Saturday, May 10, 2014

Still Life With Robin: Time Management for Binge Watchers

Photo by Hana Kirana via Wikimedia Commons
by Peggy Robin

I know I have devoted several columns of space to serving up websites of trivia that may induce people to procrastinate, waste time, and fritter away their precious hours on things of little consequence. I’m sorry for that. But I’m going to make it up to you now. I’m going to present a website that will allow you to budget your time wisely. This could save you untold hours that you might otherwise have squandered in couch-potato mode in front of your TV, with little to show for it. Have I piqued your interest?

This practical, easy-to-read chart tells you at a glance how many hours of your life you will need to invest if you choose to caught up in any of the listed, highly acclaimed popular TV series, such as House of Cards (22 hours),Homeland (1 day, 3 hours), Game of Thrones (1 day, 6 hours), Breaking Bad (1 day, 22 hours), Mad Men (2 days, 9 hours) or 24 (6 days, 20 hours).

It’s not my place to tell you whether any of these shows on the chart is worth of the amount of time involved; there are professional TV critics for that. (But I’ll give a nod to Emily Nussbaum of the New Yorker, whose judgment I have come to trust implicitly). I can only tell you that before I sit down to watch the initial episode of any long-running show --especially one available in its entirety from Netflix or Amazon Prime -- it’s very, very helpful to know from the get-go how much of my life I’m going to have give over to a binge-watching extravaganza -- that is, assuming I get hooked.

Take the West Wing. Somehow I missed watching the series in its regular network incarnation. I’m not sure why I passed on it back then, but everyone I know who has watched it has told me unequivocally that I would love it. They’re probably right. But am I willing to put in 4 days and 20 hours to find out? I don’t think so. I just don’t have that much spare time to devote to the politics of the ‘00s. Besides, when I want to immerse myself in the political hijinks of the past, I am already invested in the 1980s intrigue of a current TV series, The Americans. It’s not on the list, but it should be -- 1 day and 1 hour’s worth so far. If you’ve got the time to put into it, you won’t be disappointed.

I would go on about the virtues of The Americans, but it’s just about time for another show (this one’s not on the list, either, but it’s gone 13 hours so far) -- Orphan Black -- so I’m off!


Still Life With Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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