The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge-Watching TV



I know binge-watching TV has been all the rage for a while now, but I never bothered to indulge in the phenomenon due to my fear of commitment and all things considered “trendy.” That all changed when Netflix’s ‘House of Cards’ -- which has quickly become one of my all-time favorite shows -- launched its second season last month. I didn’t plan to spend hours on end watching Frank Underwood work his underhanded magic, glued to my bed/couch/any object that could prop me up, ignoring the real world around me. But, alas, it happened. The interwebz warned me about the perils of binge-watching TV: Addiction! Destruction! Smelliness!

And, sadly, they were right about everything.

Now that I’ve had space from this dark period in my life, I have some new perspective on what it means to be a TV Binge-Watcher, and guess what? It pretty much resembles the Five Stages of Grief, which describes what most people experience after a life-altering event. Personally, I can’t think of anything more life changing than willingly locking yourself up in a room and watching television for 72 hours. So, fellow TV lovers, I ask you: do you see yourself in the stages below?


The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge Watching TV

At first I was all like, “Of course, I’ll watch the first episode of ‘House of Cards,’ but that’s it! Only one episode! I want to savor it!” And then I watched it, and my world was rocked, so, obviously, I thought: “OMG! What the what! OK, now I HAVE to watch the second episode, but that’s it! Then, I’m absolutely going to bed because I totally got this!” LIES!



Netflix’s taunting of “Play next episode?” goaded me, getting under my skin, and I found, much to my dismay, that I was one with Netflix. I hated myself. Two episodes quickly turned into three and then four, and then…who the heck knows or cares?! I was in full-on crisis mode, people. Previously to my night of debauchery, I had prided myself on showing restraint of TV consumption. That I could be the one -- maybe the only one in the free world -- who could still watch television like we did in the old days: the weekly episode. But, no! Netflix had me in its clutches. I was done. And I was oh-so-angry.


The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge Watching TV 

My Type A personality started to kick in (finally!) after a few hours, reminding me that I had errands to run, deadlines to meet, food to eat, a life to live. Yep, I knew what time it was: time for some real talk. So I said to myself sternly and aloud (which, by the way, is one of the first signs of slipping slowly into madness): “I’ll watch one more, and then I’ll eat. And then I’ll watch one more after that, and I’ll shower. Everything will be OK. Everything will be OK…”


The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge Watching TV 

Everything was not OK! I didn’t stop watching, and I didn’t even shower. All right, that’s a lie. I’m not a hobo. I showered. I had a nice meal. I even took a breath of fresh air, because, even though I was under voluntary house arrest, I knew my rights. But then I went straight back to bed, resumed play, and huddled under my blankets, rocking back and forth, wondering if my life would ever go back to how it was before I succumbed to the power of Netflix, binge-watching and ‘House of Cards.’ Then, I cried. But not because of the aforementioned. I cried because I was worried about what would happen to that little ferret (that’s a ‘HOC’ inside reference, by the way).


 The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge Watching TV

By the time I made it to the final episode, I was like, “Whatever. This is where I’m at right now and I’m OK with it.” And I was. I understood that following the Underwood’s journey for 72 hours was my Zuel-given destiny. Also, let's be honest, I loved knowing that I had finished watching the series before most of my friends. It was a source of pride I had never experienced before, and it felt braggy good. I liked saying to pals, “Oh! You haven’t finished it yet?” As well as, “You won’t get that reference until episode six. Just wait! It’s SO good! Oops! Maybe I said too much.” And, “What’s taking you so long? You have a life to live or something?”

Bonus Stage: EMPTINESS

 The 6 Terrible Stages of Binge Watching TV

This stage is not apart of the official Five Stages of Grief, but it is a genuine phase that is unique to TV binge watchers across the globe. It’s the feeling that comes when you realize that you have to wait a whole year – an entire 365 days! – if not longer, until you will revisit these characters again. You might find yourself wondering how they’re doing, what they’re up to, and if things will be the same between you once you see them again. You will wonder if you will become addicted to another show the same way ever again. And then you remember ‘Orange Is the New Black’ is coming back soon, and your void is filled. For now. 

- House of Cards (2013)
- Kevin Spacey
- Robin Wright
- Netflix

Written by: briannehogan
Mar 30th, 2014, 11:57 am

Images courtesy of, Netflix


Message Posted On Apr 3rd, 2014, 5:33 am
All you newbies! Only when things become a trend do you start 'decrying' it. I've been binge watching TV series since the days of VHS! "Back in the Day" when TV series used to take YEARS to cross the atlantic one had to have it recorded by friends or relatives then sent over. Netflix only made it easy for the uncommitted. :)
Peter in Oz

Message Posted On Apr 2nd, 2014, 2:29 am
I mean, Jesus, I watched House of Cards before I met my husband and we've been together for 18+ yrs. Talk about US TV being behind the times!
Peter in Oz

Message Posted On Apr 2nd, 2014, 2:25 am
oops! Francis Urquhart that is (not Frank Underwood - urggh!) - so initials only kept (for those anally retentive readers)
Peter in Oz

Message Posted On Apr 2nd, 2014, 2:20 am
Why would you binge watch an American remake of a 1990 English show starring F.U. (at least they kept the character's name)? But, of course, I could never say such a thing...:)

Level 2 (50%)
Points: 3.1
Since: 11/Jan/06
Message Posted On Apr 1st, 2014, 8:40 am

Personally I often save up a series till the end and then watch it in a session or two. I have found that you pick up a lot more of the nuances of the plot that way. A weekly schedule is much less conducive to this. In fact I hardly ever watch TV live any more - you end up watch filler and ads.


Message Posted On Mar 31st, 2014, 4:14 pm
You realise that one short season in three days is not binging right? Admittedly it's like 12 hours of tv, but binging would be watching them all in one go, one after the other, maybe taking a break to eat but more likely just stuffing your face with junk while still watching. That's just one day with time to shower, eat, and go to the gym if you really feel you absolutely must... For longer/multiple seasons, sleep would be allowed to break it up, just so long as you pick up watching it once you wake up.

Level 1 (48%)
Since: 02/Apr/13
Message Posted On Mar 31st, 2014, 5:04 am

Only binge watch once,house of cards season one and in the end i felt i'd missed out and rushed the show so i dont do it anymore and i feel better for it too,its nice to be able to watch a show whenever you want but to watch them all at once isnt my cup of tea.


Message Posted On Mar 31st, 2014, 1:54 am
TvRage is a strange place, sometimes the writing is very good. Most times it's just filler. They put pictures for news shows on the attract screen, as if people world wide are clamouring to watch american local news. They put up low-res pictures as if its a count the dots competition. the don't seem to to notice if the aspect ratio is wrong. Note the many stretched out fat people on the attract screen. I'd really like to know how old the site owners are. They write articles that encourage the readers not to read. This article was tongue in cheek.

Level 1 (48%)
Points: 0.2
Since: 25/Dec/13
Message Posted On Mar 31st, 2014, 1:47 am

I see nothing wrong with binge watching. With the econmy being the way it is, staying in with a favorite show is perfectly fine method of entertainment. 


Message Posted On Mar 30th, 2014, 2:25 pm
I'm right there with you 'sumguy.' I guess I too didn't get the memo that women are allowed to write and have their opinion. The sexist undertones in this piece make me uncomfortable with my own masculinity. And how am I supposed to tell the difference between news and opinion? What kind of progressive, thoughtful, inclusive, 21st century entertainment website is this?
Related news

Netflix To Show 13-Episode Horror Series From Eli Roth

Netfix has recently been looking to establish itself as a legitimate..

David Cross Optimistic About Arrested Development Revival

Fans of FOX's too-short sitcom Arrested Development collectively shook a..

Instant Gratification: Ist. Edn.

Welcome one and all to a new feature making it's debut on TVRage entitled..