I missed the Titanic-craze when it first happened. I never wanted to deal with all the over-excited fans. So I waited for it to come out on VHS. And the fun thing about Titanic on VHS was that it was split between two VHS tapes, due to its long run time. Which is why I ended up seeing the ship sink before I saw Jack and Rose fall in love.
That’s right, I accidentally watched the second Titanic VHS tape before the first one.
And let me tell you, that was one exciting movie! No exposition up top. Just immediate action and adrenaline! My Titanic viewing started just as the boat was about to hit the iceberg. Then, after watching everyone die, I popped in Tape One and watched them all meet for the first time. Every time I met a new character I was like “oh, you dead,” “you dead,” “yep, you dead, too.” Instead of ruining the movie, it made it weirdly poignant.
I was thinking about my Titanic snafu because I recently did it again when I binged the Netflix show Sex Education. The series begins with a chlamydia outbreak at a high school, as the main characters contemplate various sexual experiences. No clunky exposition or backstories. Just: chlamydia! It took me four episodes to realize I was watching the second season.
But much like a chlamydia diagnosis, this experience with Sex Education is making me reevaluate my behavior. Specifically, my TV-watching behavior.
I’m a completist. Meaning, if I’m gonna watch a show, I’ll watch every episode. So if the show was on for a long time, I probably won’t get to it. Especially if I’ve heard it takes a few seasons to get good.
But maybe, and go with me here…some shows might be better watched out of order?
Throne of Games
Start with season 8, then watch 1 through 7. Sure, you’ll know how it ends. But here’s a spoiler: everyone hated the last season. So get it out of the way! You haven’t fallen in love with Dany, Tyrion, and Jon yet, so when they behave out of character, you won’t even realize it!
Not a fan of Ross and Rachel? Well then, start watching Friends with the first six episodes of season 10, then go back to season one. Those first few episodes of season 10 were the ill-fated “Joey and Rachel romance” episodes. The writers were playing relationship-Tetris at that point, and we hated it because JOEY AND RACHEL? Gross! But if you start with those episodes, Joey and Rachel feel like the endgame. You’ll spend the first nine seasons in tense anticipation of their eventual kiss. The Joey and Rachel arc will finally have meaning.
The Nightly News In Reverse
Watch tonight’s news live. Then, tomorrow night, watch yesterday’s news. And then two nights from now, watch the news from two days ago. And so on. Your outlook on life will slowly get better, as the nightmare created by our current administration appears to unravel. Eventually, you’ll get to the night before election night 2016, and you can momentarily bask in the fantasy we lived in before we knew this guy was gonna win.
Then come back to reality, and vote for whichever candidate we’ve got on the Dem ticket. Because another term with our current president would be like starting Titanic with Tape Two.
And we all know how that ends.