Author : Aziz Chikhly
Just like any other addiction, the obsession with TV shows starts small. First, you start smattering of “how great a character is” and “How there’s nothing like it on TV” to your friends and coworkers. You recite lines of that show to people (without context) and they are supposed to find it funny. You start streaming “The best of….” videos on YouTube —- a mashup of 10 second clips from an entire season of the show featuring one specific character — And share them with your friends with messages like “Bro !! you got to watch it, this show is sick” with a slight hint that they better watch it because they are going to be quizzed on it in your next meeting. If you have a group of friends who watch the same show and talk about it incessantly, then you’ve found your heaven (I’m looking at you, HBO’s Game of Thrones.)
Once you are deep into these habits, you will let these shows suck your life episode by episode, dialogue by dialogue and let me warn you, there is no stopping. You start to talk, think and walk like these characters (If you are watching Dexter, You should stop. Like now!) You start skipping out on your friends to sit in your dark apartment (oh yeah, you don’t feel the need to use the lights anymore.) Pretty soon, weekends are spent at such exorbitant rates — 9-hours marathon sprees — your reality starts to become ingrained in the show.
You now consider these fictional people and plots to be your ideal companions and way of life. You start to carry them around with you on daily basis. Daydreams about breaking the metaphysical barrier and entering the show yourself will be a common occurrence. Insisting your friends to hang out in the same coffee shop everyday and expect them to behave like Ross,Rachel,Joey,Pheobe and Monica while you are being the Chandler of the group (Normal). Relishing the thought of being put into prison with Wentworth Miller (Normal). Planning to change your major to law so that you can wear and talk like Harvey or Mike (Normal).
You begin to drift toward people you’d never hang out with solely because they watch the show and converse in your new language. You rush home to your computer and feel giddy at the thought of watching your favorite character. “Just one more episode” becomes your thing. You start to cut your girl friends calls early so that you can watch an episode before you go to sleep. Slowly but surely your life is being consumed and you don’t even realize it.
These fantasies spiral to the breaking point, until… wait, that’s it? The show’s over? There are no more episodes? How is this possible? There were six seasons and it’s only been a week! There’s no way you could have finished the whole thing off that fast. You scour the internet for behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew — anything to make the relationship with your character last.
You can’t deny, however, that something inside you has died a little bit. That feeling you got of looking forward to the next episode is gone. You still like all the characters, but they seem faded — distant. Then one day when you’re watching a video of the second grip explaining his lighting scheme for episode 42, you realize you have nothing left to give.
You get out from under your covers, take a shower, finally put on a pair of pants, and go to your kitchen and make yourself something to eat. You can’t believe the strain you’ve put on yourself during this addiction. You decide tomorrow you will call your best friend and hang out, possibly read a book, and go for a leisurely stroll outside. You look at yourself in the mirror and smile, you’re fine — nothing is wrong with you. The show seems like a distant memory. You smile. George.R.R.Martin still has a few books up his sleeves.