Rumblings from the Man Cave: The Pitfalls of Binge-Watching TV Shows

By Justin Crawford

If you have never binge-watched a TV show, you are probably wondering, “How does one binge-watch a TV show?” Well its simple: You sit in front of the TV, watching the same show, episode after episode, for hours on end. My wife and I recently did this for two TV series. The first was the Jack Bauer production known as 24.

Truth be told, we started Season 1 almost two years ago when we realized 24 was available on Amazon’s Prime instant video service. We immediately devoured all 24 hour-long episodes in Season 1 in less than a week. Then we moved on to Season 2. While there were some gaps between us watching each of 24’s seasons, once we started a season, we finished it, sometimes within two days. We eventually finished Season 8, and watched the made for TV movie 24: Redemption earlier this year. We had to finish preparing for the new miniseries 24: Live Another Day, which premiers May 5 on FOX.  If you have not ever seen 24 and intend to, please stop reading now….

Still here? Good. Now 24 is full of torture and gut wrenching moments, from plot twists, some you knew were coming and some you did not, to characters dying suddenly. Watching 192 episodes and one movie of this will leave you, well, suspicious of everything! I recently was meeting someone new, thinking there was something they weren’t telling me, and I thought, “What would Jack Bauer do?” And we know what Jack would do. He would get the information. No matter the cost. No matter the harm to anyone.

When I think WWJBD, I never intend on acting on the thoughts. They just come to mind when I have immersed myself in the terrorist-filled world of a CTU agent. Better yet, I start to group real life people with characters on the show. “Oh, he is like Nina Myers – I wouldn’t trust him.” After awhile, I begin to detox from the show and see reality more like reality, until I binge-watch something else. Which is what we did, and this time it was Game of Thrones.

Some friends turned us on to Game of Thrones just a few weeks ago. Since then, we have hammered out 42 episodes. Again, if you have not seen the show, stop reading now please….

The problem with this show is that it is more gut wrenching and twisted than 24. But instead of thinking WWJBD, I constantly analyze the show. At night. At work. In the car. Doesn’t matter, I have been at work in a meeting and thought, “Oh, that’s why that cup was there!” It also helps that modern day reality isn’t renaissance period. It should make for an interesting Renaissance Fest this year though, full of thoughts like, “That’s not how the Mountain would have split his horse in half,” or “This King is nothing compared to Joffrey.” Thrones is such a detailed, well-written show that you don’t know half the little details that are there for you to find. That is what makes it a great show.

So use caution before you binge-watch anything. I wonder how Jack Bauer would end this article. I know how Ned Stark would fin….

About Cody Newbold

Cody Newbold holds a Bachelor of Science in software engineering from Middle Tennessee State University and serves as Director of Digital Innovation for Validity Publishing.

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