Part of making a relationship successful is the ability to share. You can share all types of things too; stories, experiences, food, or maybe even television shows. One of my favorite things when it comes to binge-watching is my ability to watch with the Adorable Creature. Sure, I’ve watched a number of shows on my own, and enjoyed those experiences, but being able to share reactions (or in some cases watch reactions), break down episodes, and have something to look forward to together helps to make a show even more special. Over the course of our relationship, we’ve plowed through Stranger Things, The Defenders, Master of None, and a whole bunch of others and each one was enjoyable because I got to watch them with her (insert gagging here, I know but I don’t care).
The Adorable Creature is funny when it comes to binge-watching things. She has this habit of starting things and just stopping that I’ve never really understood. Take the Hand Maid’s Tale for example. When we were living separately she got really really into this series. In fact, she got about five other people to start watching it so she had people to discuss it with and then… she just stopped. Just like that. And as of today she still hasn’t gone back. It’s not because she doesn’t like the show either, she was super into it, I think sometimes her tv viewing needs to come with an end date. The longer the viewing goes the less likely she’s going to finish. Maybe. I really don’t have an answer for this and I’m constantly nudging her to finish shows I know she’s enjoying.
I understand that I probably watch a great deal more television than the average person. A part of that is because it’s sort of my job and a part of that is because I’m a story junkie. None of that should come as a surprise to you guys since you’ve been reading these posts for over three years now. With that being said, I don’t really remember when I found out that Alyson (the Adorable Creature does indeed have a name) had never watched The Office but I remember feel aghast by the confession. Sure, she’d seen episodes here and there in the background but she had never sat down and watched the series from front to back… that’s something I couldn’t stand for.
I’ve kind of lost count of how many times I’ve watched those first five seasons of The Office. There was a time in my life where The Office was always on. That’s not an exaggeration, I mean always. There is no denying the fact that if you’re sitting at home struggling to figure out what to watch on Netflix the perfect substitute is The Office. You’re committed but not fully committed. You know the jokes but they’re still funny. And most importantly something is on the television and you’re not spending hours scrolling through Netflix thumbnails, which are apparently geared towards your viewing habits. Seeing some of the thumbnails that Netflix uses for me has me all types of befuddled.
When I asked the Adorable Creature why she never watched The Office she looks at me like I’m crazy. I understand that I’m asking her about a television show and not a major life event, but come on, it’s the freakin’ Office. Plus, Alyson has a rough idea of who I am as a person at this point in the game so she knows that me asking about why she hasn’t seen The Office doesn’t hold much difference to me asking if she’s ever flown in an airplane before. That’s not a good question example but you get the point.
Anyway, her reasoning for having never watched boils down to the fact that she didn’t have anyone to watch it with. In a past time in her life, she didn’t have someone who was willing to watch the show with her. There was interest but over time it just didn’t seem in the cards. I can live with that I suppose. It wasn’t neglect or an active attempt to avoid the show, like my mother who refuses to watch even though I know she’ll love it, it was a stupid ex-boyfriend keeping her away from enjoyment. Ewwwww!
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve kind of upped my push for The Office. I’m not entirely sure why. I think it mostly boils down to the fact that I haven’t watched the show in a couple of years and I’m starting to get that itch. There are times at night where I just want to throw it on as something to watch but I have to stop myself because I know she hasn’t watched yet. I could never do that to someone. Just throw a show on that I know they haven’t watched. I want to be the one to open the door for them and be there while they watch. That’s not the real reason though. It’s The Office. Everyone should experience this show. Especially her because she’s awesome and I want to hear her laugh because it makes me happy (insert gagging noise again, still don’t care).
After a couple of weeks of prompting, I finally got her to cave last night as we started the Adorable Creature’s journey through Scranton, PA. That’s when the nerves set in for me. You know the feeling, when you tell someone that something is so good and then finally watch it with them, you spend half the viewing watching them to make sure they’re enjoying it. This happened a lot for me with my dad. I would tell him I’d love movies and watch them with him and he’d just be like “meh”. I remember watching Reservoir Dogs with him and afterward he turned to me and said, “you like that why”. It was crushing.
I was also worried because season one isn’t the same show as the seasons that follow. It is the height of Michael Scott cringe-worthy actions. In my head, and sometimes aloud, I kept saying you just have to get through season one and you’ll be fine. And we plowed through season one last night. The first episode held some giggles and acknowledgment of jokes, but nothing over the top. I could tell she was sort of invested and I was laughing pretty good, having been away for so long everything felt fresh again, so I was feeling confident. “Diversity Day” got some laughs as she thought Michael’s Chris Rock routine was super cringe-worthy. Alyson has this thing with characters, mostly Ben Stiller, that give her anxiety and she told me she was getting that vibe from Michael Scott. I didn’t want that to scare her away so I had to ensure her that that season two they tone Michael back a bit and that seemed to calm her nerves.
The Adorable Creature is funny, when I ask her what was the joke that made her feel like she could watch this or got her most involved she gets flustered. It’s cute. I forget that not everyone’s mind works like mine and some people just enjoy things without having to etch every moment into their brain. She tells me that I need to give her specifics or scenarios but settles on the fact that she found it funny. I’ll accept that answer because it means we can keep watching.
I can tell that she’s shipping Jim and Pam pretty hard, and when I press her about this she says “their flirting is cute”. When I ask her what Dundee Award she thinks she would win she flips it on me asking what award do I think. I go with the “Spicy Curry” award because I know she’ll laugh and playfully roll her eyes at me. I also have a feeling that “second drink” is something that she’s going to incorporate into her everyday life. I’m just happy that when I make that joke now there’s a point of reference.
Some other quick thoughts from our seven episode binge.
Favorite character- “Jim” (might I add there was zero hesitation here)
Least favorite Michael Scott moment- ” *groans* The Amy Adams stuff” (I thought she was going to go with diversity day here)
Best Jim and Pam moment- “When they’re making up the fake diseases.”
Favorite side character- “I like Kevin.” (because of course she does)
With dinner currently finishing up, we’ve got plenty of season two Office ahead of us tonight which is all types of exciting. The plan is to make this a reoccurring column updating us on how Alyson is responding to the show. I think I’ll ask the same questions, and some new ones, as the series continues to see how her perspective changes. If you guys have questions for Alyson let them rip too. I’ll keep you updated on what seasons we’re on either on the Facebook page or Twitter. I’m just excited to share this with her and to revisit the show. It’s been a long time for me and now it’ll be something we can share together. That’s the real gift here… that, and the fact that she doesn’t mind that I share that experience with you guys. She’s pretty cool.