Don't lie, you know you've done it too. Whether it's a new season from Netflix (thank you, Netflix powers that be, for releasing whole seasons at once!), rewatching old loves on Hulu (BTW; the entire series of Seinfeld is available now!), or even popping those old DVDs you used to collect into the player (I totally have the first four seasons of The Simpsons on DVD) we've all succumbed to the lure of the television binge session.
There are some important considerations to take into account when you're preparing for a serious binge watching session, so I've assembled them into one handy checklist. Note: This is more for the prepared sessions, like last week's OITNB release, not for those lazy Saturdays where you accidentally realize that you've watched 2 entire seasons of Friends and you should probably get up and feed your kid and brush your teeth not that I've ever done that. Why are you looking at me that way?)
Comfortable clothes: You don't want to wear anything that binds or gets in the way of your happiness while binge watching. Basically nothing that feels like you're wearing clothes. I tend towards yoga pants, some sort of ill-fitting t-shirt I got in a swag bag, and a cozy blanket to keep my feet warm. Of course, depending on the climate you're in, you may want to skip the blankie, or maybe add a hoodie of some sort in the interest of temperature control.
Perfect seating: Right alongside the right comfortable clothes, is the right spot to sit. Because you'll be planted there for a number of hours, it's important to make considerations while selecting your perch. Look out for glare on the screen, because that can be really annoying and bad for your eyes. Be aware of your location in relation to the screen, because you don't want to be too close or too far from it. Feel free to get all Goldilocks and find the right place to sit. It's also important to have some sort of stable surface nearby, like an end of coffee table, because you need to keep a few things close at hand.
Remote nearby: Make sure the remote is somewhere that you can easily find it, because OMG nothing is worse than having to wait that full 15 seconds before the next episode starts on Netflix. (Which, can we petition for a “binge mode” that skips the countdown AND the opening credits? Because I've had the Mad Men opening theme stuck in my head for the last 2 weeks)
Snacks: Sustenance is important, or you'll never last through that entire season of Lost. A good snack good can help get you through the occasional terrible episode. (I'm looking at you, musical episode of 7th Heaven). Fortunately for us, we live in a world where people will BRING DELICIOUS SNACKS RIGHT TO OUR DOOR! Or, maybe your kid is old enough that you can send them to fetch things for you. We recently taught Max how to make coffee in the Keurig and it's been a weekend morning game changer.
Hydration: All the healthy people will tell you that hydration is important, and it's no less important while taking on a serious binge watch session. You can stick with water, if you want to be all healthy about it, but I tend to switch up my drinks depending on the time of day. It's coffee, then water or iced tea, maybe some sparkling water, and then I'll sometimes wrap up with a cocktail. Because real talk? Cocktails are especially important when watching Mad Men or similar shows.
Quiet house: You don't want to be distracracted from important dialogue, so try to minimize outside distractions when binge watching. Send the kids to someone else's house if possible, but I've had great success with handing over Max's tablet for him to get screen time of his own, or reminding him that he *still* hasn't finished the LEGO Death Star he got for Christmas.
Phone set to silent: Much like loud children, you don't want to be startled out of an important moment in your shows by a social notification or, heaven forbid, a phone call. Set it to vibrate and then stash it under a pillow. Still close by, but not a distraction.
All set! And now, you're ready to binge watch! What's next on your binge watch calendar?