So You’re Spending the Holidays with People Who Don’t Binge-Watch

Well, here we are. Christmas, New Year’s, winter break, the whole kit and caboodle (hello I’m 94), and we’re out of our comfort zone.

It’s not anybody’s fault. Most of our friends and family outside our normal day-to-day existence have better things to do than watch 10 episodes of Making A Murderer in less than two days, and then text and post about it to excess in an attempt to make sense of their feelings. (Not me, though, so hit me up, you guys.) Most people who aren’t us prefer to watch television normally — one episode at a time and/or in a regulated way — as opposed to blitzing seasons at a time and then screaming into the night when we’ve exhausted our options.

And those are the people we’re going to see for the next two to ten days.

So that’s why I’m writing this — a guide to communicating with people who do not get your Jessica Jones reference and look at you like you’ve lost your mind when you start crying about how emotional it was to watch Don Draper meditate to the sounds of a Coke ad. You can do it. I can do it. We can all do it, provided we take what I say seriously.

1. Accept that you are totally and utterly alone
You are Buzz Lightyear in a sea of Woodys. They don’t believe. You do. And all you can do is shake your head and internally say, “You are a sad, strange little man” and offer your blessing. They are Matt Damon. You are Robin Williams. And it isn’t their fault. (Even though like, this time it totally is.)

2. Ask what they watch
And then when they say The Big Bang Theory you say something about how crazy it is that Rusty from Christmas Vacation grew up to be on such a hit show. Then mention Blossom. Let them fill in the rest.

3. Upon finding common ground, test the waters with, “I love that show!”
Which I recommend because once, upon being told by someone that they really liked The Office, I started quoting it like it was my first and only language. As a result, my quotes were meant with blank stares and a quiet, “Oh, well, I’ve only seen a few episodes.” It was terrible and he and I stopped talking almost instantly. (See also: reasons why I quit my old job at the bank.)

4. Stick to blanket statements
“I love Netflix!” is a terrific example of a way to get those familial chats moving. Everybody — except my parents — has Netflix. It’s like electricity or a novelty t-shirt. To be a part of suburban Canada, you adapt in this way. Then let them tell you what they liked a lot.

5. …Except if it’s that Magnificent Six movie
Because that shit is incredibly racist and awful and you should feel upset if anybody you love is willing to applaud and/or defend it.

6. Try and recommend a familial viewing of Narcos
Because guys, I don’t know. It was really good, and if you’ve got nothing to say to the people you know and love, allow the acting of Wagner Maura to fill the void. Also, not enough people I know watched it, and I need to talk about it as soon as you’re done.

See also: Making A Murderer, but only if you feel like losing faith in everybody you’ve ever loved, known, or seen. Which, I’m 99% sure is what Christmas is all about anyway. (I think?)

Tags: Anne T. Donahue, Making A Murderer, netflix

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