I just took a shower. That may not sound like a big deal, but it is when you haven’t done it for four days. Four days and 57 episodes of Breaking Bad, to be exact. That’s right: I have just concluded my first TV binge session, a straight 96 hours of eye-popping, jaw-dropping, can’t-talk-right-now-mom television, which has left me completely out of touch with the real world and totally interested in the meth business—blue meth, specifically. But before you sit down with your deluxe box set of Homeland or House of Cards (my next conquest) here are some tips on how to make your TV binge as pleasant and efficient as possible:
1. Be OK with it. The first step of most addiction programs is to admit you have a problem. You’re about to watch a considerable amount of TV in an inconsiderable amount of time. That, my friend, is the best “problem” ever. Be OK with this, and if people complain, they’re just jealous of your commitment.
2. Limit your fluids. I’m not saying dehydrate yourself, but don’t go downing a liter of Fanta either. The last thing you’re going to want to do is get up from your couch, so either sip slowly or buy a catheter.
3. Stay away from social media. Around every corner of Twitter is a person just dying to be the first to ruin a plot line. Spoiler alerts are the enemy, and much like a bad Ke$ha song…they are everywhere.
4. Protein shakes are your friend, for two reasons. One, a few small ingredients and you get three sufficient meals without leaving your house. And two, they will re-energize you after you’re done couch exercising.
5. Do couch exercise. You will feel like a lump after several hours, so trick your mind into thinking you’ve actually moved with these simple workouts: La-Z-Boy Dips for triceps, Cheese Curl Curls for biceps and the good old Laugh and Clap (applicable only to Orange Is the New Black).
6. Warn your significant other. You will be completely out of commission the next few days, and your lover must be cool with this. Send them to a spa week, or a vineyard. But if they do stick around, do not have sex while watching your show. There’s nothing worse achieving orgasm while staring at a bald Bryan Cranston.
7. Buy a Grabber. This sounds perverted, and it can be if used in a way other than instructed. But it will also save you minutes of time, as you can stay seated and still reach your Xanax.
8. Comfiness is key. Remember when you were a kid and you built forts? Channel this again. Create your own mini man cave that will house your immobile self for up to a week. But like a fort, set up some rules. No girls, no parents, and only respond to your code name “AC Slater.”
9. Stay awake. Sleep is the enemy and only gets in the way. I’m not prescribing Red Bulls and espressos, but you do need to stay conscious. So I recommend doing it the natural way: through fear. Rent The Conjuring the night before you begin your binge. The last thing you’ll want to do is sleep.
10. Maintain self-awareness. Spending this much time watching a specific character may give you the illusion that you are that character. You are not. Do not dash out of the house to investigate terrorists, or run for Congress, or start a crime syndicate in 1920’s Atlantic City. (Although the last one does seem quite intriguing.)
So good luck with your TV binge session. I hope whatever show you’re burning through leaves you feeling excited, on edge, and riveted. Although in reality, you may just become fat.