I recently found myself whinging to anyone who would listen that it had been many years since I had been into a television show. The year was 2015, the show was Friday Night Lights and that period of my life was punctuated by my dark bedroom, the blinding light of my laptop and many cancelled social events under the guise of work, but for the sole purpose of feeding the binge.
I missed the thrill of coming home with the sole intention of staring at my computer screen and strange characters for hours on end before clocking out, sleeping, working and doing it all again. I missed purposefully having no life. (These days I just mindlessly scroll on my phone for a few hours, go to bed, work, do it all again and hate the majority of my existence. Joking. Kind of.)
So, on the instruction of many, many, many people, I started watching Mad Men, and although I loved it, I found watching a TV show ten years after the rest of the world like a strange time warp. Everyone’s already lived this already. In fact, you’re floating through a man-made reality; a story that’s slowly evolving in real time except it’s ALREADY HAPPENED. These are the worst parts about getting into a TV show three generations after everyone else:
The TV shows that were a hit with the critics this year. Post continues after audio.
1. You can’t talk to anyone
Oh, and believe me, I’ve tried. I would talk to the fake plant sitting on the corner of my desk if it would open its (his? her?) mouth and respond.
My conversations go a little bit like this:
ME: “I can’t BELIEVE Don did that.”
OTHER PERSON: “Who?”
ME: “Yesterday’s ep was GREAT!”
OTHER PERSON: “What?”
ME: “I love Mad Men.”
2. You can’t google
Perhaps I should re-phrase: You can google, you just shouldn’t google.
You see, a few years ago, when I finally got into the West Wing about 20 years late (if you’re sensing a theme, congratulations) I decided to google my favourite character. Who is he! What does he do in real life! What other stuff has he been in!
I wasn’t cheating, of course, because I was googling the actor. It was like a whole different ballgame. Until my googling took me to his date of death and I realised he died in real life halfway through the series and that can only mean the show must kill him off.
I mourned him alone.
3. You generally know all the spoilers
Oh, you want start watching Gossip Girl? Sure, good luck doing that without knowing who Gossip Girl is. Same thing goes for Pretty Little Lies. And for Lost? HA. That’s a task.
And if you’re dabbling with Game of Thrones, best wishes on dodging the spoilers that tell you a ‘wedding’ doesn’t always mean marriage.
You know they will never make it again
The end is so… final.
You lose your life quickly and intensely
Watching a TV series as it drops is great for your social life. You have conversation starters. You only watch it a couple of times a week, max. You don’t dissolve into an unrecognisable heap after deciding to binge 30 episodes in two hours.
Watching 20 years late? Well, you must plough through 400 episodes in two weeks, lose your social life, develop an intense vitamin D deficiency and begin to wonder why, when you eventually do walk outside, people aren’t all in suits, long skirts and in cars that look like they’re from the 1950s.