I have had a difficult time lately. My life has not been my own. Because somebody on social media suggested that I might like to watch a Netflix series called THE KILLING. I am always up for a good crime procedural, and I often need something to do in the late afternoons, before dinner time.

So I tuned in. This was the beginning of a terrible time in my life. If only I had looked at the series information before I began: the part that said 40 + episodes. But no. I just blithely started watching one Friday at 4:00. Five hours later, my husband mildly suggested we might want to have some dinner. I waved him off and watched one more episode.

This became the story of my life. I sat, glued to the sofa, my thighs going numb, watching as the two detectives SOLVED THE MURDER. But no, they didn’t—it was a red herring! This show had so many red herrings, my TV room started smelling fishy.

It was always this: if I watch just one more episode, the mystery will be solved. But it wasn’t. The show’s theme song became an earworm. I began to feel as if Linden and Holder were part of my family. I started staring off into the distance, looking as if I had just thought of the solution—of course, how did I not notice THAT TELLING DETAIL?

Doors opening became so meaningful. I was tempted to stop using lip balm, so my lips would be chapped, just like Linden’s. I wondered how I ever went out in the evenings alone. I wondered if I could really trust anybody. That bag boy at the grocery? Probably a small time hustler. The mail carrier? Looked very shifty to me.

And this went ON AND ON. Because 40+ episodes. My husband began to have snacks at five, knowing that dinner would be late. I became stressed, because these damn murders DIDN’T GET SOLVED.

I had dreams about junkyards and smoking tons of cigarettes. I could hardly wait until four, when I judged that enough of the day had passed—I could turn on the TV. I became depressed. Finally, at the beginning of season four, after I had almost recovered from the shock of the final episode of season three, I snapped. I felt that I needed some sort of twelve-step program to break my addiction to the show. I stopped watching. For three days. I slept. I ate on time. Life was good.

Then somebody on Facebook said that the military school episodes were really good, and that Linden and Holder had a heartwarming moment in the final episode. I jumped back in. I lost track of time once again. The cats went hungry. I forgot to shower. But by God, I finished all 40+ episodes.

It’s over. It’s really over. I feel a huge sense of relief.  To tell the truth, that heartwarming moment didn’t exactly ring true. But I am free at last.

Someone just told me about LONGMIRE.

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