We’re a couple days into the new year and while everyone is making resolutions about losing weight or eating better or some other short-term goal that may or may not work (if you’ve figured out the secret to keeping your resolution, we need to talk!), I’ve decided to make it my resolution to stop trying to watch all of the shows. You know the ones that I’m talking about, because you talk about them with your coworkers and friends and family. It’s the newest platter of buzz shows that everyone has seen and that I try so hard to carve time out for, but the bottom line is that I can’t, and that’s okay.
2015 was a crazy year for me in so many aspects and to say it kept me busy was a gross understatement. But, as busy as it was for me, when it came to entertainment, it was even worse. Between new shows like Scream Queens and Narcos to finales of others like Mad Men and new seasons of American Horror Story and How To Get Away With Murder, it’s been a busy fucking year and I’ve watched approximately two of the shows that I just listed. I try, believe me, I try. As someone who works in media/occasionally writes about entertainment/needs to understand pop culture/wants to fit in with the conversation, keeping up with all the shows has always been important to me, but I just can’t and I think I’ve finally come to terms with that.
A few years ago when I first got Netflix, I binged the first four seasons of Mad Men and I swear I stopped paying attention. Not because it’s not a good show, but simply because it’s not a show meant to be binge-watched and with all the dialogue I lost interest. When I heard that the final season was going to be airing, I tried to catch up, but, again, my eyes started glazing over and I gave up. When Scandal started gaining some serious traction (i.e. my mom couldn’t stop talking about it), I gave it a couple episodes and then my attention fizzled and same thing with Scream Queens though I desperately wanted to like that one (I still have half the season on my PVR”I’m not ready to abandon ship yet). I won’t even get started on House of Cards because oh my god how I wanted to get into that show. How To Get Away With Murder on the other hand grabbed my attention right away and I almost missed a few deadlines trying to watch it all (probably because, unlike Scandal, it teaches you some real-life skills. Kidding. Maybe. Totally kidding).
Maybe it’s because I work so much and need something that doesn’t require my full attention playing in the background (like Friends or Gilmore Girls, which I’ve watched a hundred times each so I can just recite it anyway) or maybe because I feel as though my time (and your time) is precious so why spend it watching something you’re only half-interested mainly because you want to have something to contribute to the conversation, but I’m done. I used to give shows a requisite five episodes to grab my attention, but I think those days are long gone and now we’re down to one. If a show seems like something I’d be remotely interested in, I’ll give it one episode. If I’m not into it, I’m not watching it and that’s okay.
The same goes for books and movies”life is too short to try and read and watch it all. Like, I’ll be honest with you, as much as I want to want to see Concussion or The Big Short, I know it just won’t make the list because I need to plan my movie-watching budget very carefully. Sisters and The Revenant will most definitely make the cut though. If doesn’t pique your interest, just let it go. No one is really going to care if you’ve seen it or not and if they do it’ll be for like half a second and then they’ll forget. If the movie or show becomes a classic and you still haven’t seen it, then it’ll likely be a problem (I’ve wagged many a finger at people who still haven’t seen Fight Club). You don’t have to watch it all, and that’s okay.