9 Signs You've Massively Overdosed on Your Favourite Box Set

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You know everyone’s lines off by heart  

Congratulations – you’re now the pedant who gets annoyed with people sharing memes of Ned Stark that don’t contain absolute word-for-word verbatim lines from the original Game of Thrones screenplay. This is because you’ve watched the show so much that you frequently mutter lines from it in your sleep, much to the annoyance/terror of your significant other.  

Even your telly starts to worry about you  

Ever had that thing where your TV says it’s about to go into standby mode ’cos you’ve had it on so long? Or when a pop-up message on Netflix asks, “Are you still watching Narcos?” – there’s an implied tone of concern there, isn’t there? But what’s it to you, Netflix? I’ll decide when I’ve had enough. I can handle it. You’re not my real dad.  

You become a watercooler wazzock 

You’re the only person at your workplace who stays up until 3.30am to live-stream the most up-to-date episodes from the US, so subsequently you’re about four months ahead of everyone else – and don’t they know it! It starts with exasperated eye-rolling when a colleague tells you they’re only on season two of Breaking Bad; it ends with Carol from HR sitting you down for an “informal chat”.  

You start to think the characters are real  

“I wonder what Pete Campbell’s up to these days?” you find yourself idly thinking as you gorge on Mad Men on the bus home. Then you remember that none of it’s real; that Don Draper didn't really do that Coca-Cola advert; and that that modern advertising is about as glamorous as a Greggs sausage roll.  

You’ve watched a full saga more than once  

If you can – with authority – say that The Wire is better the third time you watch it, you definitely have a box-set addiction. Seeing one box set through to the bitter end takes more commitment and effort than most people put into a relationship. Doing it multiple times suggests you have industrial-strength stamina, and probably very square eyes.  

Your health is starting to suffer  

It starts as “just one more episode before bed”. It ends with you bleary-eyed at 4am in the morning, in the grip of box-set-based insomnia. Uh-oh, sounds like you need a special dispensation from Dr Oetker’s drawer of frozen treats. Diagnosis: delicious.  

You’ve found yourself seeking things to fill the void  

Like a booze-hound drinking hand sanitiser in the absence of actual alcohol, you’ll look for anything to fill the void left by your favourite box set. Whether it's an “accompanying show” (like Talking Bad) or the more obscure original series (as with House Of Cards) you need something, anything remotely related to give you one more sweet hit...  

Spoilers really, really affect you  

Spoilers are like paper cuts – intensely annoying and painful for about three seconds, but ultimately harmless when compared to things like terrorism or your wife leaving you. So if you start to feel genuine emotion, or find yourself stuffing a Jiffy bag full of dog shit for the person who ruined Boardwalk Empire on Twitter, it could be time to seek help.  

You start to look like homeless Ian Beale  

Once upon a time you were fresh-faced and did things like walk the dog, grab coffee with pals and put on trousers. But then someone lent you that first series of The Sopranos, and it’s been a steady descent into oblivion since then. Now your only human contact is a regular, grubby transaction with a takeaway delivery driver. Perhaps it’s time to open the curtains, yeah?