Don’t you hate it when you walk into a party or a bar or the world’s worst psychiatrist’s office and see someone you used to date? It’s so awkward. You don’t know what to say or do. Then, out of the blue, they start binge-watching the fifth season of Dawson’s Creek and YOU have to pay for it?
First of all, the fifth was the absolute worst season of Dawson’s Creek, when they transitioned out of Capeside. If I wanted to watch 20-year-olds with sophisticated vocabularies have sex and whine in Boston, I’d have visited my friends more often during college. Also, where the hell did Andie go? And why wasn’t Gretchen Witter given more/all of the screen-time? While I’m at it, am I the only one who would have watched a second season of Young Americans? I will leave the rest of my Dawson’s Creek complaints for a special list I’m compiling called “10 Things I Hate About You, 1990s TV Show That Awakened My Love for Sasha Alexander,” because I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over. I want to know right now how you feel… about my exes.
So, back to exes—or more accurately, back to mine. My exes don’t live in another city, state, or country. They live in another realm altogether. This isn’t so much of a problem as it is an observation. All my exes live in Netflix.
Specifically, they live in my Netflix Instant account. You know when you’re dating and you share your Netflix password and then you break up and think, “Well, it seems petty and aggressive to change it now. Plus, I’m sure they’ll stop watching it. Or I mean, who really cares if they don’t? I still like most of these people.” Thoughts like these are why I am now supporting the viewing habits of more people than are in the band Arcade Fire. That’s literally thousands of people.
I first noticed when I checked my Netflix Instant queue and found a disturbing amount of Torchwood and Doctor Who. That’s right, I said it; you’re never gonna get me, critically-acclaimed show about an English time-traveling “doctor”. He’s not even a real MD! I’d rather watch a show about a time-traveling Welsh chiropractor—at least he has a degree! I guess I’m skeptical because I’ve been burned before. I’ve seen all of Quantam Leap—all of it. Fool me once, you’re Scott Bakula. Fool me twice, you’re also Scott Bakula. How did that guy rope me into watching the entirety of Behind the Candelabra?
The thing is I can’t just change my Netflix password. These people meant something to me once. They meant enough for me to share access to my second favorite digital entertainment service with them. That’s basically the 2013 equivalent of a 1943 war-torn intercontinental love affair. I watched like two episodes of Band of Brothers with one of my exes—so I know what I’m talking about here.
How can I turn on them after they supported me through such trying times as that opening scene in House of Cards, the entire pilot of Battlestar Galactica, or all of the outfits in Queer Eye for the Straight Guy? I’m certainly not going to betray anyone who was once willing to watch Cheers with me rather than do, say, anything else. Plus, if we have watched Friday Night Lights, Family Ties, or West Wing together we are technically married, because you have witnessed the highest form of my love and admiration. What can I say? Maybe I wear my heart on my sleeve, but to me those are some beautiful, smart, funny, sweet, sexually attractive, and basically amazing… television shows.
So what if all my exes live in Netflix? I can’t just pretend that these things never happened. I can’t just pretend that these people didn’t exist. Maybe it’s sentimental, but that’s why I obviously can’t change my Netflix password. Also, I forgot it.