The Seven Stages of Developing a TV Show Addiction

Drugs. Pornography. Either of these things can put you on the dark, dangerous path to addiction.

But there is one type of addiction that is much more subtle but equally dangerous. It can affect your brain just as drastically as drugs or pornography. And if you’re not careful, it could ruin your whole life.

Today I would like to address the very serious issue of TV show addictions.

Now, before I get started, let me just preface by saying that I don’t inherently hate television–not anymore, at least. Sure, when I got back from my church mission, there was a period of time when I would consistently refer to TV as “the devil box.”

But that’s not me anymore.

I am writing this post simply because I myself have suffered from the pains of TV show addictions.

You may scoff at the mere mention of a TV show addiction, but I urge you not to do so. Stella Dorby, president of national support group Television Addicts Anonymous (TAA), has this to say regarding frivolous attitudes toward TV show addictions:

“It’s no laughing matter. As a former TV show addict and the current president of TAA, it is my duty–no, my stewardship–to protect television addicts from those people who seek to mock and undermine the credibility of such addictions.”

As a struggling TV addict myself, I urge all of you to please heed the words of Stella Dorby. One look at her will assure you that she is an upstanding citizen of these the United States, a woman whose opinion should be taken seriously.

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Stella Dorby, President of TAA

If you don’t believe Stella Dorby (and I can’t understand why this would possibly be the case), believe me. I speak from personal experience: TV is a very real, very hazardous addiction.

Let me share what I have noticed to be the seven stages of developing a TV show addiction. If you recognize that you or somebody you know is going through these stages, I urge you to seek help before it’s too late.

Stage 1: Hearing about the show

Someone, somewhere, mentions that a show is good. You listen, but you are skeptical.

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As far as you’re concerned at this point, there’s no way a show can be as good as people make it out to be.

Stage 2: Watching the show for the first time

Despite your doubts, you decide to give the show a whirl. You watch an episode or two, and you think to myself, This isn’t bad. You might even think it’s a downright decent show.

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And you inwardly applaud the fact that the show isn’t horrible after all. Yay for life.

Stage 3: The show gets good

Either you get into the groove of the show, or the show finally gets into gear with its own groove. Before you know it, the show has become the best part of your life… which might not be saying much, but still.

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There is usually some point of the show where everything just clicks, and at this point, there’s no turning back. You may not be aware of an addiction at this point, but the seeds of addiction have definitely sprouted.

Stage 4: Binge watching

Hanging out with friends? Exercise? Meeting new people? No thanks. Just give me my stories.

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And thus the binge watching begins.

Stage 5: The secret addiction is no longer secret

Your show is definitely your top priority at this point. You spend hours isolated in your room, watching just one more episode… then another one… then another one.

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People start to notice that you’re spending a significant amount of time watching a TV show. Suspicion and mockery ensue.

Stage 6: You become too emotionally invested in the show

This particular stage calls for more examples from my personal experience with television addiction.

You have to know that, outside of the television world, I am quite the even-tempered individual. Tell me just about anything and I will almost always have the same reaction.

My reaction to a friend or family member telling me that they’re going to come visit:

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My reaction to finding out that somebody just died:

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My reaction to finding out my best friend is engaged:

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And finally, my reaction to a joke, even if I think it’s funny:

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Yes, you can say I’m a man of few emotions. Some might call me stoic, maybe even heartless.

Therefore, I can’t help but worry when TV causes me to have some irrationally extreme emotional reactions.

Like my reaction when somebody tries to talk to me while I’m watching my TV addiction:

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Or when I don’t agree with the direction the show takes:

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Some shows even make me… what’s the word? Laugh?

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And the worst reaction comes when I reach the end of a good show’s run:

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What will I watch now?

Stage 7: The most disturbing stage of all

When you have an actual dream about a TV show, you know your addiction is out of control. You might even dream about full episodes of your favorite TV shows. When you wake up and realize these dreams were not actual canonical episodes, you feel complete and utter disappointment.

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And such is the life of a television addict.

So yes, TV show addictions are real, and yes, such addictions are serious. TV is a means by which to waste away your own life in the process of becoming too invested in the lives of fictional characters.

To avoid developing a TV show addiction, please steer clear of the following shows:

Veronica Mars
Friends
The Simpsons
Scrubs
The Office
24
Lost
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Arrested Development

On the other hand… more often than not, TV is a good alternative to life. Your favorite TV characters are probably more reliable than the actual people in your life. Also, when something bad happens in a TV show, you can just tell yourself it’s not real–which isn’t really the case in real life. So when I say to steer clear of the above shows, I actually mean that you should watch all of them immediately.

And to answer your question, yes, this article is a complete joke–probably in more ways than one.

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Frangled

We’ve all heard about the infamous celebrity feuds: Lindsey Lohan vs. Amanda Bynes, Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift, the Kardashians vs. everyone… But did you know that there have been a number of celebrity feuds that never reached the public eye?

And the most vicious of all feuds has been behind the scenes of two beloved Disney films, causing ripples of distress that perhaps can never be stilled.

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Rapunzel from Tangled

vs.

Elsa from Frozen

Critics of Frozen claim that Anna is a ripoff of Rapunzel from Tangled. Little do they know that Rapunzel couldn’t care less about Anna. Her beef is with older sister Elsa, who has been Rapunzel’s royal rival ever since Elsa referred to the long-haired beauty as a “naive little slut” a few years back. Even though the two never had much interaction growing up–what with their parents secluding them from the world and all–Elsa apparently has never been impressed with what she calls Rapunzel’s “desperate cries for attention.”

Rapunzel did not respond to these attacks from her icy counterpart until after her dramatic haircut and subsequent marriage to the rogue Royal Flynn. Eventually, she admitted that she always felt Elsa had somewhat of an unhealthy crush on her, sparking rumors that Elsa is, as everyone has previously suspected, a lesbian. This left Elsa outraged.

In an attempt to mend bridges, Rapunzel showed up to Elsa’s coronation, as was witnessed by observant viewers of the multi-million dollar hit Frozen.

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But Elsa, wanting none of it, promptly and briskly turned Rapunzel away.

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Needless to say, it was Rapunzel’s turn to be offended. The paparazzi caught sight of her storming away from Elsa’s castle, shouting various obscenities and refusing her husband’s attempts to console her. Flynn reportedly told his fuming wife to “calm down,” but Rapunzel would not be calm. Instead, she took to the interwebs to further spread vicious rumors about Elsa. And after Elsa fled from her own coronation party, Rapunzel posted these blatant jabs to her twitter account:

“Heard someone’s gone and isolated herself in an ice castle where she belongs. All I can say is it’s about time!”

“What kind of pathetic drama queen gets so upset that she causes an endless winter? #embarrassedtobeafellowqueen #beentheredonethat #attentionwhore #sosad.”

“The White Witch from Chronicles of Narnia called, Elsa. She wants her b****iness back.”

It seems, however, that Elsa has had a drastic change of heart since her days of frigid solitude. Friends of both Rapunzel and Elsa report that Elsa has extended several olive branches of peace, but despite her numerous pleas for Rapunzel to “let it go,” it seems that the latter is clinging relentlessly to her grudge.

So what do you think? Are you team Elsa or team Rapunzel? Can Elsa be forgiven for her harsh treatment of Rapunzel at such a young age? Or has Rapunzel become too entitled since losing her luscious locks of golden hair?

Only time will tell if these two will be able to bridge the chasm that has split between them.

Check back next week for more of the latest celebrity gossip, this time about one of Hollywood’s hottest (and most mysterious) couples:

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The awkward dancing girl from the Friday music video

and

The wrecking ball from the music video of the same name

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These two music video sensations have had an on-again, off-again relationship throughout the years, one that was only complicated by the wrecking ball’s sudden rise to fame after its music video went viral.

“I can’t believe the wrecking ball would let another woman ride him like that,” the awkward dancing girl told reporters last week, referring to Miley Cyrus’s infamous nude straddling of the wrecking ball in her music video. “He told me I was special.”

Could it be that Entertainment Weekly‘s 2012  “sexiest couple in Hollywood” could be calling it quits for good this time? Next week we will sit down with the wrecking ball in its first interview since the breakup. Find out what caused the wall-smashing tool to express this tear-felt sentiment:

“It’s just so hard to be with someone for so long and then to realize that you have misjudged them all along. I thought I was supposed to be the wrecking ball, but the truth is, she’s the one who came into my life like a wrecking ball. All she ever did was wre-eh-eh-eck me.”