Watching TV on demand is a lonely business

Text your mum, tweet into the void, hang around that metaphorical water-cooler all you want. You're on your own, says Ellie Walker-Arnott

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The land of TV on demand is a lonely place to live.

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Sure, it’s far from a barren wasteland. If anything it’s thriving. There are new original series pushing up through the grass every day. Abundant episodes of beloved old favourites, untouched box sets, those cult classics you’ve been meaning to watch for years. Frank Underwood, the residents of Litchfield Women’s Prison and the Dunphy-Tucker-Pritchetts are all there to keep you company.

But real humans? They are hard to come by.

People you know might be watching the same shows on demand, but catching up or wading through hours of telly is a solitary game. When you lift your head at the end of Scandal’s second season or after that moment in Orange is the New Black, there’s no one to share your startled look.

Text your mum, tweet into the void, hang around that metaphorical water-cooler all you want, but the chances that someone else watched the season three finale of Dawson’s Creek last night? Close to zilch. You’re on your own.

And then there’s the spoilers. We all love talking about telly (never more so than at RadioTimes.com towers) but if anything it’s better to keep it zipped entirely until you’ve caught up on all there is to catch up on. Because heaven forbid you try and strike up conversation with a fellow binger, just to be told what happens to Walter White at the end of Breaking Bad (what? That’s not a spoiler!) It’s enough to make you a social recluse. 

Plus, there’s how addictive it is. You just try and tell Amazon Instant Prime that you’ve had enough. If the option is there it’s nigh on impossible not to click on (and on and on) to the next episode the minute the credits start rolling – and if you find yourself hooked to Mad Men season one with 78 hours of Don Draper ahead of you, that’s going to get in the way of human interaction, too. 

So where does that leave us? As silent, secretive, unsociable telly addicts, watching shows out of sync with everyone else?

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I guess so. But just try to stop me getting my next Netflix fix…