August 15, 2013

Piper Chapman is Not My Bestie.

I had a fight with my friend the other night. Per usual she ignored every piece of advice I gave, acted as if I wasn't even there, and faded to black after an hour. The only thing more pathetic than fighting with a TV show character is not knowing if you even won.

Netflix is like a treasure chest of gold that's been laced with skin-penetrating poison (which I assume exists). It has completely changed how we watch TV and on the surface it looks like the greatest thing ever to all people who don't own a Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. know, there's still the poison thing that slowly works it's way into your system and fucks you up. I take no liberties with this analogy, Netflix does fuck you up

I have never spoken to any fictional character before, much less argued with at one. Too much time passes between shows for my feelings to boil over and blast out of my mouth. Even when I'm wasting my day with a Law and Order SVU marathon (thanks USA network!) the commercials always give me a little time to check myself before I wreck myself. But with Neflix I can instantly stream entire seasons with no commercials. Now the time I spend with those characters is really only interrupted by the occasional bathroom break. That's totally false, I have Netflix on my phone--not even nature's call can stop me.

When you spend too much uninterrupted time with characters you start to think about them outside of the episodes' context. You try to predict not only their behaviors but also their justifications for the behaviors: "Of course Picard would do that! Why just two episodes ago he..." Moreover, instant streaming almost necessitates that the time you spend watching those shows will be spent alone. I mean, who hangs out together for 3 hours just to watch Weeds? So there's nobody around to tell me how weird it is to start talking to the characters. I don't care enough to remind myself, so now talking to fake people is normal. 

But most importantly I start caring too much. I care too much about what happens to the characters because I get sucked into their world for long periods at a time. I'm like Jane Goodall in the tall grass watching gorillas. A few weeks ago I started Orange is the New Black, a show about a middle class woman who ends up in a federal prison. Now this show originally aired on Netflix and came out with all 13 episodes of Season 1 available to watch. I don't have to play the waiting game like I do for normal network shows. Sure enough, this series was prepackaged for my unhealthy interactive habits. I've grown overly attached to the show's main character, Piper Chapman--I'm way too invested in her choices. Since I'm not a Sally-spoil-the-show I won't tell you why I was arguing with Pipes, but suffice to say she didn't make a wise decision and now she's ruining her life. How could she do that?

How can I be doing this?

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