A while back, myself and fellow series fanatic buddy, Grant Boonzaier, co-created the Top 20 Ultimate Rules and Guidelines to help you have a more successful TV series watching experience.
If you are serious about Series, then you need to read this.
#1 Use correct terminology
Don’t refer to watching series 1, 2 or 3 of a TV show. This is a rookie error. They are called SEASONS. And just to cover all bases, see the full terminology list below.
Series – name of the show, or program depending on your age
Season – the number of years it is in. e.g S3, episode 4
Penultimate – the episode before the finale
Season Finale – the last episode for that season
Series Finale – the last ever episode of the entire show
Decide on a series BEFORE browsing Netflix or Showmax. Trying to decide while flicking through hundreds of choices will result in paralysis. No choice will be made and you will have wasted at least 40 minutes. You could have watched another episode of Blacklist in that time. Be smart.
#3 Due diligence
Always do your due diligence before watching a show. You don’t want it cancelled after the first season. It is also useful to see the rating and reviews to see what others have to say, sources included:
Note! The Annual Emmy awards are also a good place to pick up some noteworthy shows to invest your time in.
#4 Start at the beginning
Never start an episode or worse yet, a season in the wrong order. Ever. This may work for all you Star Wars fans, but not for a series. The entire crux of a 6-season series is often laid down in the first episode.
#5 Double dose
When starting a new series, you cannot only watch one episode to start. It doesn’t work like that. If it’s a half-hour series (20min in binge watching time), you need to watch the prescribed minimum of 4 episodes in a row. If it’s an hour-long series (40min in binge watching time), then you need to watch the prescribed minimum of 2 episodes in a row.
#6 Supporting documentation
Downloading a character map for those more complicated shows is not a bad idea, and not “ridiculous”. The same goes for having Wikipedia or Google open for those political or medical shows where you have to figure out what Bipartisanship means. It’s ok. We’ve all been there.
#7 Spoiler alert
No spoilers on Social Media. Ever. Don’t be that guy! Don’t read the spoiler alert sections in IMBD either, they are highlighted for a reason. And definitely don’t look up the series on Twitter. Just don’t do it.
#8 Quiet please
No talking during the show. If you need to speak, raise your hand, and ask that the show be paused first.
Browsing Facebook or any other phone activity during a show is unacceptable. Leave the room! You can’t give the series your full attention while playing Two Dots, no matter who you are.
#10 Sharing is caring
Always share the good TV series, also mention the ones to avoid!.
See my list of my favourite shows.
#11 Sounds good
It’s perfectly acceptable to have the ringtone of your favourite series on your phone. If you are so inclined you can mosey on over to Google to find out favourite, or click here if you are lazy.
#12 Name game
Naming your children after your favourite TV show characters is also not only acceptable, its encouraged. I know of a few. Jack from 24. My daughter Ava was named after Ava from Loving (Soapie I know, but we didn’t have Netflix back then). And no Aiden was not named after Aiden from Sex and City, that was coincidental, promise. Have a look at these baby names inspired by TV shows.
#13 Family obligations
Missing a family braai to binge watch the last 5 episodes is acceptable. Missing your child’s birth because the final episode of GOT has just been released is touch and go. For the record I have never seen not even one minute of an episode of GOT. This was Grant. And if you don’t know what GOT is, then you are in the same boat as me.
#14 In character
Speaking in your favourite characters voice or accent is not going too far. In fact, its called Fandom, where you become so immersed in the show, it is not longer simply a TV show, it is your life. And there is a secret language that goes along with it too. Think I’m making it up? Take a look at this article.
There are series you watch together with your partner. And then there are some you watch on your own. And that’s ok. It’s not cheating. We all need our own series now and then.
It’s not binge watching if you only watch one a week … when it’s not live! That was so last century. To commit to a new series, you need to dedicate time to it. Minimum requirement is one episode per night. Min. Commitment is taking 2 days off work to binge watch the first 3 seasons of Younger. You know who you are….
It’s ok to choose your friends purely based on what series they watch. You can tell a lot about someone based on what series they watch. If they only watch Dexter and Scream Queens, umm… I would only meet in public places. I have made deep and lasting friendships based on HIMYM and FRIENDS alone. My sister and I can have an entire conversations just referencing FRIENDS. Could I BE any more serious?
#18 Series vs Sex
The big debate… depends on several factors. Where in the season you are? What time you started watching. Is it a 20min or 40min episode? Weigh it up carefully.
#19 Penultimate protocol
If you are on the penultimate episode, it is an unwritten rule that you HAVE to proceed and watch the last one straight after. There is no conceivable way you can allow 12 hours let alone 24 hours to pass before the last episode of that season. Put the kettle on and power through.
Note, this rule is also penultimate… see what I did there?
#20 Mourning is a thing
You will feel a deep sadness and loss when you have completed a series. The best way to overcome this overwhelming feeling is to begin a new series with immediate effect. Refer to Rule #3.
Happy Binge-watching peeps!
Please feel free to add more in the comments section below. We want to narrow it down to the top 10 so also note your favourite.