Thoughts and illustrations on living on the autism spectrum.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Breaking Binge

Caught in the week-long dead zone between Christmas and New Year’s, with little to do but wait for the calendar to turn so my normal routine could resume, I found myself desperate for a diversion. Diagnosis: terminal. Terminal boredom.

I grew increasingly amenable to any potential escape from the post-holiday doldrums.  And thus, I took a step down a dark path, with a click of the remote.  Namely, “Breaking Bad.”

Here was a show whose entire run I had avoided, as much a polar opposite to my TV tastes as murder to Walter White's morals pre-cancer. Me, whose viewing habits were confined to Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, and reality shows. Me, who swore off "The Bridge" as too disturbing. This line of viewing, it didn’t suit me. But, in the “Pro” column, there was nothing else on, and I had time to fill. Just one episode, what’s the harm in that?

The next day, the same old boredom was there. So was the all-day marathon. It wasn’t too far of a reach to click the remote over to AMC again. And I found I couldn’t watch just one. I don’t binge, ever. A few hours of TV a day is excessive for me. I knew full well I could Netflix it on my own schedule. But I couldn’t stop – I wanted it all, right then and there. I Broke Binge.

“Breaking Bad” became my life, just for a day, straight through from noon till 3 AM. And then a second day of the same. Armed with a helpful hashtag, I willingly allowed mild spoilers from Twitter, in exchange for knowing when to turn away for the gory parts. Luck was on my side. I let all else go, save eating and bathroom breaks. I nuked my sleep schedule, with the rationale I’d catch up later. I had my escape from the real world, and it was glorious!

But at what price? This show will mess you up. Now that it’s over, I’ve seen things I cannot unsee. I’ve put myself in the shoes of morally deranged characters, and through the emotional wringer. I’ve got that god-awful Marty Robbins song stuck in my head. Worst, I must live with the fact that I’ve become one of “them.” A binger.
In the end, I have no regrets. All the binging I did, I did it for me. And I liked it! However, I’m never binging again. I’m out! Do you hear me? Out! ... Well… we’ll talk about it... Perhaps inside each of us, there’s the potential to give in to temptation, and go off the deep end, and Break Binge. If the binging beast is within me, then it's within you too.

So now what? I’ll tell you what. Time to go back to season 1 and watch again! … Albeit at a more leisurely pace.


  1. I've watched that entire series probably three times. I love it. I think it is brilliant. I am also a binge watcher though. I like to have a TV show that I am working my way through at a rapid and steady pace. Shows that have already started and ended are perfect for that. There is nothing like binge watching a show right up until you catch up and then have to wait for each episode like everyone else.

    1. There's binging and then there's hyper-binging, where you watch a whole season in one sitting. I don't think I'd hyper-binge again. One episode a day is enough to give me my fix at the moment.

    2. That's probably better for everyone. :)