Hello readers, and welcome back! I have a very exciting announcement to make - the HSC is officially over and I am free to live my life without the burden of secondary study and can therefore post way more often than I have been! Today, I'm going to talk about a subject close to everyone's hearts - television. With all my newly obtained free time, I've been dedicating my days to watching every TV series Netflix has to offer. This excessive binge watching in conjunction with my rather addictive personality has resulted in what was supposed to be a harmless pastime morphing into a hardcore obsession. So that got me thinking, where is the point of no return? When does entertainment dominate your whole life? That, ladies and gentlemen, is the case I have decided to crack for you today. So, without further ado, may I present to you the 13 stages you will go through on your way to total tele-visual obsession . . .
Stage 1: Googling Behind-the-scenes Facts
Did you know that the pictures and videos used in the 'Orange is the New Black' credits are of real life prisoners? And that Piper Kerman, the writer of the book whose story the show is based upon, also features in it? I do. Why? Because finding out these fun tid bits are what this first stage is all about. It's harmless, at first. But then you start getting hooked and want to know everything there is to possibly know about everything that goes on while the cameras are off. However, this is only the beginning. You can still turn back now.
Stage 2: Watching Cast and Crew Interviews
You know you're about to get in deep when you want to check whether the connection between the characters on the show is genuine for the actors in real life or purely fictional. If they totally hate each other? There's hope for you yet. And if they don't? You're instantly propelled into the next stage of obsession.
Stage 3: Following the Entire Cast on All Social Media Platforms
If the cast interviews are on point, you are pretty much guaranteed to want to stalk them on every form of social media to know what's going on in their lives, and to see how much your new favourite cast hang out off set. Even if they never post, it's just nice to know that you'll be there...waiting...for if they ever do.
Stage 4: Watching Other Shows Because the Actors from Shows you Love are in Them
Not to brag, but filmography stalking is my specialty. This method is pretty much how I find every TV show and movie ever. Considering you now follow the cast members from your favourite new show on social media, it's pretty easy to find out what their other projects are. Honestly, I started watching 'Scream Queens' because it had Addie from 'Unfabulous', True from 'True Jackson VP', Cat from 'Victorious' and of course Rachel Berry from 'Glee', and now it's one of my go to programs. Television inspiring television is a truly beautiful thing. And let's face it, if your favourite characters alone are enough of a draw card, your dedication to the show they're originally from is getting pretty intense by this point.
Stage 5: You're Willing to Give Up Sleep to Fit More of the Show into your Day
If you're binge watching your new go to show on Netflix, loving life, and then casually glance at your phone only to discover that it's actually 4:30am, you're in pretty deep. What's even worse is when after looking at the time, you're still not compelled to stop watching, because going to sleep would just mean you take more time away from watching the goings-on of your new fictional family.
Stage 6: You Talk About the Show All the Time to the Point that Others Get Super Bored, but you just Don't Care
Considering you've officially given up sleep and are totally inundated with your new favourite program 100% of the time, on the rare occasion that you actually do talk to other humans, all you will be able to talk about is the show. Whether it's intentional or not, it's all you will be able to think about. So when something comes up in conversation that even vaguely resembles a plot point or a line of dialogue, you'll just start rattling off facts and getting heavily into character analysis, while the normal people in the room will be totally confused and completely zone out. That's friendship.
Stage 7: Show Slang and Phrases Have Become a Part of your Vocabulary
I knew when I casually started using HIMYM terms such as 'revertigo' and 'woo girls', and saluting a rubbish bin whenever I saw the sign 'general waste' that there really wasn't any going back. Be prepared for no one to understand a word you're saying.
Stage 8: You have both Canon and Non-Canon Ships
Shipping canon couples is just the beginning, but when your ships become non-canon? That's when things get real. I mean, it's easy to root for a couple that the show creators have already established for you, like for instance 'The OC's' Summer and Seth, but when you start to get creative and ship say Ryan and Seth, you've left the show's realms of fictional reality and entered into fictional fiction, which is a super hardcore layer of fandom.
Stage 9: You Read or Create Tumblr Conspiracies
That realm of fictional fiction I was talking about with the non-canon ships? Times that by 30, and you've reached tumblr conspiracy theory level. They're actually the best, and stem from fans deconstructing their new go-to show, over-analysing everything, and forming connections that range from plausible to outrageous, and each are just as amazing as the next. I may or may not have posted a few 'Stranger Things' conspiracy theories myself (because seriously where is Eleven?!).
Stage 10: You have a Dance to the Theme Song
Stage 11: When Promos for Next Week's Episode Aren't Enough, You Look Up all the Spoilers on the Show's Wikia
Your commitment to the show is obvious when you realise just how much you need to know everything about it. Ordinarily, spoilers are a bad thing, but when the 30 second promo just isn't cutting it and you absolutely must find out exactly what is going down in the next episode, the show's wikia is your next pit stop. Sometimes it has spoilers about the next 5 episodes to come, and if the show is filmed in front of a live studio audience, you have first hand confirmation of the plot lines about to go down. Honestly, I'm not even kidding, Glee Wikia is still my home page despite the show having been off the air for a year. Obsessive habits die hard.
Stage 12: You Want to Name a Pet or a Child After a Character
This next stage is characterised by the integration of fiction into your reality. If the characters in the show you are obsessing over are so phenomenal and profoundly impactful (let's pretend that's a word) that you want them to be a part of your own world, the least you can do is name your child - or fur child - after them.
Stage 13: You Let the Show Influence Your Career Choices
The final stage involves the ultimate marrying together of fiction and reality, this being when a show means so much to you that you let it dictate your career choices with absolutely no regrets. As a youth, I'm not gonna lie, after binge watching 'Bones', I super wanted to become a forensic anthropologist despite the fact that I hated studying science. Why? Because TV made it look hella interesting. Of course, now I'm aiming for the way more realistic goal of making it on Broadway, but for some people, they never change their mind, and morph fiction and reality together forever.
So that's about it! If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, then I hate to break it to you, but you are an addict and it's time to embrace it. Til' next time . . .