Television shows with weekly broadcast schedules have limited encroachment into your life. Unfortunately, modern technology is making it way too easy to get locked into a crazy marathon of television addiction.
And I’m pretty sure I’ve become its latest victim.
It was bad enough when TV shows started being distributed in an entire season on DVD… That would allow you to sit there and watch one show after another on disc until the entire season was done. The fact that seasons are relatively expensive means that you might have been able to resist… until Netflix started shipping discs to your door. (I’ve gotten lost in more than one 24 season weekend marathon.)
As an example… see this couple’s struggle with turning off the television once they have the entire series of Battlestar Galactica on DVD, daring them to stop watching:
DVRs made it similarly easy, because you can set your favorite shows to record and let a bunch of them pile up, for watching in a marathon session at a time of your choosing. You still have to fast forward through commercials, damn it, but it’s pretty convenient all in all. (I’ve been known to work through an entire season of a show after inadvertently letting a long list of recordings pile up.)
And then there’s on-demand television through your cable company. Lately the big push is for hit shows to be available on demand, which gives you the ability to watch a whole bunch of shows in a row if you wait patiently for the queue to build up. (I did this
Now, though, Netflix has finally pushed things too far on the addiction-enabling front. You can watch streaming television shows over the Internet, and with a Netflix-enabled device (like an Xbox 360 console with an Xbox Live account, or even better, an Apple TV) you can sit on the couch and enjoy streaming shows in comfort. Again, though, this is just a little too convenient, if you ask me.
I recently decided to check out the television show Breaking Bad, since I had heard good things… and before long, I was hooked, watching several episodes at a time. This all culminated last weekend when my friend Clay and I sat and watched five episodes late into the evening, after each episode asking each other, “One more?” until it was well after midnight.
It started again the next morning, as soon as we woke up… One episode turned into two, and then some additional “One more?” inquiries turned into a few more hours of television watching.
I’m really starting to think that I have a problem.