Don’t change that channel
Everything comes to a halt for a TV marathon
When I was a kid TV marathons were an annual event. Every year some TV station would show a day’s worth of Elvis movies on his birthday, monster movies in the lead up to Halloween, and all the Rankin and Bass claymation Christmas specials seemed to run in a continuous loop throughout the holiday season. Needless to say, my TV calendar was full the whole year long.
However, my favorite TV marathon was the weekend of Spaceman Jax and the Galactic Adventures cartoons that the local station showed late in the summer. Looking back, I don’t know if they showed them in order or even if they showed all of the episodes, but I always felt that if you missed one you would “interrupt the flow” and miss out on something. So to prepare, I made snacks in advance and diligently did all of my chores ahead of time to be sure that I’d never have to leave the couch. (My parents, I should say, were very understanding and maybe just the tiniest bit glad to get me out of their hair for a weekend.)
We didn’t call it binge-watching back then, maybe because we felt it was beyond our control – and when you’re rushing to take a shower in the time it takes for a commercial break, you really do feel at the mercy of someone else. But I suppose the TV marathon of the past is the same today. It might not seem like such an impossibly big event today, since watching endless episodes back-to-back is so much easier to do, with online streaming on demand and the ability to press pause. Is binge-watching today as much fun as the TV marathons I enjoyed as a kid? If I can still spend a weekend on the couch watching Spaceman Jax cartoons, I guess I don’t care what you call it.