It was actually a beautiful weekend. It was perfect beach/park/rooftop weather. There were zero clouds in the sky and the sun was out in full force and it was warm and hopeful.
Blah blah blah. You know how I feel about sunshine.
This is why I volunteered myself (and my weekend) to binge watch the newest season of Orange is The New Black so I could report back to our beloved readers. I was more than happy to spend the weekend plowing through Netflix’s newest drama, alone in my apartment. I have huge windows so I assumed it would be just like being outside, minus the direct sunlight and bugs and people.
It really seemed like the perfect weekend: I could just sit in front of the television for 12 hours because of my JOB and not have to do anything because I have an ASSIGNMENT to watch television ALL WEEKEND. It’s pretty cool to binge watch TV for work.
Actually, no, it’s not.
I’m going to just come out and say it, and I may catch some heat for my next statement, because I know that tons of people have very strong feelings on this topic. I’m just going to say it, and hope for the best.
Binge watching television is torture and bad for your health.
I am not trying to be a traitor to my generation or anything. I am not even trying to be controversial. I just don’t think anybody should ever watch more than two hours of television at a time. Sorry, I think our parents were right.
However, like most things in my tiny, sad little life, I had to learn that the hard way. Let’s take a look of some of what happened to me through my lost weekend.
Before anything happens, I go out and buy the following: 1 bottle of Perrier, 4 fruit leathers (2 mango, 2 raspberry), 1 box of Puffins. These provisions last me through Episode 3.
So the first episode is pretty dark. If you remember from last season, we leave Piper beating the Jesus out of Pennsatucky and subsequently Piper is in the SHU because of it. So, we don’t know if Pennsatucky is alive or not. Is Piper a murderer? Nope, no she is not. I know this because I saw the subway ads every day for a month and they wouldn’t put sweet toothless Taryn Manning in there with her paper plate halo if she were dead. That would be a waste of ad space.
(Oh, this is not a recap, so though there will be spoilers, don’t think I’m going to walk you through this show with big conclusions about anything. This is not a cultural think piece, it’s a diary.)
I order a pepperoni pizza, knowing that by the time it comes, I’ll actually want to eat it. All of the fruit leather is gone and my mouth is dry and cut up from all of the Puffins I’ve eaten.
My roommate comes home with a friend and we start talking about the roof. We usually have these excellent parties on the roof, but we just got an email from our rental people and they say we can’t do that anymore. We agree that they send us those letters pretty much every summer and nobody has ever gotten evicted for that. Party on.
Then I find out that Morelo is a crazy delusional stalker. This is perhaps my favorite storyline of the entire season. Remember how Morelo was always talking about her fiance Christopher, that they are deeply in love and are going to get married?
They went on ONE DATE. ONE DATE. She doesn’t even know him and for an entire season, we just accept that this relationship is real. When it’s all in her strange twisted mind.
Strange. Twisted. Mind.
I’ll see you there.
Are they playing Hey There Delilah? Who doesn’t have feelings when they hear that song? This reminds me of a very fun summer with a very fun boyfriend, right before I hit rock bottom and had to stop drinking.
The pizza came during the 5th episode and now I’m full of oil and I’m in pain almost.
They’ve started selling cigarettes. Vee, the newest sociopath to join the ward, is now running a cigarette business out of custodial. This obviously causes a ton of problems in the show. It just makes me want to smoke.
I take a break.
I go meet up with a few real-life flesh-and-blood friends of mine, and it started out really fun. We got iced tea, and talked about our lives. They told me about their partners and the fun things they did with them this weekend.
“I’ve been watching a lot of TV,” was all I could really contribute. Nothing had really happened in my real life in like four episodes.
Nobody had seen as much of the season as I had, because they spent their Saturday outside eating ice cream and napping in the park. A few people could talk about the first few episodes, but nobody had gotten past the fourth.
I went home.
So-So goes on a hunger strike. I realize I haven’t eaten since pizza which was four hours ago. It is still bright outside though, so I can’t eat dinner. I hate summer.
Instead of eating, I elect to smoke another cigarette on my fire escape. I am taking breaks more often now. Once I break the seal of movement, it is hard to remain still. I know I have very little to go, in this marathon, but as Morelo says, “The less time you have, the longer it feels.”
Episode 12 (or is it Episode 11?)
There is a storm in the episode, and it has finally gotten dark outside. I could eat again, but I just finished the box of Puffins. So I’m not really starving anymore. They are, though. Something like that. They have to sleep on the floor of the rec room, and there are rats there.
They also have to pee in a bucket. I’m glad I don’t have to do that, but for some reason if they have to, it feels like I have to also in this way...
Red tries to kill Vee.
There is a brief truce.
Vee gets revenge.
I’m going to stop there. Because, honestly, and don’t think I failed because of this, I fell asleep.
Now, I’m sick. I have a sore throat and it’s hard for me to move. I’m trying to do my job assisting, writing, and creating things. Everything I do, I have to do very slowly. I was out of commission for two straight days that didn’t even feel like days. Though, technically I only watched TV for 13 of the 48 hours of the weekend, I feel like I contracted some disease from it. I have caught sloth from Netflix and now my throat hurts. The Roku calls me back by the sickness it has given me.
This is what binging does to you: It decays you from the inside, it destroys your brain and makes you unable to do your job the next day because you are spending too much time writing about how miserable your weekend was.
Or, maybe I’m being dramatic, and have truly lost touch and I’m allergic to reality because I have become so accustomed to the drama of Vee vs. Red, The Warden and her reluctance to be her senate seat-seeking husband’s beard, tons of lesbian sex, tons of straight sex, contraband tunnels, love notes and everything else that comes with the deal of watching all of Orange Is The New Black in one weekend.
I’m going to sleep a ton tonight.
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one, and maybe those of you that are less feeble than I made it through the 13 episodes without wholly losing your sense of self. So, if you did make it out alive, what did you think? Here is your chance to talk it out. I left out the majority of the actual SHOW so let’s talk.