I haven't watched a television show in ten years. This is obvious merely because I call it "television" as opposed to "TV," proving that the picture box and I are not on a nickname-basis. You may think ten years is a rounding or an exaggeration, but I can tell you the exact date I last sat down to catch a season's episode: May 20, 2003, the night of the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I don't know how long spoiler alerts remain enacted, but just in case they last a decade, I won't tell you who died in the season finale. Let's just say it was my favorite character, which left me sitting on the living room floor with my family, bawling my eyes out and saying something along the lines of, "No," "Why," and "No no no why why why why." I was 12 years old.
I'd like to say this didn't scar me for life, but the fact that I'm writing about this at the age of 22 years old makes me think otherwise. Not to mention the fact that I haven't been faithful to a television show ever since.
I got an e-mail the other day offering me a free month's trial to Netflix. I had four fleeting thoughts until I decided to accept.
1. Nothing compares to Buffy.
2. Except the Powerpuff Girls.
3. But it's free...
4. I LOVE FREE STUFF.
After scrolling through title after title, feeling as if I had hit some sort of unknown-actors-jackpot, I stumbled upon a show a co-worker had recommended to me: Once Upon a Time. It took one click to seal my fate for the next three days.
(Do you notice how I just used the phrase "seal my fate?" That's only a minor effect compared to the other ways this show has affected me.)
I started watching it around 6:00pm. At this time, my roommate was leaving for work.
"I'm headed to work. What are you doing?"
"I just got Netflix. I'm watching this show about fairy tales."
"Okay well I'm probably going out after work, so I'll catch ya in the morning."
"Okay, see ya!"
Eight hours later...
roommate: (walking in to the apartment) Hey, you're still up?!
me: Yeah, how was the bar?
roommate: Good...are you still watching that show?
me: YES. IT'S SO GOOD.
roommate: Hahaha okay, well I'm about to pass out.
me: What? What time is it?
roommate: It's 4 in the morning.
me: Oh wow, well I'll probably go to bed soon, too.
Five hours later...
roommate: (walking out of his bedroom): Morning.
me: (crying) Good...sniff sniff...morning...
roommate: Are you okay?
me: It's just...Beauty...left...the beast...
roommate: Have you been watching that show all night?
me: Yes...I need fairy dust to help me sleep.
me: NOTHING NEVERMIND sniff.
After staying up all night to watch Once Upon a Time, I went to class, got home, napped, and did the same thing all over again. I did this for a third night, and would have done it a fourth night if I had the option. That's the benefit of being an insomniac: you can finish two seasons - that's 44 forty-five-minute episodes, in three days. This explains the effect it had on my social life for the following week.
Socializing with my co-workers
"Quit throwing the menus! You're such an imp!"
Socializing with my friends
"Yeah, she got mad at me but I didn't get mad back. I just told her I loved her. Because that's what Snow White would do."
Socializing with my sister
"Did you just steal a handful of Splenda?"
"Katrina, we're at a coffee shop. It's not stealing. The Splenda is free."
"Yeah, but you took ALL of them."
"Because I'm like Robin Hood."
"Yeah. I'm stealing from the rich and giving to the poor."
"Then who are you giving the Splenda to?"
"Myself. I'm poor."
"I need to get more coffee. I didn't get a lot of sleep last night."
"Because you were watching that show?"
"No, I already watched all the seasons available on Netflix. Now I have to wait and actually watch them as they air on television. I couldn't sleep because I've been thinking...what if magic is real?"
"I'm not having this conversation anymore."
"What are you talking about?! You never even started to have it!"
"Because this is real life, Natasha. Magic is not real."
"But what if it is..."
"You need to lay off the television."
"You're right. This show has brainwashed me. It's all I can think about. The other night, I had a dream I was dating Rumplestiltskin."
"Is he cute on the show?"
"No! He's old and gangly! It makes no sense that I dreamt of him!"
"Because he's imaginary."
"No! Because I am much better suited with Captain Hook!"
"Okay you need to stop."
"You're worrying me."
"If you knew Captain Hook like I did, you'd know we were meant to be."
"So now you know him?"
"You've lost it."
"I KNOW I HAVE. SAVE ME."
"You're beyond saving."
"Snow White says it's never too late."
(Not) The End.