There Really is a Method to My Madness

Long ago, my family accepted my Netflix addiction. They are used to walking through the living room and seeing me glued to my laptop, earbuds in place, engrossed in one show or another. That was within the acceptable behavior parameters. But, I’m fairly certain they decided I had a permanent ticket on the crazy train when they realized that I have different methods for rewatching shows. Yes, people, I said ‘methods’ – plural. Because, depending on the situation, I conduct rewatches in one of three ways. Let me explain.

First up is a complete series rewatch. This usually happens immediately after I binge watch a show for the first time. When I say binge watch, I’m serious. It’s not unusual for me to watch two, three or four episodes in one sitting. That’s the point where I force myself to walk away and do something horribly domestic with the promise of another episode upon completion. Yes, I’m forty-eight years old and I still respond to the reward system. Laughable, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

My most recent example of this is Veronica Mars. I spent a week watching all three seasons plus the movie. Immediately after watching the movie, I was back on Amazon watching the pilot again. I’m almost done with that rewatch – about halfway through season three, as of this morning.

Why do I do this? Easy. I’m a thinker, a plotter, an analyzer. I find that when I binge watch, I don’t do that. I don’t give myself time between episodes to ponder what has and what might happen. I find when I binge watch, I miss things. One of my favorite things about rewatching is catching the little things I missed the first time or the third time around.

My second rewatch plan is used when  I’m gearing up for the new season. I watch the first and last episode of each season. I like to seeing where a show started and how it has progressed to where it is now. I don’t do this for every show, just my favorites. Some networks, like ABC, have made this easier by getting the most recent season of some shows to Netflix early. Marvel’s Agents of Shield season two was added in June. And then some networks (boo to you, CW) wait until the new season has started before adding last season, making it impossible to get ahead before the new season starts.

In addition to rewatching Veronica Mars, I have been rewatching Heroes. Unfortunately, what started as a complete series rewatch is going to end up as a first and last rewatch. I’m still early in season two and just don’t have the time to watch through the end of season four before Heroes Reborn starts tomorrow night. I need to see how the series ended before the new one begins. Reborn has been near the top of my highly anticipated list since it was announced. The fact that Zachary Levi is part of the cast certainly doesn’t hurt.

My final method usually depends on my mood. For any of my favorite shows, I have a go to list of episodes. Whether I’m wanting to watch a favorite episode or one that matches my mood (happy, sad, or a desire to watch a certain show), I know just which episode to turn to. For example, if I’m in a mood to watch Angel, I’ll watch the Angelus episodes in season four. If I want to watch Star Trek: Enterprise, I’ll pick my favorite episodes from the Xindi arc in season three or the Vulcan arc in season four. When it comes to The Vampire Diaries, I’ll watch the pivotal episodes in Damon and Elena’s relationship, beginning with the second episode of the series.

You’ve heard about the exception that proves the rule, right? Here is the one that doesn’t fit into any of the above. This summer I watched/rewatched Prison Break. How can it be both a first time watch and a rewatch? Here’s how – I faithfully watched seasons one and two when they aired. Then, season three happened. I watched two or three episodes and then stopped. Seeing Michael Scofield trying to break out of another prison felt like a step backwards and I decided I was done. Fast forward to earlier this year when FOX announced a limited run Prison Break that will air in early 2016. I knew then that I’d have to go back and watch the rest of the series before then. I have to admit, about halfway through season three, I was hooked all over again and finishing the series wasn’t the chore I feared it might be. Now, I’m completely excited about the new series.

So, I’ve shared a little of my madness with you. Surely, I’m not the only person this, um, obsessed. If you have a method you use to watch or rewatch a series, please share! Who knows, I might incorporate it into my own.

Until next time…

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