Dig Baton Rouge

East of the River

By Katie East

If you’ve been avoiding social media and covering your ears for the last two weeks then you’re probably like me: You haven’t watched season two of Orange is the New Black yet. Spoiler alerts are imminent enough when you miss one episode of a popular TV show. When the entire season premieres at one time? You might as well hide in a hole and abstain from human contact; everyone is going to want to talk about it.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t want to watch more than a couple hours of one TV show at a time. After three hours you officially get sucked into a TV K hole. I’ve never tried Ketamine or other animal tranquilizers but I’m pretty sure it’s a similar experience to going on a TV series bender.
With Netflix having entire seasons of TV shows at the click of a button, binging on TV has become more and more commonplace. No more wondering who shot JR. Just stay on that couch and wait a second. Netflix will skip to the next season without asking and you’ll be sucked in for another 12 hours.
I no longer do TV binging. Admittedly, I experimented with it some after college, but that was just a phase.  I would have to be recovering from surgery or have a life-changing hangover to sit around and watch an entire season of a show.
There are tons of shows I wish I had watched when they originally aired; it’s too late for me now though. If the series is more than two seasons deep I permanently write off watching it.
I refuse to catch up on a show if it’s going to suck me in like a newfound drug addiction. So long Dexter and The Wire! I’m sure you were great, but I’ll never know you. Who has the time? I prefer to keep my addictions casual. I need to be in control of my viewing habits.
This year my boyfriend convinced me to catch up on Game of Thrones before the new season started. I knew it was a bad idea, but what kind of girlfriend would I be to make him watch it alone? Or worse, I could sit thru the season understanding none of the intricate back-story. You know nothing John Snow!
For two weeks, I said goodbye to my self-control and I was back to being a TV junkie. About halfway thru the first season I knew I was hooked; I started to feel that itch again. My boyfriend felt the need to gloat.
The thing is I knew I would like the show. That is why I didn’t want to start watching it! I didn’t want to force myself into watching many hours of an epic series in a set amount of time. I didn’t want to get wrapped into some fantasy world with my busy schedule.
I knew I was going to have to make some viewing guidelines so I didn’t lose control. Even just a few episodes in, I knew there was a slippery slope to a full on TV habit.
No more than two episodes a day was my first rule. That was a given. Then I decided three episodes was acceptable if it was on a day off. But it could never be more than three episodes a day. Never.
A little into season two and my resolve was dwindling. I was still sticking by my second rule though: no watching an episode before work. Now this would be easy for most people, but my boyfriend and I don’t go to work until 2 p.m. I didn’t want to get sucked in and then have to switch my brain off of Westeros time.
Then, one day, I broke my second rule. Twice. Let me tell you, I got sucked so far in I could barely make it to work. I won’t tell you what episode it was but SPOILER ALERT: There was rape. It was almost impossible to quickly change and go to a job after experiencing such emotional family incest turmoil.
After my panic attack that ensued on my drive to work I vowed never to binge watch a television series again. For season two of Orange is the New Black I’ve watched a respectable two per week. So I’m sorry if you have to whisper this season’s plot twists to avoid people like me hearing. I’m going to continue to watch TV in moderation while you guys chase the dragon.

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