I’ve always been a completionist. I cannot stand starting a series anywhere but the absolute beginning (one reason it was so difficult for me to break into the world of comics), and once I start something, I have a strong need to finish it. So it is pretty crazy for me to tell you that my new way of watching TV is to fast forward through it.
After the Mountain and the Viper, I can no longer handle the brutality of Game of Thrones, but am deeply invested in the development of the characters and story.
I’m a diehard fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but after this most recent watch through all seven seasons, I’ve realized that there are certain episodes—and, if you include Angel, entire storylines—that I just never want to watch again, ever, because I hate them.
And currently, we are watching Grace & Frankie, which I adored through seasons one and two and am having a harder time with in season three. Because Frankie is actually incredibly disrespectful of Grace, gleefully trampling her every personal boundary while the show treats her as the moral authority in their relationship. Because every man on that show is blatantly, enragingly judgmental of them, especially Grace. Because Sol is, I am appalled to only now realize, an utterly insufferable narcissist who is entirely unaware that Frankie’s life and also the entire world is Not About Him. Because the four of them live lives of such staggering privilege in their gorgeous San Diego homes, starting businesses willy-nilly, contemplating retirement with a total lack of urgency, while Mike and I are about to move in with his parents again so that, without the burden of paying over $1000 in rent every month, we might be able to shed the student loan debt that’s prevented us from doing anything for the first decade of our adult lives.
But this method is actually working really well, and I think it’s a sign of my improving mental health that I’m able to do it. If a scene is too stressful or a storyline too upsetting, I don’t feel obligated to sit through it, the same way I can now allow myself to give up a book I’m not enjoying. Life really is too short for that shit.