(and, rude–those are not the faces they made amidst the entire thing)
I’ve already divulged that my guiltiest of all guilty pleasures is, with out a doubt, marathoning seasons of television shows on my laptop, powered by Netflix, while sitting/laying in my bed. It all started with five gloriously lengthy seasons of HBO’s Six Feet Under (which, technically, I had to rent from my local video store because 2009 Netflix just wasn’t up to speed with churning out seasons of tv shows in abundance like it is now — you can watch Pete & Pete now! Trust me! I’ve done it! It’s awsome.). My best friend in college & I would get home from classes, do the necessary things like study, write papers, go to the gym, make dinner, shower, etc., before settling on top of my bed and gluing our corneas to my dinky television set. From there, I went on to do the same with Big Love, The Walking Dead, Arrested Development, Weeds, the majority of Dexter (I got bored with it), Seinfeld, Friends, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, & The League. To name a few.
Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea and think that this is literally all I did. Or that I marathon’d these shows back to back. I’m not that talented, bored, lazy or in possession of that much time. But on the nights where I stayed up studying too late and needed some background noise or those weird weekends where the entire town literally emptied out because people decided that they missed their moms cooking and doing their laundry for them? Yeah. That’s basically all I did. Judge away, bitches. See if I care.
Anyway, last weekend, I somehow got it into my head that I needed to start watching Breaking Bad. Maybe it was the fact that I’d been telling myself I’d do it for the better part of a year and just got lazy about it (cool, Alex), maybe it was everyone scoffing at me and asking how I hadn’t started it years ago, maybe I just wanted to zone out and stare at Aaron Paul’s face for hours upon hours. Who knows! Let’s just assume it was all of the above.
Therefore, last Sunday, I sat down and started season one. Now, just like you would with any normal, healthy relationship, I knew I had to take things slow. No one wants to be the desperate person who’s spending all of their time with someone new, trying so emphatically to learn every single thing about them right then and there. No. I knew that I had to ease in to things with Walter & Jesse. I told myself the morning that I started it that I’d just watch two, maybe three, episodes. Ya know, get acclimated to the characters and the major plot line of the show. Unfortunately enough for my ass, any plans I had, and retinas, once I started I couldn’t stop. I found myself quickly getting sucked into episode after episode of breakfast foods, crystal meth dealings, yo’s, bitch’s, guns, the Mexican Cartel, people snapping cell phones in half, and more chemistry than I can remember from high school (sorry, science was not my schtick, obv). It was so much of a sensory overload and I couldn’t quit. I vaguely remember IM’ing Katie the next morning and saying something along the lines of, “IS THIS WHAT JUNKIES FEEL LIKE? (Thank god she deals with my insanity on a regular basis and could tell me to shut up). I’M ADDICTED. I CAN’T STOP.”
And, honestly, I really couldn’t.
My relationship with Walt and Jesse quickly developed into a nice little routine! I’d wake up in the morning, watch an episode while I was getting ready for work (it took me one episode to get ready), go to work, daydream about the antics and catastrophes the two were going to get themselves into next, drive home, have dinner with my parents, take my makeup off and start another episode (or three) in bed with my cat. I was, essentially, living every shut in’s dream!
I think I was about halfway through season two when I had a friend say the words that everyone in a relationship fears: “it’s ending”. That’s right, my newly established/discovered relationship had an expiration date. Right then and there I had a weird flashback to being in the fourth grade, going to skate night (schools each got one night where just their school rented out the skating rink and it was both hilariously fun and beautiful to act like adults for one night because no parents were allowed! Sorry! Watch the kids for me, will ya, hon! Baby’s going out tonight!) and having a couple skate with a boy named Matthew only once! My heart was crushed. However, I quickly decided that, instead of moping about how quickly the relationship would end, I would savor every moment.
I’m sure you thinks this means I stopped marathoning Breaking Bad. I assure you, that was not the case. Instead, I found myself becoming a walking contradiction. Sure — I wanted to relish in as many “Uhm..pancakes?” as Walter Jr. could muster out of every episode’s breakfasts, clap my hands at every twist and turn, cringe at every Saul Goodman suit, eye roll everything Skylar ever said and bite my nails every time Hank came this close to unraveling the ever so tightly knit lies of Walter. But I also wanted to get caught up so I could 1. actually get back on the Internet again without seeing a zillion spoilers & 2. alleviate the burning curiosity I had over what was going to happen to Walt & Jesse.
So I continued on with my addictive watching. It was great that I was moving at a steady pace and, upon diving further and further into each episode, I was picking up on more and more and more things that I missed in earlier episodes. Unfortunately, my marathoning was also kind of sad. Because it’s literally all I was doing. I found myself, at one point, needing space from my computer, the show, and the characters. It was just so draining! I just wanted to think about something–like maybe how great the new Frank Ocean album is–else for like .5 seconds and not have to worry about the tumultuous rapport that have developed between the two main characters (they love each other, they hate each other, is everything really for the good/protection of one another?! WHO KNOWS).
I took a day to breathe yet, just like any other junkie, I found myself back needing a quick fix. Now I was deep into back stories, tainted Tequila, fried chicken, laundromats, and spousal affairs! I couldn’t be cut off!
So I spent all of my weekend–all of my spare time–sitting in front of my television and my computer with my face in my hands, whispering things like “Oh my god” and “Holy shit!” to one in particular because no one wanted to watch it with me (JOSH, YOU BAILED.) and everyone had already seen it. I watched and I watched and I watched and I only took breaks to shower, sleep, eat, and–once–actually leave the confines of my house and go play tennis with my dad for about an hour in the heat & humidity.
The time finally came, though, for me to be completely and utterly caught up. At 9:15 on Sunday, I wrapped up season four and was gearing myself up for season five when I had the daunting realization that I had officially ended my marathoning/love affair. Everything to see had been seen and now I was going to be patient like every other human being on the planet and wait a week for each new episode. That’s unacceptable! I thought to myself in an obviously asshole manner. I have to know what happens!
The truth is, I didn’t.
After Sunday’s premier aired, I was so tired from staring at bright screens for the better part of a week that I didn’t even care. I just wanted to gaze upon the inside of my eyelids for as long as humanly possible. I mean, don’t get me wrong. We had a good run. But I knew from the beginning that this relationship had a cessation. Sure, I still have twelve episodes to bask in everything that is Aaron Paul & Bryan Cranston,
but there’s nothing like the honeymoon portion of a relationship, ya know?
(Side note: no one is allowed to tell my mom that I found a drug user attractive. Television show or not, that woman will find a way to lure me back to Oklahoma, make me go to the Inpatient wing of where she works, and visit all of the actual drug addicts. I can just see her now, “DOES CRYSTAL METH LOOK ATTRACTIVE TO YOU NOW!?” Only on Jesse Pinkman, mom–geez! Calm down. Stop yelling.)
Alex Martin is still an idiot, but you can watch Breaking Bad in it’s final season on AMC, Sunday at 10pm/9c.