My Binge Watching Basics

Binge Watching

We watched the episodes pile up on our DVR. At first, it was only one or two, but as it hit five, six, and then seven, frustration levels reached epic proportions. Why had Netflix not released season 6 of Sons of Anarchy? We needed season 6 so that the 7th and final season could be viewed instead of continuing to taunt us with it’s recordings.

“You know we’re on lockdown, right?” my husband reminded me. “No Entertainment Weekly stories or interviews until we’re all caught up.”

“What if I accidentally read something?”


Okay, my husband didn’t actually threaten to divorce me over a television show, but as a couple who’s perfected the art of TV binge-watching over the last few years, it’s become serious business in our household. Gone are the days of TV missed opportunities. If you aren’t a devoted watcher of an amazing series early on and realize you’ve made a terrible pop culture error, you can jump right in the boat anytime you like. 

That’s how this whole binge watching thing got started for us. It was midnight, and I’d been blissfully sleeping for at least two hours when my husband stood over me declaring that he had just watched the “most amazing episode of television ever” and I could “no longer pretend that Game of Thrones wasn’t worth my time.” Waking me up in the middle of the night isn’t typically the best strategy for my compliance, but the very next day, my catch up on Game of Thrones so I could make it to the Red Wedding marathon began. When the day finally arrived, two seasons and nine episodes in, I could feel the excitement coming from the seat next to me almost to the point of distraction.

At the end of the episode, I was no longer on the outside looking in. In this case, HBO On Demand had given me a second chance to make the right TV choices.

Since that day, we’ve caught up on many shows, allowed our kids to re-visit some of the formative shows of our generation, and determined that some shows we decided to stay away from in the first place weren’t worth our time. Below is my guide to the Binge Watching Basics – recommendations, my current to-watch list, and even a few risks associated with this behavior.

What to Binge Watch Now

Stop everything, find these shows on Netflix (or other mediums), and immediately get caught up. In my opinion, they are the best of the best of what I’ve binge watched.

Game of Thrones (HBO On Demand) – As previously mentioned, this was my first experience with binge watching. My kids ate buttered noodles for dinner, I avoided phone calls and lost an entire Saturday to get caught up. Was it worth? Yes.

Sons of Anarchy – I’m not a huge motorcycle fan, but as you can tell from the beginning of this blog post, I’m obsessed. I could pretend they are a legit motorcycle club, and Jax Teller is the President with a heart of gold. I’d be lying. Don’t expect the happy ending on this last and final season.

The Walking Dead – The character development on this show has been unbelievable to watch. What would you do if you were fighting for your life every day? How does that change you? It’s not just the zombies that give this show it’s many shades of gray. I also now feel very confident in my ability to survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Orange is the New Black – There are moments when I’m not this show’s biggest fan. What keeps me around is the backstory on why these women made the choices that landed them in prison. Don’t tune in if you expect to find a hero. There are none on this show. Only flawed and selfish characters.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Old School

Saved By the Bell – My daughter is officially obsessed, and I couldn’t be prouder.

Friday Night Lights – This was one of the best shows ever to be on television that not enough people were watching.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Infinitely better than the movie and if you’re hardcore, switch right on over to the follow-up show, Angel. Joss Whedon is amazing.

Family Ties – This is the next show we’ve encouraged our kids to watch. I’ll have to step away during Alex and Ellen’s break-up scene, though. Can anyone listen to At This Moment by Billy Vera and the Beaters without crying?

What’s on My Watch List

Breaking Bad

House of Cards

Mad Men


The Affair


Jessica Jones

Now, that you know what to watch, it’s important to understand that it’s not all fun and games. There are a few risks associated with binge watching.

Impatience – I get highly frustrated with the shows I watch in real time. I want to know what happens. Now.

Irresponsibility – “What do you mean it’s dinnertime? I only have two episodes left.”

Too Much of a Good Thing – I’ve learned there is such a thing. After spending Saturday binge-watching Season 6 of Sons of Anarchy, I left to go to Publix. I was convinced the car behind me was tailing me. I quickly reminded myself that I’m not my husband’s old lady, and he is not the president of an MC.

How about you? What’s your favorite show to binge watch? Do you like to get your TV in all at once or do you prefer the slow burn of week to week watching?

Christie Pettus
Christie Pettus is a full time working wife and mother living her suburban cul de sac dream in Orange Park, Fl. She is Mom to two awesome teenagers, McKenzie and Ethan, who have come to accept that certain parts of their lives will be blogged about, so they should act accordingly. As graduates of the University of Florida, she and her husband Ryan can be found rooting on their alma mater every chance they get including the more obscure sports. LaCrosse anyone? When she’s not judging her kids' questionable teenage choices, she can be found hiding in a room buried in a good book or writing, editing, and dreaming about being a full-time author.


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