Welcome to Binge Watchers Anonymous (BWA).
I promise, if you follow this simple schedule you can change your life for the better. If you are like most binge watchers, when season three of House of Cards premiered Friday, Feb 27th on Netflix you were probably done with the 13 episode season by late Sunday night. After waiting an entire year for the season to debut, you immediately consumed it in less time it took the series editors to edit one episode. I understand, I’ve been there. I cut the cord a long time ago. No cable, no satellite. My Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions were my only link to the “good” part of television. I have rabbit ears for the occasional sporting event, local morning news, or American Idol (don’t judge me.)
Both Netflix and Amazon have been developing original series for a few years now, and unlike traditional television, they dump the entire season online at once for audiences to consume at their leisure or as fiendishly as possible. Most people I know, make it a habit to binge watch all 13 or so episodes all at once because, well they can. As one who’s engaged in the habit, I began to feel disappointed after it was all done. Because it’s over too quickly. Sure, I had control and got to maintain the momentum of the series at my own pace, but it was my weakness for cliffhangers that did me in. I began to miss the anticipation you get when having to wait a week to find out what happens next and to digest and savor that one great episode. Game of Thrones is a great example. I enjoy watching it week to week because it’s so good and I get months of enjoyment out of it instead of 13 hours over one weekend.
So, if you’ve ever considered trying to maintain a regular schedule of Netflix or Amazon Prime programming, then I have the solution for you. It’s the BWA 13 Week Program.
Below is the the “BWA Guide”. Feel free to modify it to your liking, but I recommend trying this line up out first for at least 13 weeks. That will get you through most first seasons. It’s based on a traditional broadcast tv primetime schedule that may feel familiar to anyone who grew up without the internet. And if all you know is life with online video, then get ready to have your life changed for the better. It’s based on a concept most millennials have a hard time dealing with… self-discipline.
This is the HBO defined version of Sunday nights. Think back to when The Sopranos and Six Feet Under were on the air. Great drama, excellent writing and superb acting.
8:00 pm Bloodline (Netflix – premieres today)
9:00 pm House of Cards (Netflix)
After the first day of the work week takes a toll on you, you’re gonna need some laughs. For the 9:00pm slot, go ahead and pick any number of the stand up comedy specials Netflix has been commissioning.
8:00 pm Alpha House (Amazon Prime)
8:30 pm Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
9:00 pm Stand-Up Comedy (Netflix)
We’ll call this Diversity Tuesdays (I had a different nickname, but that’s just gonna get me into trouble,) as you get your dose of diverse lifestyles set in very diverse environments.
8:00 pm Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon Prime)
8:30 pm Transparent (Amazon Prime)
9:00 pm Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
This is the day to travel abroad and escape the week. First along the Silk Road toward world domination and then to Norway for a fish out of water story about a guy who’s sent people to sleep with the fishes.
8:00 pm Marco Polo (Netflix)
9:00 pm Lilyhammer (Netflix)
The great thing about these streaming services is the huge library of classic television series. There is no reason #ThrowbackThursdays can’t extend to your TV and Netflix. (Feel free to substitute your old favorites for your night of “Must See TV”)
8:00 pm That 70’s Show
8:30 pm M.A.S.H
9:00 pm Cheers
9:30 pm Freaks and Geeks
10:00 pm Star Trek: The Next Generation (or Firefly or Gilmore Girls. See how easy it is?)
You’ve made it through the week and now you just want to blow stuff up, freak people out or solve a murder. Or at least watch others do that stuff on TV.
8:00 pm Hemlock Grove (Netflix)
9:00 pm Daredevil (Netflix – premieres 4/10)
10:00 pm Bosch (Amazon Prime)
Don’t forget, the Netflix and Amazon Prime libraries are mostly filled with… movies! So cook up a batch of popcorn and choose a flick that’s been sitting in that queue for the past three years. And with Amazon, you can also rent a new release that may also still be in theaters, saving you big money by staying in.
8:00pm Saturday Night Movie
So there you have it, a real manageable schedule that will allow you to feel like a real human being again. You won’t be tied to the idiot box. You’ll get to bed at a decent hour. You won’t forget about friends or family functions. You’ll walk the dog and remember that the laundry needs to go into the dryer. And if you are like me, without cable, you can swap out the shows you don’t like with ones from cable or broadcast networks that you never got to see but heard so much about. I watched a few episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and didn’t like it. I have gotten into the FX series The Americans on Amazon Prime and am really digging that. In fact, I’ve got it on my schedule twice in one week. I know, I know… but it’s one day at a time right?. Baby steps.
(memes credit: the internet’s most clever)