Taking Advantage of Your TV Addiction (Part One)

Since graduating college, I've discovered the wonders (and horrors) of having access to Netflix. In other words, I have become obsessed with precisely one billion TV shows. When homework and essays dominated my life, I had no time to get "addicted" to TV. These after-school responsibilities worked to keep me away from my computer. But these days... well, what can I say? Like most of the world, I've become a slave to online television.

That said, I've developed a few ways to turn this habitual inertia into constructive multitasking. And by golly, you can do it too! Below is a list of strategies, fondly named after those shows which have distracted me most, to ensure your TV obsessions are maintained wisely.

Let's begin, shall we?


An excuse for teatime, obviously. Herbals after supper or before bed. English Breakfast on weekend mornings when you oversleep but find it's still too early for lunch (elevensies!) Cream Tea with a friend when you're playing hooky because Mary and Matthew are about to get together, dammit, and you have to see it NOW. Downton episodes average about an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to heat some water (three times over, because the Mr. Bates plot keeps distracting you) and down about fifty scones. Downton teatime soon became an expected meditation for me, and it eased many a stressful workday right out the door.


Maybe it's the BBQ cookout in the credits, but something about The Wonder Years always got me craving a bite. Rather than allowing myself to trail endlessly between kitchen and bedroom with family-size pretzel bags and peppermint jo-jos, I'd set up my laptop in the kitchen and prepare dinner to the winsome voiceovers of Kevin Arnold. The Wonder Years has so much narration, it almost functions as a radio show, so it's perfect for this kind of multitasking.


I know a lot of people who can't get behind Mad Men. They all have their reasons; it's slow, it's offensive, it doesn't have any likeable characters... I can only shake my head at this, because for me Mad Men is a constant education in HOW TO ACT LIKE A BOSS. And I don't just use "act" in the theatrical sense -- I mean I have learned how to ask for a raise, identify harassment, own my ideas, (own my mistakes), sell a product off pure emotion, and wear a mother-loving Peter Pan collar from this show. There is no way to describe how the line "You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl" impacted me my first year in the work force. Mad Men may be furiously entertaining, but when that theme song starts, school is in session for me.


I'm starting to realize that Pretty Little Liars is the teenage, more fashion-conscious little sister of Twin Peaks. Same element of small-town mystery surrounding the disappearance of a dimple-chinned, seemingly-wholesome beauty queen who may or may not still be alive. There is one major difference, though: PLL is for nail-painting; Twin Peaks is for nail-biting.



It was extremely fortunate that I discovered this marvelous bit of Netflix genius while I was following a consistent gym routine. First off, I can't imagine what kind of effect my I'm-so-nervous-for-Jesse-Pinkman anxiety eating would've had on my body otherwise. More importantly, it presented an excellent reward system to ensure that I went to the gym directly after work. If I promised myself an episode (or two or three) of Breaking Bad after a full workout, I exercised with all the initiative of a bible salesman at Christmastime. YEAH, SCIENCE!!

Stay tuned for Part Two, coming Thursday!

1 comment:

  1. I usually use Netflix or TV as my background entertainment while cooking or completing other tasks as well. I've tried on a couple of occasions to start Downtown Abbey, but I find it's one that I really need to pay attention to, and that time had already been devoted to Mad Men. Ugh. I guess I am a Netflix junkie too!