friendship

The 9 rules for binge viewing that are Not To Be Ignored.

I have a confession to make – I cheated on my partner. It was only once and it was with Jon Hamm.

That’s right, smack bang in the middle of our Mad Men binge watching relationship, I went rogue and (please forgive me Father, for I have sinned) WATCHED THE NEXT EPISODE WITHOUT HIM!!!

I simply couldn’t control my urges, I was overwhelmed by my need for just .. .one … more …

The conundrum I now face is this: Do I tell him, come clean and then deal with his disappointment and disgust? OR do I remain silent and simply suffer through the next episode again without him ever being any the wiser? I think I'm going to go with the latter. What he doesn't know can't hurt him right?

WRONG.

There are unwritten rules that need to be agreed on before you start your binge-viewing union. Such as:

1. Don't go off script and start watching ahead of your partner.

Don't go rogue. If you say you're in it together, if you enjoy the plot twists and actually viewing this as a partnership, don't ruin it by cheating on them. It'll just make you feel dirty and ashamed. Believe me on this.

2. Suffer in Silence

If you do go behind your partner's back, you must suffer in silence when you do get to sit down together. That means you will offer all of the right responses, even though you exhausted them first time round and they now feel a bit forced. If they figure out you're not interested or have not paying attention, they'll know, the jig will be up and all the fun will be gone.

3. Agree on a curfew

Binge watching isn't called 'bingeing' for nothing. If you don't set a curfew you can both agree on, you'll find yourself on the couch at 1am, covered in chips, eye red and staring but still unable to pass up just one...more...episode.

Generally I have found midnight is an acceptable curfew. We both have to get up early for work the next day and if we want to keep those jobs, we know we need to stick to this.

4. Don't, I repeat DON'T go near IMDB

For the uninitiated, IMDB is a website that lists every TV series, movie and actor EVER. Which is a great help when you're trying to place the face of an actor or discover more about a show. Except it's not so helpful when you notice that, say, one of your favourite actors doesn't appear in the 4th series.

This will in turn, destroy your love for the show because you know that he or she is somehow written out of it.

Just don't go there until you're finished.

5. Commit

So if you start watching a series together and you binge on seven episodes in one sitting, you need to commit to doing more of that in the very near future. If you're never available, don't be surprised if your partner starts to develop a wandering eye for Christina Hendricks.

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You've been warned.

Christina Hendricks - ruining marriages around the world.

6. Don't spoil it for others

The way we watch TV has changed considerably, especially with the introduction of Netflix, Apple TV, Stan and Presto. We aren't watching the same episode at the same time on the same night like we once were.

So perhaps when your mate starts to watch Game of Thrones, DON'T ruin it for him by dropping into casual conversation that he needed worry, Joffrey will be killed off in the fourth series anyway. Apologies if I just totally ruined that for you but really, the statute of limitations on that particular episode has been reached.

7. Take only one lover at a time

The rabbit hole of binge watching a good TV show is an easy one to hurtle down. It's a beginners mistake to mistake to watch too many different shows at any one time.

I understand the temptation, I really do but as one DD contributor pointed out recently, between watching Veep, House of Cards and Scandal, she can't remember who is supposed to be President of the United States.

Also, I think your viewing pleasure is lessened when you are spreading yourself around so much. In other words, keep your legs together.

8. Prepare yourself for the fall

We've all been there. We've all found ourselves pressing play on the final episode of the latest season and then wondering what in the hell we're going to do with our lives. These people have become like family, the theme song a personal soundtrack for your life.

This is also when you will start to Google the actors, learn about their lives, maybe even try to *cough* start conversations with them on Twitter.

The only remedy for this is to get back on the horse. And start all over again.

Hence our last rule ...

9. Have your next binge ready and waiting

After you have recovered from your loss, it's time to move onto the next series. Have it ready. Have it waiting. Mourn, cry, miss your characters and then let them go.  Then start all over again while remembering the rules above.

I think this episode of Portlandia (titled 'Just one more episode') encapsulates in just three minutes, everything you need to know about TV binge watching habits, rules and mistakes.

Enjoy.

And FYI, this is what we're bingeing on in the Debrief Daily office at the moment: House of Cards, Scandal, Bloodline, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Suits, Nashville, Grace and Frankie and Banshee.

Have we forgotten any of the rules for TV binge watching? Or have you ever found yourself cheating on your partner with Jon Hamm? 

Fresh out of shows to binge watch? Maybe read these instead:

The women who travel to dance and sleep with much younger men

This is the most clever (and moving) advertisement of the year

Conversation was the glue in our relationship. Then...silence

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