The Sneaky Cycle of the Serial Program

29 May

Having Netflix is like having all of time and space in your backyard.

Enchanting? Yes.

Irresistible?  Very nearly.

Dangerous? More than I can say.

At the beginning, it is all innocent enough. First you think, “I can watch that one TV show that I don’t have the channel for!” but then it turns into, “I heard good things about that show! Also this show. And that one. Probably.” until it finally devolves into, “That film exists. Might as well partake!”

Even more sinister is the amount of shows on Netflix. You could never really run out of them, and if you did, well, welcome to your first interaction (albeit over the internet) with another human being! We have support groups for people like you. (They’re also on the internet. Imagine that!)

And TV shows are sneakier than movies. With movies, you can have closure. When the credits roll after something like Megamind, you think, That was a lovely movie. I might watch it again someday.

After the end sequence of an episode of Lost, you think, I’m going to watch this show until it literally kills me, aren’t I? 

Because TV shows keep going! You have more each week! (Or, if you have Netflix, all the time) And with a weekly dose, you begin to form a habit. I got to the point that every Sunday night, I was sitting down to watch Once Upon a Time and thinking, I hope this episode isn’t as bad as it was last week. (It invariably was) My dad heard about my system and informed me that this habit was just as bad as continuing to date someone who never lived up to my expectations. I replied by telling him that I was sure that if I just stayed with the show a little longer, I could change it for the better.

This is what normal people refer to as “a problem.” However, I’m glad to say that Once Upon a Time and I are now taking time away from each other, and we’re both acting very mature about it.

I’ve noticed that television shows that you don’t end up disliking tend to stick to the following steps:

     1. Introduction. Maybe you know someone who watches the show, and you watch it out of courtesy/curiosity. Or maybe you’ve just been wondering about the show for a while and you decide to give it a try.

     2. Interest. This is when you realize the show is pretty okay. Maybe you’ll watch the next episode, possibly even the rest of the season. You know, if you get around to it.

     3. Intrigue. Now you like the show. Why hadn’t you heard about if before? Maybe you’ll attend a marathon showing of this program. You might even tell a couple other people about how good it is.

     4. Insanity. This is when you’re watching episodes you’ve already seen three times. This is when you start buying merchandise related to the show. This is when you start making references to people who don’t even know who you are, much less what the show is. And of course, this is when you turn to the internet for help with your now out-of-control feelings. And you start a blog.

Some people stop with the first three steps, and that is fine, not to mention socially acceptable. I even know a couple people who only went to step #2 and #3 with Doctor Who, and that’s downright impressive to me.

Book series are just as perilous, and often follow the same steps. The only difference there is that instead of Netflix, the place to go to entirely lose your wits is called a “library.” (And it’s the most glorious place on earth)

The main thing we have to watch is where enjoying something turns into wasting far too much time on something. Hey, if a story is going to keep going on, we want to be there to witness it. And there’s no shame in that!

Just be warned. It’s dangerous out there, and it’s infinitely more dangerous to go alone.

Take a fangirl with you.

17 Responses to “The Sneaky Cycle of the Serial Program”

  1. The Voyager May 29, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    Let’s not even start with Once Upon A Time. I never considered myself one of “those” people— you know, the ones who yell at the TV like the characters can hear them?

    Yeah. OUAT turned me into one of them. I have yelled at that television show so many times it’s ridiculous. I just……. ugh.

    I am both amazed and appalled by those in the population who have managed to watch just a few episodes of Doctor Who. Unless they only watched the first season. Then I’m mostly just annoyed because duh, that season is not very good but you still need to watch it.

    Anyway, off track. This was a wonderful post. And, once again, you are me.

    • Emory May 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      OUAT was mean to me! Emma was supposed to be this strong female character, but she was actually just an idiot, and no matter how much advice I gave her and everyone else on that show, they just never listened!
      And I have trouble relating to people who say they watched Doctor Who but didn’t like it. I can like them so long as the subject of their dislike and/or indifference doesn’t come up, but… It’s hard.

  2. rawkstar48 May 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm #


    • Emory May 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm #


  3. Emily C. May 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Oh my god… how did you hit the humorously neat and true way of putting it, on the head again? And this also being SO me! o.o :DD

    Although, I’d do a subset to #2 – some are gradually rising in addictive enjoyment, some simply stay at the plateau of ‘yeah, that one’s pretty cool’ (either one of those often leading to #3), and… then… those shows that hook you within the first 15 minutes or so and will not. let. go. rendering you incapable of quitting it and launching you straight to #4 (including, but not limited to, converting your friends and/or joining a show-related forum and/or checking out what -else- those great actors you now love were in). (*glares* I’m looking at you, Sherlock/Doctor).

    And your comments about Once? Me! Again!! *expression of exasperated yet helpless curiosity with sticking with it’s progression* I laughed. Also… cute points for again working in a couple geek phrases/memes…. ;D

    • Emory May 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      Aw, you always make me smile with your comments! 😀
      I was talking with someone else about OUAT today, and I think everyone agrees that it needs some serious help. Poor thing.
      I totally agree with your subset! I was thinking about throwing in another step, but to be perfectly honest, I just couldn’t think of a way to represent them with a word that started with “i.” Oops.
      (I like alliteration)
      And may I add an “amen” to your additions to step #4.

      • Emily C. June 1, 2013 at 4:49 am #

        Awww….. thankee… ;D It’s a shame, really… I began it with ‘whooahh… this is so creatively tweaky, and of course everyone loves different takes on folktales/myths that have fascinated humankind for eons and wonder what they’ll do with it?!?’ and s.1 was just so crammed full of them! Then in s.2, I’m glad they moved on to a new ‘goal’, but… it also got kinda convoluted at that point (snrk… I even told myself at one point, with the ‘sticking with it for the sake of it’ attitude, that ‘ok, you never got pulled into Lost, but this is what you get for watching a show by the same guys!!’). 😦 But it’s still popular enough to warrant a spin-off, apparently…. ;P
        I’ve managed to convert about 5 friends to either Sherlock or Who, wait in mild suffering like the rest of ’em, enjoy my ‘home’ for that stuff on a forum and pinterest, watched the boys in older stuff they were in (Ben was pretty darn good in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!), and… of course… recently got all ‘eeeee’ as mentioned with Star Trek, and DW finale. D…doctor… …Clara…?? …River… River!… I miss uuu!! ;P ;D

      • Emory June 1, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

        Everything you just said – yes. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. DoctorSherlockOUATPinterestYES.

      • Emily C. June 3, 2013 at 10:09 am #

        Hahaaa!! Yes! ;D ;D Danke. Danke. Enjoy your comments, too. 😉
        So, uh… how -do- you feel about that spin-off? ;P
        Is it safe to assume you also saw TTSS, then? Such good actors. Seeing Martin in ‘Wild Target’ was also a hilariously awesome difference. Not to mention Star Trek… (again)…… Oi…
        (but I do still miss River….) o.o

      • Emory June 10, 2013 at 11:01 am #

        What spin-off? What do I not know about?
        I have not seen TTSS, sadly! I would really really like to, it has such a fabulous cast!

  4. geekygirl91 May 30, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Oh my god,you’re just talking to my heart xD

    I swear I passed all the stages and I’m dangerously hitting the stage 4 for Supernatural, Sherlock and Doctor Who. They turn out so ADDICTING! I mean,I could spend hours and hours and keep watching them and be happy when they’re happy, cry a ridicolous amount of tears when something really bad happens… and of course, fangirling till death do us part (cause sometimes it feels like a marriage, does it?).

    Yeah,maybe this is a little unhealthy… *hides*

    • Emory May 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      Ahahaha! I was seriously *this* close to including a marriage metaphor! I’m so glad I’m just happy I’m not the only one to think like that! And I KNOW Sherlock and DW are so addicting! 🙂
      But at least it’s a happy (though sometimes miserable) relationship!

  5. Sadie May 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Dr.Who has absolutely ruined my other life (I mean the life before I ran away with the Doctor) I dream about it! Some of my friends call me a nerd. If only they knew…

    • Emory June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Hahahaha! Same here, darling! The Doctor has made my life so much more nerdy!

  6. Merrilee G Lewis June 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    Oh, so true! Love it 🙂

    • Emory June 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Aw thank you! 🙂


  1. On Catching Up | Freak of Fandom - October 23, 2013

    […] Upon a Time and I have recently reconnected after our squabble last season. Maybe it’s the thrill of being together again, maybe it’s improved, or maybe I just needed […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: