I love watching TV. Next to reading, it’s one of my favorite pastimes. Sometimes, I think I binge television shows more than I read. But, as much as I love it, I have a reoccurring habit that I can’t seem to drop: I can’t finish TV shows. I know it sounds crazy. The point of bingeing a show is to sit through it from start to finish. But something always stops me when I’m approaching the final seasons of a show. We’re living in a new age where you hear about finished TV shows constantly. Because of this, I know lots of spoilers going into a show, and typically, it doesn’t bother me. I like knowing what leads up to the big climatic plot twist death, and seeing how it’s foreshadowed before it actually happens. I don’t mind knowing that X leaves the show and his character is replaced by Y.
But I’m starting to this that this well-connected era we’re living in is why I can’t finish TV shows. I almost never watch shows weekly, so if I let a show sit in My List on Netflix for a couple of months (or years), I know that it’ll most likely still be there when I’m in the mood to watch it. I binge-watched the first five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy a couple of years ago, stopped to start another few shows, then went back and binge-watched season 6 through 11 (and then, of course, stopped there for good). It’s a weird, chaotic mess, but it’s a habit I can’t shake. It might be the fact that bingeing shows allows the act of watching to lose its excitement, and I don’t feel inclined to finish them when they are so many other shows I could start (and subsequently, abandon).
I’ve also thought about how I feel when I finish a show. There are a select few TV shows that I actually have finished, and have rewatched countless times. I also used to watch tons of k-dramas, and the commitment to start and finish those were a lot more attainable since they were typically one season long, and had about 16 episodes (see: My Top 3 K-dramas of 2016 and 6 Romantic K-dramas To Watch This February). Though, there are a handful of k-dramas I’ve started and never continued on with. But each time I would finish a really great show, I’d get this weird void, and I’d immediately want to dive into another show that was hopefully very similar to the one I’d just watched. I get super sentimental which the fiction I consume, so it might be that I’m avoiding an anticlimactic ending, and a fear of being unsatisfied.
In the end, the reason I can’t finish TV shows is probably within all of these ideas I’ve mentioned in this post. It’s just the way I go with TV. I guess this makes me more of a casual watcher than I assumed that I was (especially in an age where no one seems to only casually watch things anymore). It’s a weird phenomenon, and one I’ll most likely continue on with after finishing up this post (I just started the first season of New Girl while I’m in-between about five other shows).
I’m not sure if anyone can relate, but if you can, then this one is for you.
Happy binge-watching (or binge-watching-limited in my case).