Confession of a Binge: How I Lost Two Weeks of my Life to Breaking Bad
I am an addict.
I am addicted to the AMC series, Breaking Bad. My husband Juan is the person responsible for hooking me up. He is a huge fan of the show and repeatedly tried to get me to watch. I vowed not to get sucked into another television series. Besides I already had a few of my own must-see TV shows. I resisted Juan's efforts but then, with mounting peer pressure from friends who were hosting a Breaking Bad finale party , I succumbed.
Two weeks ago we were at a party when the talk soon turned to our friends’ addiction to Breaking Bad. Our friend announced she was hosting a party for the finale and invited us. I was happy to be included in her plans, but I realized that I could not feel completely a part of things unless I started watching the show. If you can't beat them, join them. I decided to give the show a chance so I started at the beginning, Season 1, Episode 1. Netflix had all 4 seasons available. I began binge watching and soon I was hooked.
I started watching 2-3 episodes a night, getting my fix on Netflix until 1:00 in the morning. When my alarm woke me 6:00 a.m. I cursed myself for staying up so late, only to repeat the pattern the next night. But I couldn’t help it.
As the day of the final episode and my friends finale party approached I began to panic. I was not even through Season 4. How was I going to get caught up in time for the finale party?
I began getting a fix at my lunch hour, watching on my iPhone while I caught the wifi from a nearby Starbucks. I watched the show while Juan drove us to visit family in Orange County, cursing when the dreaded words "Buffering" appeared instead of the video. I cooked dinner while Netflix streamed the show on the TV, but had to give up on that when my 9 year-old kept coming into the kitchen. With two nights to go before the finale, I realized I was never going to make it through the 12 episodes of Season 5.
On Sunday morning I woke up tired from watching an episode the night before. It was still early enough I didn’t need to get ready for church yet. I rolled over and grabbed the iPad to watch the last two episodes of Season 4. The adreneline rush from the show was both exhausting and exhilarating. I needed to keep watching.
I decided to skip church. I could hear the sound of my 15 year-old making breakfast. She surprised Juan and I by bringing us breakfast in bed. Perfect! I could watch more episodes from my bed. At 10:00, tired from a morning of unsupervised videogames, my 9 year-old son came into my room and asked to go play next door. I said sure, barely checking to see if he changed out of his pajamas. He managed to put on shorts and a t-shirt, but no shoes. Oh well, it’s still practically summer here.
As I turned back to the show, he asked me what was for breakfast. Breakfast? How could he need breakfast now? Didn't he realize that Walt and Jessie had just plotted to get rid of Gus? I suggested he find some yogurt and fruit, hoping the yogurt hadn't had not reached its "use by" date, and the plums I bought had not turned into prunes. As I settled into the start of Season 5 I caught Juan looking at me with a smirk on his face. He asked me if I was vying for Mother of the Year. I glared at him and turned back to the TV.
Despite my best efforts, I soon realized I was not going to be able to watch all of Season 5 before the finale. Juan devised a plan for me and selected a few episodes for me to watch, to get me current for the finale. I was anxious and didn’t like his suggestions. We bickered and I told him to let me watch the show my way! Resigned that I would not get to all Season 5‘s episodes I decided to read the summaries on Wikipedia so at least I could know what was going on for the final episode.
We arrived at the party a little before the Finale. There was a lot of food and drink and good discussion speculating about what was going to happen. The host wore his Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and one guest wore a black hat, like Walt’s. I told Juan we should have bought some yellow jumpsuits to wear to the party.
As the finale played and the episode came to its climatic ending, we all cheered. We all hung out long enough to watch the wrap-up show and share our own thoughts and feelings. It felt like a support group as we all felt sad that the show was over. We all wondered aloud what we were going to watch on Sunday nights. For some of us, it was encouraging to realize that a new season of The Walking Dead premieres in two weeks. For me, I was anxious to get home to play the unwatched episodes of Breaking Bad which I had saved on my DVR. Even though I know how the show ends and the series is over, I still wanted my fix.