it is a person in my life.
"No matter how terrible I feel...it’s never worse than what’s happening with Hannah and co." Image: HBO.
When I’m sick I lean on it for comfort, familiarity and to make me feel better, just like I might a partner or a friend. Which led to think about all the other ways I’ve subtly begun to substitute my favourite characters for real human beings.
Sometimes, after work when I’ve had a long or stressful day, I like to come home, pour a glass of red wine and watch The Good Wife, where Alicia will keep me company while I nurse my drink, and where all my problems will pale into insignificance when I remember she’s the estranged wife of a corrupt governor who works at the world’s most take-over obsessed law firm.