The Netflix Hangover
The Urban Dictionary definition of a Netflix hangover:
"The feeling of lost purpose and desire in life after spending countless hours watching season after season of a television show. Can also be described as a lost sense of reality after spending time invested in that tv show."
This is a very real condition and should be taken seriously.
Every time you start a show on Netflix, it is like you are starting a new relationship. You commit your time and (lack of) energy to it and pour your soul into each and every character. When they hurt, you hurt. When they rejoice, you are right there cheering with them. You smile and weep with them, and feel every plot-twisting betrayal as if it were against your own being. This sort of emotional investment can leave some very deep attachments that do not sever easily with the conclusion of the show. The Netflix hangover can be summed up by these 7 implications:
1. You have NO IDEA what to do with your free time now.After spending endless hours curled up in bed, wearing the same pajamas for three days at a time, it is easy to forget what your life was like before these captivating characters entered the scene.
2. Starting a new show feels like cheating. In some cases, these shows can take months to watch; especially if new episodes are still being made. It took me three years to finish all five seasons of 90210. That's longer than any relationship I have EVER been in. We're not even going to talk about Friends... After spending all that time committed to one plot, it feels a little wrong to switch gears to another fictitious world inhabited with foreign personalities. The heart needs time to mend its wounds before moving on to the next.
3. You enter an impenetrable state of denial.After a few tears are shed at the show's conclusion, you puff out your chest and dismiss all feelings of sorrow with your head held high. However, this is totally an act. You move throughout your day claiming to be okay, but in the back of your mind, you cannot stop thinking about the alternate outcomes that will never have the opportunity to become a reality. Of course, this is a little dramatic, but so are these television shows, so it's kosher.
4. Then comes grief.There are two types of grief. The initial grief occurs at the conclusion of the show because now you have no better way to spend your free time (or study time). The secondary grief comes from the loss associated with losing close friends. These characters, whether you know it or not, influence the way you see the world. Without them, it is like a piece of you is missing.
5. You will probably lie to yourself. Now that you finally finished the last season, you can do all the things that you have been putting off:
Hit the gym.
Clean your room.
Get your oil changed.
Write the research paper that's due in two days.
These are all lies.
6. Nothing will ever be able to replace that show in your heart. As said before, these characters become a part of your life, and losing them is devastating. You see a piece of yourself in each an every one of them, so you are sad to see them go. There may be other shows that you like, but none like your first Netflix love.
7. "Because you watched..." will make you angry. As you desperately scroll through the list of suggested shows to find your next addiction, you feel a darkness wash over you. You, first, are angry at Netflix for not having a show as great as the one you just finished at your disposal. Then you become angry at Hollywood for not producing endless episodes of your favorite show, because your happiness and entertainment should obviously be their main priority. The anger then shifts to your very being for getting involved in the first place. How could you let yourself become so attached to something that isn't even real?
All in all, the Netflix experience is a good one, no matter how bad the hangover may be. There will never be a show to replace the first love in your heart, but there will always be room to add more to obsess over.