I didn’t think it was possible to feel stressed about TV until I got Netflix. To be truthful, I’ve never watched a huge amount of TV. When I was a kid, I watched whatever was on when I got back from school, more to pass the time while I ate my cheese-on-toast. This meant I ended up viewing all sorts of strange things; past-life regression shows, cookery competitions, Traffic Cops, and most bizarrely, curling at the Winter Olympics.
As an adult (and having developed a bit more of a life and stopped the cheese-on-toast habit), I only watched the occasional QI, Big Bang re-runs and weird documentaries. I was more of a DVD/YouTube person (for every sentence of an essay, there tends to be three more YouTube videos added on the search history).
But Netflix changed my habits. Big time. Netflix is like somebody taking about 50 box-sets, several crates of movies, and a stack of documentaries, and dumping them all on your doorstep, and only asking seventy quid in return. And it sometimes it feels like these metaphorical piles will block out the view, topple over, and bury me.
My main problem is that I don’t binge-watch. Why is this a problem, you may ask? Why is it a problem that you don’t watch 10 episodes in one day and suddenly realise that despite the fact you haven’t drank or eaten all day your bladder is full to bursting? The answer is simple; it’s a problem because I have a ‘To Watch’ list snaking out the door, but haven’t watched hardly any of it. And when you decide to get involved with shows like ‘Pretty Little Liars’ that has over 150 episodes, you are royally screwed.
So where does it all end? I suppose it doesn’t. It is a daily struggle, and as long as the ‘Recently Added’ section keeps getting topped up, it will be a never-ending struggle. Though, I must admit, out of all the struggles it is possible to be laboured with in life, having too much TV to watch is pretty mild. I will remind myself of that the next time I am weeping whilst clicking ‘Add to My List.’
So for people like me, who have too much TV and not enough time, we have three options really.
- Binge watch all the time, never get anything done, and play an enjoyable game of “Avoid The Bailiffs.”
- Cancel your Netflix subscription to focus on Real Life, and stick your fingers in your ears and go “la la la,” whenever someone starts talking about it in the kitchen at work.
- Try and do the “juggling” thing, where you’re supposed to focus a decent amount of time on each commitment in your life. Doesn’t always work, and tends to involve a pile of crossed out post-it notes.
I’m trying to pursue the third option. It’s reaching the point now where I am having to factor Netflix Time into my daily schedule, like it’s an assignment or something. This is probably not normal. Netflix for most people is a weakness that stops them from getting things done. But for me, I have to stop doing other things to fit Netflix in.
But when I am feeling particularly anxious about it, I remember all the terrible things happening in the world, and this brings me down to earth rapidly. Too much TV, after all, is very much a first-world problem.