I used to wonder how we watched television before the invention of the remote control. I have now adapted my thinking. How did we watch TV prior to Netflix? Imagine the drudgery of watching a series one episode at a time with a whole week between shows. I don’t see how it’s even possible now. Much like getting up off the couch to change the stations, the thought of only viewing one show at a time almost makes me ill. If not ill, at least dizzy. No one should have to watch one at a time ever again.
Now that my love of Netflix is out in the open, I have to also make a confession. I’m addicted. Much like the beer guzzler who pounds down a twelve pack at a time or an extreme McDonalds aficionado who polishes off several quarter pounders at once, I can’t just watch one episode at a time when I’m on a roll. Two in a row is good, three is better and four or more is moving towards satisfying. Some may see this binge viewing as a problem. I’m sure others do the same thing and see this type of television viewing as normal. In fact, those of us who are serial Netflix watchers should rise up and unite. Don’t judge us, please join us!
Here are the shows I’ve watched in bunches at one time or another. Waste a weekend now with a great binge!
Poor Nancy Botwin, played by Mary Louise Parker, is a new widow living in a California
nouveau town who has a suburban lifestyle and two boys to support. Assisted by her accountant Doug and brother in law Andy, she embarks on a pot selling business. She expands the business by growing marijuana and dates a DEA agent. Complications ensue. She moves away and marries a drug kingpin. She eventually goes to prison to cover up for her murderous son. She’s a good girl who goes bad. Nancy is an addiction enabler, both from pot sales and Netflix bingeing.
Henry the Eight is a 16th century monarch with a penchant for the ladies and a troublesome relationship with the Catholic Church. The Church prohibition on divorce was such a chore. Why not break away and create a Church of England to avoid the whole problem? Avoid the messiness of demanding wives and mistresses with some beheadings. Jonathon Rhys Meyers is masterful as the conniving king Henry. The 21st century viewers benefit much more from Henry's sex addiction than his unfortunate wives.
House of Cards
House of Cards is a newer Netflix produced series. I was never that big of a Kevin Spacey fan,
but he is great as the House Majority Whip Frank Underwood. Back stabbing and murder are acceptable means to an end in his journey to achieve the ultimate political ambitions. He befriends and seduces a member of the press and then kills her once he becomes inconvenienced by her questions. Nothing is off limits in his quest for power. Frank's wife, played by Robin Wright, is almost as hard edged as he is in achieving her ambitions as well. They are a scary team. They are addicted to power and I'm addicted to watching them work to achieve it. This is truly a mutually beneficial relationship.
The Office is a mess of a business. Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, is the biggest bonehead branch manager in the history of
paper sales. How could Dunder Mifflin have ever hired him? Notwithstanding my issues with Dunder’s human resources’ failings, Michael manages to remain in charge through thick and thin. Assisted by Dwight Schrute, Michael manages to drive all those around him crazy with his idiotic and self-absorbed maneuverings. Jim Halpert makes it his mission to constantly mess with Dwight’s head by an unending list of practical jokes.
Who could imagine the complications arising from a cancer stricken high school chemistry teacher embarking on the production and sale of crystal meth? One move after another creates a whole new mess to clean up. Walter White, played by Bryan Cranston, is always one step away from being caught by his brother in law drug agent Hank. He always manages to stay one step ahead, but never is able to achieve any kind of comfort zone in his crazy endeavor. Walter encourages binge TV watching as well as drug addiction. He is a bad man.
Friday Night Lights
Coach Eric Taylor is the coach of a local Texas high school team in a back water town with
nothing to cheer about except for football. When he takes over the team his star quarterback is paralyzed after a tackle gone awry on an interception return. The players have one problem after another in their quests for fun, fame and glory. The players just can’t seem to keep their minds on football and schoolwork. If they were as addicted to football as I am to watching their misadventures, the show wouldn't be as good.
You have to feel for Jason Bateman’s character, Michael Bluth. He is
the only normal member of the Bluth family
. Their residential real estate company is going down the tubes after his Dad ran it into the ground. The other dysfunctional family members are living off the business and only contributing their hands out for more money instead of trying to help. Their needs are endless and the money to fund them is no longer available. The Bluth's are as addicted to running through money as I am to watching them do it.
How I Met Your Mother
Naïve Ted Moseby is a young architect living in New York and looking for the love of his life. He knows she’s out there and he keeps pounding the pavement in his search. Helped by his best
friends Marshall, Barney, Lily and Robin, he endures the trials and tribulations of a young man in search of love in an unforgiving environment. Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris, is the bro in the know regarding all things female as he picks up and discards a multitude of desirable women. Barney’s guile and treachery is endless, but he finally falls in love with Robin and has to have feelings like the rest of us (I’m waiting for this to play out on network so I can catch it on Netflix and feed the addiction beast soon).
Sons of Anarchy
Those darn crazy bikers. The Sons of Anarchy are a motorcycle gang headquartered in Charming, California with a gun selling business to keep the wheels turning. Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam, is the son of the founder and step son of the current gang president. His Mom, played by Katey Sagal, is the wife of the gang leader and is playing both sides against the middle. Jax’s wife is a doctor in the local hospital and keeps the poor misbehaving bikers patched up enough to run roughshod another day. There is no end of trouble for this group of bad boys.
I’ll probably have a whole new list of Netflix addictions soon. It’ll be time for some new binging then. Unite together for our addictive adventure.
Amazon Price: $2.99
(price as of Sep 5, 2016)