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Just one more episode…! Series are like potato chips or maybe peanuts. You think taking time for one can’t hurt, and then you’re stuck for hours and hours binge watching the whole series—your bloodshot eyes bulging, your legs cramped, and your stomach upset because you’ve been sustaining your life with snacks.
If streaming is possible with our erratic internet provider, I don’t know how it would work and I refuse to learn. That’s my saving grace, because I’m one of those people who has to know THE END. (Hmm. What does that say about me?) Television series that amble on from season to season in one long story that keeps bringing people together and then tearing them apart drive me to distraction. My own life is enough of a trip. Save me from living a long, tortured existence with someone else!
On the other hand, I don’t mind series that are actually disparate stories with only a couple ongoing characters—like PBS mystery series. Then I don’t expect an end and I resent it when someone imposes one. (I adored SHERLOCK HOLMES with Benedict Cumberbatch, but I enjoy seeing him work in almost anything.)
When I read a book series—holy cow!—I have to read them all. So, I avoid book series. I need to live my life, after all. My daughter started me on Harry Potter—seven books over 700 pages each. I nearly stopped speaking to her…actually, I couldn’t speak to her because I was too busy reading. I struggled to read each in a day or two. I wear glasses now.
Genre books written to a general template are an acquired taste. Millions of readers enjoy having a clue of what comes next. I don’t. I read an entire James Rollins series and knew I had to stop when I started rooting for the bad guys to kill the heroes so I’d feel justified abandoning the series.
I bring up these kinds of series because I’m trying to make my peace with my husband’s affinity for sports series. Okay, I understand following a favorite team. What I don’t comprehend is the fierce loyalty fans feel for the “home team” when the home team is comprised of people from other places and other teams—sometimes competitors. They’re loyal to a team name. Certain teams change cities, and the fan base switches. What? Didn’t you hate them last year? No wonder the teams sometimes change names when they relocate. Presto, change-o!
And I understand when a team needs to be chosen as the champions, they want more than one contest to be sure the best team arrives on top. But when each team has to play every other team multiple times, I’m out. Particular fans (not mentioning any names) insist on seeing every match. Recently, I started calculating how much time we spend watching hockey when each pairing stretches over a max of seven games. Seven! And we haven’t even begun football season yet.
I don’t know how the team members survive. They look pale and exhausted when they remove their helmets—not unlike the fans at home who have watched enough games to fill a full-time work week and that was only the first round. To be honest, I think the final award is still a matter of luck, since team members are injured or sick or traded or whatever and the team that’s crowned may still not be the best on another day. Contests are almost always arbitrary and subjective because people have too many variables.
Luckily, although—in the interest of maintaining a long-term marriage—I like to remain in the same room as my husband for the many, many hours a particular sport series continues, he’s considerate enough to use headphones to listen. The sound is muted. Thus, I can direct my attention elsewhere. I have time to read one of those book series…or write one. As long as I can smile when my husband shouts out occasionally, we’re good.