The binge-prevention program, Part 2

Dave Bartlett
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If I didn’t love TV I wouldn’t watch or write about it. But this morning I’m feeling really let down by a great show, which I was starting to step back from for an entirely different reason.

The mysterious John Locke from “Lost,” one show this columnist is enjoying a few years after the hoopla died down.
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After Christmas, you may remember, I started an experiment to try and recapture the build of suspense that is supposed to be inherent in a series as its story unfolds week after week. This has been eroded by binge watching — where you watch 12 episodes of your new favourite show over a rainy weekend, or simply only watch a single show at one time at the rate of say two or three episodes a day.

I love those rainy weekends, but really TV should be watched with enough space in between each episode to let the story breath.

The experiment was to pick a show for each day of the week, except Thursdays, and watch that show on that day until at least the end of a full season. This also allowed me to start to catch up on all the great shows I’ve started watching but have yet to finish.

The experiment has been really successful, with a couple of exceptions. Sometimes, say, a Friday goes by and I forget to watch “Friday Night Lights,” so I watch it on Saturday or Sunday. No big deal, and really this isn’t supposed to be a rigid set of rules.

Second, the show I’m enjoying the most right now on my schedule is “Lost,” a show I stopped watching after a few episodes into Season 2. It’s the show that has my friends divided — it’s either one of the best shows ever, or one of the worst.

But because I have been really getting into it — and at the prodding of a friend who wants to me finish it so we can discuss all of its finer points — I’ve compromised and made “Lost” Saturdays a double feature.

I have four more episodes left in the first season, just two more weeks, and am determined to keep this Saturday trend going until I find out what the heck is up with Island. Even at double the rate, it’s going to take me another year before I finish all six seasons.

I started this column by telling you I was disappointed in a show, and that brings me back to “Breaking Bad” Sundays.

As I approached the end of the second season, I decided I needed a break from the intensity of the show. So, this week I decided to watch the final two episodes before picking a new Sunday show for the next little while.

I think “Breaking Bad” is fabulous in so many ways, but after a 50-minute episode I’m often ready to go for a long walk or take a shower.

To keep it spoiler-free, after Walter White willingly walks away from Jane in the penultimate episode, I was glad I had less than an hour before that recess from the show. But then the big reveal of the season finale had me so angry I almost decided on the spot to never watch again.

What a copout.

I’ll just say the foreshadowing that’s opened each episode this season leads the viewer to expect something bad was going to happen — at least two people are dead and something’s blown up.

But when you find out what, and who, you realize it is less than integral to the story so far, beyond bizarre coincidence. Not cool, Vince Gilligan. Not cool at all.

Yes, I will still finish the last three seasons of the show because I feel I have to. And certainly there’s enough other stuff going on that I still feel invested in most of the characters.

I should note, that while “Breaking Bad” is the first to fall from my weekly viewing list, one show has already been renewed.

Sadly, “Twin Peaks” Mondays will be out of episodes in a few short months. The first season is only a mere eight episodes, and ends with so many mysteries in the air that I had to keep going — even if I hadn’t watched the series a number of times.  

Sadly, creator David Lynch has shot down rumours that the show will return 25 years after the second season cliffhanger that has yet to be resolved.

As for what will replace meth-masters Jesse and Walt on Sunday, I’ve decided to watch a show I own on DVD, and one that I’ve never actually finished to the very end.

Bryan Fuller is becoming much better known these days for “Hannibal” — which is creeping up my to-watch list — but his show “Pushing Daisies” blends the murder mystery with a bright colour palette and a whimsy that I’d rather end my weekend with.

Have you had to give up on a show because it became too intense? Correspondence goes to Dave Bartlett at

Organizations: Night Lights

Geographic location: Twin Peaks

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