By Lauren Le Vine, REDBOOK.
When it comes to cult TV shows, it’s impossible to watch just one episode – and I’m speaking from some major experience here. That’s why many Americans prefer to hold off on the week-to-week viewing schedule of yore (one new episode a week? Nonsense!) and binge-watch entire seasons of captivating TV like Breaking Bad, Friday Night Lights, and Downton Abbey all at once. I mean, have you ever tried to watch just one episode of Lost? It takes insurmountable determination to avoid immediately pressing play on the next one…and then the one after that, and before you know it, whoops, there was something you two needed to do today, right? Oh well, it’s too late now. Guess you’ll just have to watch another episode instead.
Binge-watching shows together can be a very intimate experience. If you start The Wire together, it means you have to finish it together, watching every episode side-by-side, riding the emotional roller coaster that comes from watching Omar’s exploits in Baltimore. That’s where “Netflix Adultery,” a term recently coined by The Cut, comes in. Think about that one time you knew your husband wouldn’t be able to watch another episode of your current fix with you for three whole days, but you just had to know what happened next, so you hit play. Then, when he was finally ready to watch, you had to feign surprise at that one character’s beheading – but you were totally faking it. Or he might have figured it out just from loading the series on Netflix; it automatically syncs to your most recently-watched spot, broadcasting your betrayal.