Until I was 17-years-old, the only TV show that I’d really watched before was Friends. I’d watched Seinfeld occasionally with my parents, I’d seen ER on our TV a few times, and every once in a while a Cheers episode landed in our living room, but that’s it. Since the first season of Friends aired the year that I was born, I’ve literally been watching the show since I came out of the womb (at least, I like to think that). In High School, I quoted Friends almost every single day of school. Most of my classmates knew about my obsession with the show, but besides the couple of episodes I watched a night, I didn’t watch much TV.
I’ve always been too busy hanging out with my friends to ever care about what’s on TV. That is, until Kirk introduced me to the idea of binge watching Netflix TV shows my senior year of High School. First I watched How I Met Your Mother, but I thought that would be the end of it. It was wonderful, and I fell in love with it quickly, but in my head, that was the end of my bingeing.
Anyone who’s ever met me before knows that I have an extreme obsessive personality. Like, bad. If I pick up a book, I will not put it down until I’ve finished it. If I’m given a plate of food, I won’t stop eating until I’ve devoured the entire meal (sometimes, I don’t even notice until after I’ve finished). If I see a cute boy standing on the corner of the street in Seattle who I think may have glanced my direction before crossing the street and never seeing me again, I will devote the rest of my life to convincing my friends that I’m destined to marry him (also, I will spend hours on the internet trying to find him, but that’s sort of embarrassing, so let’s forget that part).
It takes an average of half a second for me to fall in love with something or someone, so naturally I became a TV-show crazed, Netflix obsessed, addict when I discovered every amazing show to ever grace the website.
Three weeks ago, Kirk convinced me to start watching The Office (U.S.). (If you haven’t seen the entire show yet, I suggest you stop reading this immediately and go watch the pilot.) The whole show is 9 seasons (201 episodes), and it took me just over three weeks to watch the entire show. That’s just how good it is. I fell in love with every character (mostly Jim if we’re being real here) individually and desperately wanted to move to Scranton, Pennsylvania and become a paper salesman.
Kirk was gone to D.C. last week for five days, which provided me with a lot of alone time to spend with my Netflix account. I’m not sure exactly why, but I immediately felt the need to finish the show while he was gone. It was a horrible decision. I finished the show, I cried a lot, and I felt like all of my friends had just broken up with me.
My obsessive personality does not like to let things go, especially people. So when I end a show and watch the series finale, I get incredibly sad. Earlier this year, I decided to watch the entire Friends series in order, from beginning to end, for the first time in my life. Like I mentioned before, I’d seen every single episode at least three times before (some episodes 15 or 20 times), I’d seen the series finale a dozen times, and I knew exactly what was going to happen the entire series. But when the show ended, I lost my sh*t. I sat on the couch, bawling, and called my mom. She laughed at me and asked what the heck was wrong with me.
“They’re all gone. They’re gone forever. What am I supposed to do now?” I said through huffy breaths and lots of tears.
It was ridiculous. I was so upset about characters who stopped filming the show 12 years prior, but it’s just who I am. I get attached to things (mostly TV shows), and I lose it when they’re taken away from me.
This is exactly what happened with The Office. I felt alone and sad and miserable and like I would never be able to make friends again. So I did the only logical thing I could think of: I looked up everything I could possibly learn about the actual actors and actresses that I could find. I read Wikipedia pages and watched interviews for hours with no end in sight.
I learned a lot about the show and the actors who appeared on it. Mostly, I learned how many of them were writers and how they earned their positions on the show. I finished the show, watched six hours of celebrity interviews, and bought three books written by the writers on the show. I just finished reading both of Mindy Kaling’s books. (Why had no one told me about her before?!?!)
But wow. Let me tell you, Mindy Kaling is incredible, and hilarious, and sincere, and mostly everything I aspire to be in life. This week, I might’ve finished one of the greatest shows to ever air on American television, I read two of the most fantastic nonfiction works that I’ve ever been introduced to, but I also came up with a new dream: Kaelly Welsh, comedic television writer.
So it’s a big dream. It’s a really big dream. It’s a practically unachievable dream. But as I seal up my handwritten letter to Mindy Kaling and put it in my mailbox, I’m going to keep dreaming it. What is life all about anyway if we don’t have insanely ridiculous dreams that scare us into anxiety induced convulsions?