The Art of Binge-Watching

Quarantine transformed me into a couch potato. Throughout those isolated months, I learned many things: how to make bread, how to upcycle clothes, and most importantly, the art of binge-watching. I have watched many Netflix titles in my day, but with the new levels of boredom experienced during quarantine, I found myself exploring more titles of different genres. I dove into docuseries, historical dramas, and a fair share of anime.

Not only was I finding different genres to watch, but I was also finding better ways to binge-watch. Your perfect binge-watching experience is not just based on the show alone. There are special things that could make even a mediocre show more enjoyable. In order to have the best experience possible, you need to have the best snacks possible. Go all out! Buy all of the boxes of extra toasted Cheez-Its and Tate’s Chocolate Chip Cookies at your local grocery store, make sure your Brita is full with ice cold water, and finally sit through Legend of Korra (because, quite frankly, you’re months behind the rest of the world on the conspiracy theories and they’re a lot more intense than anyone could have anticipated for a kids' show). Another great tip is that the second wind comes after 3 a.m. This rule may only be true for me — if so, label me an insomniac and go to bed at your regularly scheduled time — but after 3 a.m., you start to wonder if you even really need sleep at all. Although, when you eventually pass out in the morning and wake up at noon the next day, it’ll be obvious that you do.

After the sleepless night with a shirt covered in salt from the bag and a half of Cheez-Its you’ve consumed, you’ve finally watched your first show all the way through in one sitting (or with very few breaks). Within your whirlwind of emotion, you feel this overwhelming pit of shame. For the last day and a half, you’ve been in your bed, in the same shirt, invested emotionally in the lives of fictional characters. You unconsciously check your phone. Your Instagram feed is filled with your friends going on drives, watching the sun rise, and having the summer of their lives. Suddenly you are behind, you wonder how everyone can make quarantine look fun and adventurous; you feel boring. 

I started to question this process of emotion in myself not just after I finished watching a show, but even after I rewarded myself with a moment to relax. I almost always felt shame because of all the other things that I could have been doing. I believed that overscheduling and overworking was more admirable than giving myself a much needed break. However, in reality, breaks are not a definite sign of laziness, just like a packed schedule is not a definite sign of success. The real reason why so many of us students are suffering from poor time management is because we’re not giving ourselves balance. After an hour of studying, it is OKAY to take a 15-minute break. After a packed week of exams and activities, it is OKAY to take a full day to do whatever you want. The best way to stay productive and happy is to stay balanced.