Lebanon Reporter

Columns

April 8, 2014

On an episodic adventure

My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I’m talking about an eating binge, you’ve never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don’t know how cheap we are. And if you think it was cleaning binge, you’ve never been in our basement.

The binge we did go on is a little embarrassing. I will admit that after this binge it would have been very inappropriate to drive. Oh, we weren’t drinking. But we were much too tired to get behind the wheel. We had just watched 12 episodes of the Netflix series, “House of Cards,” the political drama starring Kevin Spacey as the conniving congressman and then Vice President of the United States.

Binge watching, as most of you know, is the act of viewing all of — or a good portion of — a particular TV series in one sitting. Generally, the term is restricted to contemporary critically acclaimed television shows, so if you once sat through 39 “The Honeymooners” or 112 episodes of Andy of Mayberry, well that just doesn’t qualify (although, you have impressed the heck out of me).

As I reported a couple of weeks ago in this column, Mary Ellen and I only recently purchased our new Blu-ray player and we were still a little rusty on handling the technology, but we did want to watch this series that everyone was talking about. I was reluctant, however, because I was afraid if we viewed anything on the Netflix I wouldn’t know how to get back to the regular television.

So on a Monday afternoon we started with Season 1, Episode 1. We watched for about six straight hours, until we realized that by being glued to the TV for this show, we were avoiding any contact with each other, so we switched to ABC and turned on Dancing with the Stars where we could disagree on which dancers were romantically involved with their partners. The next day we went back to “House of Cards.” Yes, I figured out how to make that switch… At least I thought so…We were soon totally shocked to see (SPOLIER ALERT) the Vice President push (SPOILER ALERT) the newspaper reporter in front of a ( SPOILER ALERT) moving train. “Well I didn’t see that coming,” said my wife. (Neither did the reporter, by the way.) “But I think this is a very exciting chapter 14.”“Wait a second,” I said, as the show ended and they previewed the next one. “That was Episode 16. Not 14. That’s why we were confused. We missed two episodes. Netflix had still been running while we were watching Dancing with the Stars.”“Oh no, now we have to go back and watch 14 and 15,” said Mary Ellen.“We can’t do that. That would make both those episodes flashbacks. I hate flashbacks. I never understand them. Not only that, if we watch episode 14 and 15, then what will we do when we reach Episode 16. Do we watch it again? We already know what happens. And if we try to skip it, it may take us back to Episode 1. Get out the Netflix manual. There must be some advice in the troubleshooting guide.

We watched 14, 15 and then 16 (again) and finished all the remaining episodes this season, but we’ll be glad when the series is finally over. My wife said she’s had enough of Kevin Spacey pandering to the public for votes, making illegal moves and destroying his competition. I didn’t have the heart to tell Mary Ellen that next year, Kevin Spacey will be doing exactly the same thing … on Dancing with the Stars.

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