(photo credit: DSC06722 by Kramchang on flickr.com. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode.)
Netflix. Amazon Prime. I am not made for the on-demand world.
Actually, I am their target audience. Even though I wish I weren’t.
A few years ago, when my back went out and I couldn’t move without great pain, I found a single position, back flat, knees bent, butt up against the sofa, calves and feet on the seat of the sofa, that allowed me a few minutes, here and there, of pain-free existence.
If I put my laptop in a specific position, I could look at it and be free of pain, especially if i put an ice pack under my right hip. I couldn’t concentrate on much: not my family or my work or myself.
During the weeks between realizing the pain and getting several cortisone shots, I spent a great deal of time in the lying down, bent knee, calves on sofa, laptop positioned just right position. And being stuck in place, I decided to do something I’d thought about for awhile but had never allowed myself to do: watch as many of the 145 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as possible.
For years, my good friend told me that I would like the series, and since it was created and produced by someone (Joss Whedon) who graduated from my 800-person college graduating class, I felt compelled to give the series a shot. Over two weeks, I watched more than half of those 145 episodes. The only possible way I could have watched more would have been to deny myself those precious hours of sleep.
After the cortisone shots, I continued to watch Buffy, although at a slightly more relaxed pace. It became an addiction (and I admit here that a year later, I watched the entire series a second time because, why the heck not?) The addiction wasn’t especially to the specific show as it was to following a group of character through years of experience.
I love people watching. Netflix is the ultimate in people watching. It may be play acting but in good tv, the characters feel like real people. Since the Buffy experience, I have watched full series of Angel, the Wire, the Sopranos, Call the Midwife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Gilmore Girls, and several seasons of Friends, How I Met Your Mother and Sex and the City.
I know what you’re wondering: how does she get anything done? I carry my IPad around with me, so I watch while I sort and fold laundry, while I empty and fill the dishwasher, while I wash the kitchen floor.
Still, the watching can be described as obsessive. I can’t help myself. I know that much of what I watch is unrealistic but it is engaging and I love to be engaged.
There are those who would pass judgment on the amount of tv I have watched over the past few years. There are also those who would wonder why I haven’t watched shows like the Living Dead and Game of Thrones.
To all of those who pass judgment, I say that if you find something that gives you pleasure and helps you in your career (character studies, story structure, etc.), you should allow yourself the indulgence.
As I’ve done. And intend to keep on doing.
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