Six-and-a-half hours. That’s approximately how long I spent binge-watching Netflix yesterday. Six-and-a-half blissful hours of The Killing and Orange Is The New Black. That I managed to tear myself away to write this piece is something of a miracle in itself.
There’s almost something rebellious about it. As a child, I was threatened with the usual “your eyes will go square” type epithets meant to deter kids from spending their entire days glued to the screen. Luckily for me, 20 years later, I’m still failing to heed such well-meaning, fun-killing advice.
Whatever did we do, all those years ago, when you had to wait for your favourite TV show to play one episode a week that you couldn’t miss, nor pause, nor live tweet? For those of us who grew up with scheduled viewing, our current on demand world is the future we dreamed of – one in which we could pause our favourite show (revolutionary) while we went to the kitchen to get a snack.
It’s such a wonderful situation that inevitably studies will emerge telling us just how horrendously deadly our modern binge-watching addictions are. Netflix will probably be the newest cause of some terminal disease, because the things we love are generally the things that kill us. Binge-watching has already been linked to depression, it’s only a matter of time before we find out that it causes kidney disease or tooth decay or whatever.
But despite the dire warnings that are about to befall the binge-watching population, I’m in no hurry to give up the game. When it comes to laziness and gluttony, those two occasionally essential elements of humanity, there are few better combinations than a couch, snacks and an on demand television service.
And anyone who tells you otherwise clearly hasn’t yet seen the new season of Orange Is The New Black.