Me, Myself, and Netflix


By Bianca I. Mena

Rebecca Kwasinski, Div. 460, arrives home from school around 4:30 each afternoon. She walks to her room, turns on her Google TV and logs into Netflix. Kwasinski will stay in front of her TV, watching Vampire Diaries, until after her clock turns one and it is time for her to go to sleep for school the next day.

Netflix has become one of the newest trends in the American entertainment culture. Several students are devoting much of their time to watching TV series on Netflix.

Among those students, Kwasinski says she may have taken her passion for Netflix to the next level.

“It’s kind of becoming a problem for me,” Kwasinski said. “I used to want to sleep so bad and now I don’t even care.”

Before Kwasinski had Netflix, she would not stay up past nine most nights.

“I don’t go out during school nights because no one can hang out, so I watch [Netflix] all night.”

Kwasinski currently takes several demanding courses like AP Microeconomics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Government and Politics, and AP Calculus, but she still manages to stay caught up with both her television shows and her homework.

“My grades have gotten worse, but I don’t know if it’s because of Netflix or not,” Kwasinski said. “My homework gets done. I will do it in the mornings during the car rides.”

Some of the many shows Kwasinski has binge watched on Netflix include Grey’s Anatomy, Teen Wolf, Melissa and Joey, Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Kwasinski is not the only student in the school that binge watches shows on Netflix. Marcin Salamon, Div. 466, claims that he has a hard time finding something he has not already seen.

“I’ve seen everything that has been on Netflix,” Salamon said. “I’ve seen so much, I can’t even remember all of [the TV series].”

Salamon was first introduced to Netflix in the beginning of September and estimates he has watched nearly 25 shows including, Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Who, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and How I Met Your Mother.

According to Salamon, the characters must portray emotions in order for him to be interested in a TV show.

“Acting is the most important part,” Salamon said. “If the characters are not believable, then [the show] gets boring.”

Like Kwasinski, Salamon stays up during nights to watch Netflix.

“I sit there until midnight or one [in the morning], just watching Netflix,” Salamon said. “Everyone, [like my family and friends], assumes I go to sleep at 10. Nope. I’m just watching TV shows.”

Salamon admits that he finds Netflix addicting but says he knows his limits.

“I think I have my priorities straight,” Salamon said. “School first and Netflix second, most days.”

Salamon has even set up a sort of schedule or routine in order to keep up with his constant binging on Netflix.

“I have this rule to stop doing homework at 10. At 10 I take out my iPod and binge watch [Netflix],” Salamon said. “No matter how much homework I have, I start right after I get home. And it’s either I end before 10 or finish it before 10 and then do it in the morning.”

Senior, Madeleine Murrow, Div. 455, has also found the thrill in watching TV series for hours on end.

“I had heard that [the show] 4400 was going to be taken out of Netflix by January first,” Murrow said. “I still had a whole season left so I watched a whole season in a day.”

4400 is a science fiction TV series about 4,400 people who reappear after being abducted. Not one person has aged a day and some return with mysterious abilities, both good and bad. As this occurs, federal agents investigate what happened to them and why.

Murrow knows she must set limits to her indulgence in Netflix.

“I don’t start an episode if it is past 11 at night,” Murrow said.

During winter break Salamon said he overindulged in his TV shows.

“It usually takes me like two or three weeks to get through a TV series,” Salamon said. “With winter break, it took me less than a week to watch over four or five seasons.”

Before adjusting back to school, Murrow was also sure to be caught up on her TV series.

“Right now I’m watching Bones and there are eight seasons on Netflix. I started around the beginning of December and I’m already in the eighth [season].”

Although their tastes in television shows differ, Salamon, Murrow and Kwasinski agree that Netflix is much more convenient than watching TV shows in weekly installments.

“With [weekly installments] there is more excitement to find ‘What is going to happen next?’ but with watching back to back episodes, there is continuity,” Salamon said.

One of the benefits of binge watching is not having to wait.

“Usually, at the end of the season, [the series] will have a cliffhanger and it sucks because you have to wait weeks or months. With Netflix, you can just watch it like a second later,” Murrow said.

Salamon claims he has benefitted from watching Netflix most of his nights.

“I’m definitely less stressed. And I can have conversations with my friends about what movies and TV shows we have seen and give each other recommendations,” Salamon said. “I have something to do whenever I get bored. I believe Netflix has made my life a bit better.”