It’s a 21st century word:
Technology–TiVo, then DVDs then streaming–changed the way we consume movies and TV shows. Which then changed the way that movies and TV shows were created. TV shows like Lost, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey became something we could get lost in.
Even years after they finish.
It’s become a thing to consume a whole series in a short time, maybe taking a weekend to do nothing but watch that show.
And when I reach the end I get a feeling of satisfaction, like it was an accomplishment.
What is that?
Is it really real?
In a book, whose name I have forgotten, an Indian woman has separated from her husband. She’d been married to him for years, an arrangement made by their parents in a traditional match.
But she had grown tired of tradition and separated from him, tired of his rigidity.
When they had to meet, to finalize some parts of the separation, she saw they he had dyed his hair. His black hair had been turning gray, and he had colored it black again.
She wondered if he was trying to spruce up for a new woman. Could that be an indication that he was losing his rigidity?
After talking with him more, though, she realized that he was not less rigid at all. The color was not a change, it was a conservative preservation of the color it had always been.
He was not reaching out, he was centering more on himself.
I am not sure what their fictional marriage needed, but the idea of something that is self-centered is exactly what is happening when I achieve the dubious accomplishment of finishing a TV show.
I don’t know that finishing Downton Abbey was on my bucket list, but life has a great number of experiences I want to have.
I would like to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle. I actually do think it might change something about who I am.
Some shows–some books, movies or TV series– really do have that affect. They show parts of the world that would be obscured.
It’s okay to put stuff in your life that is only for yourself. We are all we really have, in the end.
The rigid husband was doing what he could for himself. And while I’m waiting to find the right time and place to get my Ring tickets, it is still worth doing to watch the shows that are more easily in reach.
Binging may or may not be required.