Binge watching television shows is something I never used to do. I never understood, in fact, how or why people would sit and watch one episode after another of a show. Perhaps I was stuck in the old days when you would have to wait a whole week to once again see Sheriff Matt Dillon woo Miss Kitty (who we all finally figured out was a prostitute with a heart of gold though you could have (and did) fool me back when I was 10 years old).
Of course, 10-year-old me would never have imagined that there would be a time when you would hold a piece of plastic with buttons that you could push to change the channel while sitting on the couch (which is what we called a sofa back when Matt was ordering his deputy Chester to stay mum about Matt’s visits upstairs).
In those same days, there really wasn’t much need for a remote since we only had four channels — ABC, CBS, NBC, and whatever the local Omaha station was called. Mostly when the family trooped into the living room following dinner and clean-up, we would turn on whatever station we were watching that night, and leave it there. On the off chance that a channel needed to be turned, Dad would send one of the kids over to the TV to change the channel so that we could watch the Dean Martin Show in time to see Dean perched precariously on the edge of the piano holding his martini glass. Those were the days.
And speaking of precarious, that same television was about the size of my yellow bug, and sat on four wobbly legs. Oh, and it was black and white.
Now I’m a binge television watcher. And my binging has been fed by the Great Quarantine of 2020 -2021. (Just kidding. We will be let loose before the cock crows three times this summer.) I’m fairly productive in the morning. But sometime around lunch, I turn on my television and watch one of my British mysteries. Right now, I’m hooked on the Inspector Lyndley Mysteries. Inspector Lyndley was a character created by author Elizabeth Peters, and he is about the coolest guy you can imagine. He is of the peerage class in England, being the 8th Earl of Ashington. But he has taken a job as a detective inspector in Scotland Yards because shucks, he’s just one of the guys. He’s the Matt Dillon of England in the early 2000s.
But the reality of binge watching is that we watch the last episode of a season and then immediately watch the first episode of the next season. Therein lies the problem. Because, you see, Season 2 ended with Deputy Sergeant Havers awaiting her punishment for a transgression. Thankfully, I only had to wait 30 seconds for the first episode of Season 3, which allegedly takes place some two or three days following the transgression of the previous season. So, why is DI Lyndley’s hair suddenly so much longer? And couldn’t he find a better barber, him being an Earl and all? At least if Matt Dillon had a different haircut, I had six months to forget what his hair looked like last year.
These are the things I worry about when I can’t leave my house for weeks on end.