Thanks to Internet streaming sites like Netflix, iflix and Viu, we’re spending more and more time curling up in our bed, binging our favourite K-drama, crying our hearts out for the death of our favourite oppa, than doing something productive.
In fact, spending hours binging on our favourite shows is now a part of everyday life and we wouldn’t let anything get in the way - yes, including sleep and slow Internet.
So goodbye social life and hello sleepless nights.
1. When you binge the entire season in one sitting and now you gotta wait a year for new episode
The upside of binging your favourite drama: You can literally watch the next episode in the next second. The downside of it: Good luck waiting for the new episode to air if the series is still on-going. It’s excruciating because you’ve spent countless of hours investing in the plot and characters, only to realise you’ve reached the end of the season and you have to wait for at least a few months or years for the new episode. Especially if you’re watching Game of Thrones. We still can’t believe they’re going to make us wait for two whole years for the last season! The ending better be worth it!
2. When you have one episode left in the season but it’s wayyy past your bedtime
To quote Shakespeare, “to sleep or not to sleep, that is the question” (or something along that line). Isn’t it frustrating to find out that you have that one episode left in the series — that one final reveal to find out who the big bad is or if your favourite characters end up together — only to look at the clock and realise it’s 5am and you’ve been curling up in your bed with your laptop for 11 hours straight? Now’s the high time to do a quick Google search on how long can you go without sleeping and pray that you won’t fall asleep at work tomorrow.
3. When the only marathon you’ll ever agree to is a movie marathon
It is without a doubt that marathon’s the latest fitness fad in Malaysia. From Colour Run to Electric Run, Music Run, Night of the Undead Run, Nike Run, Superheroes Race, Penang Bridge Marathon — well, you get the gist of it — there’s at least a running event happening in Malaysia that you’ll see your friends or family members posting their after-run photos on Facebook or Instagram. But for binge watchers, there’s only one marathon that matters: movie marathon! Nothing makes our heart race like receiving a WhatsApp notification from your movie fanatic group that one of you is hosting a movie night with tons of snacks and drinks.
4. When you can’t wait to get home so you can continue watching where you left off last night
Remember when we were younger, we used to count down till school ends so we can head to the playground with our friends? Well, nothing’s changed so far. We’re still counting down to the minute till school or work is done, but this time we’re not rushing to the playground for the see-saw or to book a spot for ourselves at the swings. Instead, we scurry back to our room, turn on our laptop and click “Continue Watching”. Only when we’re feeling hungry we leave the room to feed our empty stomach. Even then, we’re still holding onto our laptop, taking it to the kitchen so that we can watch while cooking Maggi Mee.
5. When you started a new series and now you can’t stop
From Hollywood series like Stranger Things, The Flash, Riverdale to K-drama like Descendent of the Sun, The Legend of the Blue Sea and Weightlifting Fairy, it’s inevitable that this is the golden age of television. More and more people are paying vast attention and investment to small-screen series. High profile directors like David Fincher and A-list actors and actresses such as Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are venturing into the television industry as well. Even television producers are pumping in more money and effort to make their stories stand out from the crowd. Which is why most series these days are so captivating. One episode in and you’ll be hooked to find out what’s going to happen next. And if it’s a completed series, you bet we’re going to do absolutely nothing but watch it till the end credit. Even if it means no sleep for two weeks. Fun!
6. When you realised you’ve been watching a show for 12 hours straight and you don’t know what you’re doing with your life any more
The thing is, movies and TV shows are created as a form of entertainment to make us forget our problems. It’s the escapism that we crave for to help us let go of our atrocious reality. And they do a tremendous job at it too — until we reach that brief moment in between episodes where the cruelty of reality comes back to us. You know that moment your screen fades to black at the end of the episode and you see own reflection in the black mirror (see what we did there?) that’s often accompanied by unruly hair and expressionless face? That split second when you feel like you’ve succumbed to an existential crisis and wondered what you have been doing with your life. Thankfully, all of these fade away when the next episode appears. So, all good now.
7. When 90% of the population are watching and discussing that one show and you’re peer pressured into watching it because let’s face it, the FOMO is real
We’re looking at you, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Descendant of the Sun. It’s as if no matter where you go, people are starting their conversation with “OMG guys, have you watch last night’s episode? That. Was. Insane. We need to have an in-depth discussion about it,” followed by an intense debate about the symbolism of the dragons and fire and director’s motives. Times like these, you can’t help but go through the five stages of FOMO. Stage 1: Deny that the series is any good and that you’ll never, ever watch it. Stage 2: Getting annoyed with the people around you because they can’t seem to stop talking about that show. Stage 3: Actually contemplating if the show is worth watching. You even go on YouTube to watch all the short clips. Stage 4: Feeling sad and left out when you realised your friends are having a marathon without you; Stage 5: Finally accepted the fact that there’s no way you can escape from it and the only thing you can do is to watch the entire series in one go so you can finally be part of the team. And the worse part: you actually enjoy the series. Congratulations, you've just become one of them.
8. When you click “Next Episode” and realise that you’ve finished the entire series
You know how sometimes when you’re watching a series, you get so caught up with the plot, watching episodes after episodes of Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo thinking that the euphoria is never going to end. But when the credit starts rolling and you try searching for the “Next Episode” button, you realised you’ve reached the end of the road and the story has ended, indefinitely. That conflicting feeling of “OMG, I’m finally done with the series” and “Noooo, I don’t want it to end” doesn’t help either. Most of the time, we’ll need at least a couple of hours to mourn for the end of the series, before searching frantically for a new series to binge on. It’s a vicious cycle that never ends.
9. When you spent more time searching for a show to watch than watching the show
People these days are spoilt with choices. With so many TV shows and movies (in HD!) available online, there’s bound to be something to satisfy your craving, right? Nope, it’s the complete opposite of it. Thanks to the vast selection of entertainment out there, you’ll end up scrolling from page to page to find the perfect movie to watch. Hence, it’s always good to be prepared and know exactly what you’re planning to watch because if you settle into your couch without any clue, you could end up sitting there for hours finding the “perfect movie”.
10. When you rather rewatch the whole season of How I Met Your Mother than finishing your work
Work? What work? Yes, we all know that TV shows and movies are all just a big distraction, designed to divert our attention away from the things that really matter. And yes, we also know that there are more meaningful things to do than rewatching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and quoting every line from Chandler. But do we care about any of that? Not at all. In fact, it’s the precise reason why we indulge in them because we wanted to forget about our work, our responsibilities, our life; just for a little while. Which is why whenever we list down things that we’re planning to do after work — house chores, work, catching up with friends, doing things that a normal person would do — it will never happen, because the laptop will call out to us, coax us into watching a 20 minutes sitcom (what harm can a 20 minutes show do, right?) to reward ourselves after a long, hard day at work. But before we know it, it’s already three in the morning and we were left wonder what are we really doing with our lives.