With the release of House Of Cards season 4 over the weekend, Twitter was alight with the buzzing excitement of people who have been waiting roughly 51 weeks for fresh episodes of a show they put their entire lives on hold to devour in mere days (hours, if you're really committed).
House Of Cards, Netflix's first original program, released its first season on February 1, 2013, and to quote Drake, ~Nothing Was The Same~.
The release of full seasons of television at once truly changed the way we binge watch television, and let's be real, these days, we wouldn't have it any other way. To celebrate, we're looking at the ins and outs of binge watching a show with your boo, friends or housemates.
2. The Honeymoon Phase
The season has dropped, and you're lowkey obsessed. You're trying to play it cool, but you can't get enough of your new show. It can do no wrong, it's perfect. Every new episode reveals something new and exciting and it's all just going. So. Well. You're sticking to your promise, and patiently waiting for your partner / bestie / housemate to watch each new episode (even if the temptation is LITERALLY KILLING YOU).
3. Introducing your friends to the show
Like the Spice Girls once said, "if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends."
Let's be real, the same goes for a new show. Basically, this is where you end up endlessly talking up your new show to all your friends, convincing them to give it a shot, so that the people you've already hooked on it don't tire of your need to speak about that one scene that changed the whole show for you, over and over again.
The problem here is that you and your binge buddy are episodes ahead of these new recruits. They're not on your schedule, and they're certainly not committed to waiting for your partner to get home to watch episode four because their meeting ran late LIKE THAT'S AN EXCUSE OMG.
You are forced to mute your friends on Twitter as they speed ahead of you, live-tweeting all the spoilers you so desperately want to see.
4. Going AWOL from your life
As your friends speed ahead and you receive texts saying "OMG HAVE YOU SEEN EPISODE 8 YET?!?!" when you're only on episode three, you pressure your binge watching partner to watch with you in a timely manner. This may result in cancelled plans and rain-checked errands, as you buckle down and order food in, not leaving your house for hours, even days, unless it is absolutely necessary.
Maybe a tweet found its way onto your feed, or a friend's text gave you a spoiler that you couldn't wait to see, but suddenly, when your binge watch buddy can't watch a new episode, there's a tiny voice in your head whispering "just watch one episode, they'll never know!"
This, my friend, is temptation.
Maybe it was one too many cancelled binge-sessions, or maybe you were just home alone and your lack of impulse control got the better of you, but you took the plunge, and you watched an episode. You have now committed a ~binge watching betrayal~, a streaming infidelity.
You are a bad, bad person.
(But it feels so good.)
7. Faking it
So you had one moment of weakness, that spiraled into a four-hour bingefest, and suddenly, your binge-watch companion is free as a bird and wants to catch up. You don't want to admit your infidelity, so you agree. You watch the episodes, offering nervous, overdone reactions to the shocks and twists that you've already seen.
It is not convincing.
Your partner-in-binge-watching asks you point blank if you watched ahead, probably because your poker face is as good as Chrissy Teigen's. You don't know what to do, but you know you can't come clean, so you do the only other thing you can do - lie.
You've betrayed your binge-buddy, faked your reactions to new plot points, and lied about doing so.
At some point, a guilty conscience is going to hit, and it's not going to be pretty.
10. Coming clean
It's time. You sit down to watch another episode, but before you let them press play, you come clean.
"You think I didn't want to watch the next episode?" they ask. "That night you fell asleep at 9pm because you were exhausted from working, I could've kept watching. You never would've known! I could've finished the whole show that night, I had the day off the next day, but no. I didn't, because we promised each other we wouldn't watch ahead. But I guess you didn't care."
You beg forgiveness, and eventually, your partner recognises that it is ~just a TV show~, and agrees (begrudgingly), to finish the series with you.
11. Finishing your binge-watch
At the end of any good binge watching sesh, a post-binge depression is common. Questions like "will I ever find a show I loved as much as this one?" will run through your head as you scroll your Tumblr feed, looking at gifsets of your show's best moments, i.e., the happier times when you were so young, so carefree. A time when your heart was full of love and you thought it would never end. Your binge watching partner may never agree to watch with you exclusively again, but hey, live and learn, right?
12. Moving on
Spoiler alert: you will find a new show. You will find many new shows. Some of them will capture your heart, others you'll meet once and never, ever want to see again. Either way, it'll all be okay because at the end of the day, it's a TV show.
If you're coming down off a House Of Cards binge watch, why not find your rebound show on SBS On Demand? There are plenty of binge-able shows to get hooked on, like UnREAL, The Bridge, Matrioshki, The Missing, and many, many more.