Directed Activity · Rants

Marathoning: The Right Way

The topic I would be a specialist in, if I were a reviewer, would be television.

Ask me about a series and I’ll watch half of it that night to talk to you about it tomorrow. I’ve made countless deals to make my friends watch the shows I like, for me watching shows they like in return. Recently, I’ve watched Pretty Little Liars for a friend who wanted someone to talk about it with.

If anyone wants to know what a TV show is like, or if anyone has seen it, I probably have. Either that, or I’m planning on it.

That is one skill that I can say I most certainly have: marathoning. You could say that most of my skills revolve around TV.

I can get overly attached within the first episode; if there is a series I especially enjoy, I can watch it within just a few days (a few weeks ago I even watched the entirety of Voltron: Legendary Defender, in a mere two days); and if you want to know if that one actor was in something else? I’ll probably know what it is.

How? I hear you ask.

The answer is simple: determination, no social life, no sleep, and a lot of food.

Of course, this skill has been perfected with many years of practise. When I was little, two episodes was enough for me. I’d get tired. Throughout high school, I progressed.

The show Supernatural was probably the turning point for me. Two attractive men, travelling around the country killing things? That was my jam in high school. If we can blame anyone for it, though, it’s my mum. She started it.

“Oh, Robyn! That series looks interesting. Shall we watch it?”

Famous last words.

I forgot about it for a while, having it lost in the abyss with all the other shows I watched in my peripheral vision while I was on the computer and my mum was watching it. That was until the seventh season advert came on.

I remember seeing Castiel’s face on the screen, and jumping for joy.

“That’s the TV show we used to watch!” I’d shout, “It’s still on!”

An episode a week, healthy. Discovering that the eighth season was already airing in America and I could see spoilers on the internet? Tragic. That was when the marathoning started.

I raced through the seventh and eighth seasons on the internet, and it was only downhill from there.

Really, there are too many TV shows in the world. There’s only so much one person can watch. Plus, so many story-lines are recycled over and over again, that as soon as I see a TV show about another white guy with his white female love interest, I lose a little bit of hope for humanity.

In a society full of racism, sexism, homophobia, and all other kinds of prejudice, it’s hard to find a TV show that satisfies my needs. What if I want a strong female character? Often, there aren’t any in the most popular TV shows.

But the climate is changing. More and more women are in the front and centre of crime dramas, or supernatural thrillers. More and more LGBTQA+ characters are appearing in mainstream TV shows. The makers of these things are being pulled up on their racist stereotypes, and told to do better.

Even when there is so much negativity surrounding representation, you’ve still got to take joy out of the TV shows that aren’t quite up to speed. If everyone, and I have been one to do this, went into looking for a TV show with the attitude of ‘if it doesn’t represent me, I don’t want it’, then we’d never watch anything. We’d never enjoy anything.

How could I marathon three TV shows in a week if I only watched ones that were politically correct? I’d never watch anything.

So, be critical, tell the creators what you think of their stereotypes, and don’t watch shows that are severely white, straight, and male, if you don’t want to. But go into this knowing it’s okay to enjoy these things.

Supernatural is about two straight white guys travelling with other straight white guys to either go save more straight white guys, or straight white female love interests. But even that show, the one that is famous for its stereotypes and queer-baiting, is improving.

That is why I consider myself a specialist in TV shows. What do you feel you’re a specialist in?

Have fun marathoning, and, while you’re here, this rant reminded me of the existence of this song. Go check it out!

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