My boyfriend and I watch most of the TV shows we watch together. There are a few exceptions. He got really into "Sherlock." I didn't. We used to make a point of watching "Girls" together. Now we find it OK to watch separately (mostly because I think we both feel that it's gone downhill, so it's not an important show for us to watch together). When I re-watch my old favorite, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," he refuses to take part. But for the most part, we watch as a team.
Let me tell you, dear reader, that while this has its ups, it also, most certainly, has its downs. It's absolutely lovely to be able to cuddle up under the covers with the person you love and binge watch a season and half of "House of Cards" when there's no way in hell you'd ever go outside because it's 9 degrees (yes, we did that). We love talking about the intricacies of characters and plot of a really good TV show (in fact, I was so obsessed with all the Shakespeare references we discussed from House of Cards that I even wrote a post about it). We love talking about what we think will happen next. And it's just great to be able to share a knowing look with the person beside you when a character does something you both predicted (or a look of surprise when that character does something you didn't see coming).
What's not so nice? Having to wait for said person you love in order to watch the rest of the fully-released season.
Here are the worst things for me about watching a show with my beloved.
Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers. My boyfriend and I are currently doing semi-long distance (we see each other every weekend). This means I have to wait until the weekend to watch our "together" TV shows. This also means that most of them have already aired before we watch them together. Even Sunday night HBO shows sometimes go on too late for us to watch (he has to leave early Monday morning). Well, come Monday morning, everyone and their grandmother has posted to Twitter or Facebook about the crazy thing that happened on Sunday night's episode. And unfortunately, I can't just not read the Internet, since it is part of my job to do so.
I know I'm not not the only one who deals with this. So many of my friends and acquaintances aren't able to watch their shared shows with their significant others when they actually air. We are all busy people! We're dealing with not only one person's schedule, but two! Therefore, when I wake up and check Twitter and Facebook in the morning, and see "Oh my God! I can't believe INSERT CHARACTER is dead!," there goes everything. In the age of the Internet, avoiding a spoiler is about as easy as calculus (and by that, I mean it's pretty impossible). This kind of stuff can really put a damper on a relationship.
The wait itself is absolutely agonizing. It's not only spoilers that get me down. Waiting to watch the show, when I know that I could do so on my own with the simple click of a button, takes immense willpower. And as a person who can rarely say no to anything that I want, I find this to be almost unbearable. I have to keep my weekdays full (gym, having dinner with friends, reading books) in order to ensure that I am not tempted to watch an episode without him. I've also found it helpful to have a backup show, something that I'm re-watching without him (hello, "Buffy" and "Sex and the City"!) to watch instead.
Sometimes, I have to break our arrangement and watch shows alone... and then I have to avoid giving away spoilers. There is nothing my boyfriend hates more than spoilers. BUT Y'ALL: I AM NOT A GOOD SECRET KEEPER.
There are several pivotal episodes of TV series that I watched without him, and before him. I watched the Red Wedding "Game of Thrones" episode before him (epic mistake). It took every single part of me to not break down and scream to him while video chatting (SPOILER ALERT): "Almost every member of the Starks is dead!" I DIDN'T tell him, but it was seriously painful not to.
I also started writing recaps for HBO's "True Detective," so most of the time, I have to watch it before him. I've already seen this week's upcoming episode and let me tell you, shit gets intense. HOW CAN I NOT TELL HIM WHAT HAPPENS?! All I want to do is talk about it with him! But... I can't. It's the worst.
Although I have never done it, breaking your TV arrangements can get you into the realm of Netflix cheating.
I personally haven't done this. I would never watch the show without an agreement to do so (this is mostly because I am a horrible liar). But I assure you: Netflix cheating IS a thing. In a Netflix study, 51 percent of adults asked said they WOULD betray their partner and watch their show without them. Way harsh.
Sure, Netflix cheating isn't as bad as, like, regular cheating... but it's pretty bad. People can get really hurt. How can you ever build up that trust again after you watch the series finale of "Breaking Bad" without your partner? I mean, I don't know if you can.
Also, if you are Netflix cheating, do you confess or do you feign surprise? These days, at least on Netflix, it's extremely easy to tell if someone cheated if you share an account with each other. You can tell which shows and episodes have been watched. So unless you share a Netflix account with 10 other people, getting out of this one won't be all that easy. Also, good luck feigning surprise/shock about something like the Red Wedding.
Luckily, I haven't had to deal with any of that... yet.
I openly admit, y'all, that these problems are not exactly of a devastating nature. Will my relationship end because of our TV drama? I doubt it. But I know I'm not the only one who is annoyed by this! Tell me your TV relationship dramas in the comments!