I never thought it would come to this, but it has. I can’t keep up with TV shows anymore. The combination of Netflix regularly dropping new content, actually working during work, and football season has plunged my once promising television viewing career into nothingness. A couple of months ago, I could watch with the best of them. But now? I’m lucky if I get an episode in before getting to bed on a weeknight. Sadly, each day is a little different.
Mondays go one of two ways for me. Either I wake up cripplingly hungover from a brunch spiraling out of control, or cripplingly tired from staying up past 10:30 watching Westworld and Sunday Night Football. Regardless of the scenario, my day starts off on the wrong foot almost every time. After getting through the first workday of the week, I make a conscious effort to get to the gym. The motivation brought on by the combination of shame I feel from what I did to my body over the weekend and seeing myself in the mirror in the morning is more than enough to get me there. Unfortunately, by the time I’ve made it back from the gym and had dinner, it’s time for Monday Night Football and watching my opponent’s fantasy team slowly overtake mine for yet another loss on the season. At a bedtime that would horrify my college-self, I head to sleep, defeated and episodeless.
The Tuesday blend of no gym and leftovers for dinner puts me in a prime spot to crank out a few episodes. Could I be doing something more productive with my time? Maybe, but I’m not going to miss out on more of the golden age of television because I wanted to be “productive.” There’s just too much out there that I feel compelled to watch, and with new recommendations constantly coming in from friends and coworkers, I can’t afford to fall any more behind than I already am.
Date night! Or so I like to tell myself. As a single guy, I’d be remiss if I wasn’t at least trying to find some nice girl to one day disappoint on a relatively consistent basis. Usually facilitated through Bumble or Tinder, these dates almost always consist of grabbing a drink after work, engaging conversation, and me over-confidently leaning in for a kiss at the end only to receive the awkward side-step hug which will consume my thoughts during my ride home. Post-date, I’ll likely order some food and toss on the new South Park episode before falling asleep.
No TV for me tonight. Post-work drinks typically switch from casual to aggressive fairly quickly, and as drinks flow my presence on dating apps becomes vastly more active. Occasionally, one of my matches will actually be interested in meeting up, and we all know what that means. Catching up on shows takes to the back-burner as I explain to the girl that “this normally never happens” and pass out to what will likely be a ferocious hangover on Friday morning.
Wake up, dazed and confused. Dry mouth and a headache has left me on the verge of death and my day at work consists of staring at my screen, drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee, a concerning amount of bathroom breaks, and waiting for the day to end. Going into the day all I want is to stay in my bed after work and watch Netflix, but come 4:30 that feeling disappears and is replaced with the inevitable urge to celebrate the end of another work week and beginning to reverse all the good things I did for my body during my Monday workout. Episode count for Friday is a reliable zero.
A complete wildcard of a day depending on what type of person I’m planning on being at that time. Occasionally, this is a prime time for catching up on shows and staying in bed to an embarrassing hour for someone who is supposed to be a grown man. Other times, my laptop remains closed and day-drinking takes precedent, which I can always depend on to send me to bed early and make me feel like a pile of hot garbage Sunday morning.
After laying waste to my body on Friday and Saturday, I’ll occasionally be able to squeeze in an episode before football starts as long as brunch isn’t in the mix. After that, I will unfailingly retire to the couch for five to six hours of uninterrupted RedZone coverage. Post-football, I’ll putter around the house and prepare myself for the best TV night of the week, the HBO Sunday night lineup. All in all, I’ve watched maybe 4-5 episodes over the course of a week, a feat which would easily be accomplished in an afternoon back in undergrad.
All I want is to regularly be up-to-date with the shows I’m told I’m supposed to be watching, but is that too much to ask? At this point, I don’t know what to do. Would I be better served abandoning TV altogether, reading more, and bettering myself physically and professionally? Or should I go all-in on any and every show I want, abandoning any hope seeing my abs ever again? Only time will tell. .
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