The best way to recognise when you’re addicted to a TV show


This is either a representation of TV addiction or The Ring, I’m honestly not sure which…

Nowadays everyone seems to be binge TV watching. We’ve got Netflix, Lovefilm Instant, 4oD, iPlayer and a whole host of other legal and illegal websites which allow you to stream entire TV series.

We’re the boxset generation. Nearly everyone I know owns a boxset of some kind. It could be a boxset of Shaun the Sheep episodes but it’s still a boxset. They’ve really taken off. Maybe it’s because boxsets now aren’t as laborious as they used to be.

Remember when we had video cassettes and two episodes literally took up the same physical space as 3 seasons of The Simpsons?! A whole TV series would fill your entire shelf if you weren’t careful.

Video box set

This is only six films. It is the size of a fairly small hamster box. Just throw out the videos and that would probably be the most useful thing it could do

We’re also quite demanding as a generation. We want everything now now now and hate to wait. I’m trying to play a game of self-control at the moment to avoid buying something because the anticipation is what makes the purchasing so much sweeter.


Anyway, once a TV episode has finished, we really just want to see the next one straight away. Cliff-hangers have become synonymous with ‘good TV’ and, once one episode has come to an end, you’ve probably started watching the next episode before your brain really knows what’s happened. It’s almost muscle memory.

As you fall deeper into this pit of TV watching, you become more and more engrossed until it basically becomes your life. You start to forget your real problems and just focus on the problems in the show.

And this is when you know you’re truly addicted: when you start to confuse reality with TV.

This doesn’t always happen even when you are addicted; I doubt many Trekkies believe they are on the Starship Enterprise; but when the show is realistic it can be particularly potent.

Wednesdays on NBC  (9-10 p.m. ET)

The most disgusting thing about the West Wing is how infuriatingly patriotic all the promotional photos for it are. You and your American pride…

I’ve recently been watching a lot of the West Wing, an American drama about the White House, and, a couple of nights ago, what first started out as a harmless one show watch before bed, turned into a 3-show binge because I was so enthralled by it. I was ashamed.

The next morning I woke up and was generally terrified for America. How are they going to rectify this problem? It looks so dire? What will be the international ramifications? Oh, those darn Republicans! I’m frightened for the President!

I quickly realised this was ridiculous and this event hadn’t actually happened but it did get me for a moment.

Think back to the last time you watched a TV show you really liked. At any point did you think any of the following things whilst you were walking to work/school/life:

  1. “Dragons exist and I could totally take over the world if I had one”
  2. “I sure hope Heisenberg doesn’t knock on my door”
  3. “I wonder how successful that drug programme ‘Hamsterdam’ has been”
  4. “My colleague’s offering me doughnuts. 100% a murdering psychopath in disguise!”
  5. “I would probably look really cool in one of those orange jumpsuits.”
  6. “I see her chipped nail, clearly come off whilst sliding down a plastic slide, which is matched by the slightly shiny seat of her trousers. Therefore, she must be the children’s playground slide murderer!”
  7. “If I were Italian-American, I wonder how similar my life would be to this…”
  8. “You can either be called ‘Egg’ or ‘The Wall’. All other nick-names are off the cards!”
  9. “Josiah Barlett, you really are a stand up bloke who I wish could lead my country.”

If you did think any of these, then you need to be brought back down to earth with the thundering realisation that you are addicted my friend.

A word of caution to you, once the boxsets run out there’s no-one left to comfort you, even your TV friends have now become a bit boring and repetitive.

Also, 10 points to anyone who can tell me what TV series each of those statements refers to. Put your answers in the comments. We love comments!