I never want to make it a practice to watch tv during the daytime. Even in retirement, daytime is for movement, chores, learning new things, getting together with friends. A guilty pleasure reserved for night time, post dinner time is perfect for binge watching a great program, one that makes you smile. No longer having the camaraderie of an office environment to discuss last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones” or “The Handmaid’s Tale”, it now was for just little ol me.
One of my daughters had been recommending I watch a program she had fallen in love with, “This Is Us.” The first season passed and I didn’t get around to it, then the second. Finally, knowing that the 3rd season was about to start, the pressure was on to commit to 36 hours of tv watching! With binge watching so popular and the advent of streaming (the only way Millennials watch tv!) I could do this! I had done it before for both Downton Abbey and 5 seasons of Breaking Bad! I got into this program’s human side very quickly and it touched me with it’s beautiful writing about family, support, loyalty, kindness, and just plain ol’ life.
Then I started to read an article about binge watching causing depression! Could this little guilty pleasure cause me harm and spiral me into a need for Wellbutrin?!! It seems pretty harmless but recent findings on binge watching suggest that folks that make this a habit can in fact be more lonely and depressed. In addition it may be more difficult to control behavior, like eating, drinking, smoking, etc. Personally, I think if you enjoy the time you are spending ( a good cry at the end of an episode is a good indicator it hit your emotional chords) don’t beat yourself up. You’re retired and you earned it!
Just like with a great book, every once in a while a television program (admittedly not often, particularly on broadcast tv) takes us to a special place where we live with the characters, feel empathy for them, think we know them as friends and neighbors. Jack Pearson is who I want my daughter to marry!
Rotten Tomatoes says it best in describing this show-
“Unapologetically uncynical and definitely manipulative. But it rarely feels cheap. All those tears are earned, so go ahead and have a big, cathartic cry.”
Lets hear it for binge tv watching. Grab a hankie, a bag of microwave popcorn and give into the experience! You’ll be glad you did! You don’t have to get up for work the next morning!
If you want to watch something that pulls at your heart strings, schmaltz at its “best, I heartily recommend “This Is Us”. Wouldn’t it be nice if all marriages were like Jack and Rebecca’s?!
Enjoy the ride
xox Barclay and Joy