This quarantine, Money Heist is a show which has gained increasing popularity. The drama, intensity, violence, wit, mystery element and the gripping story keeps the viewer pressing the “Next Episode” button on Netflix, and keeps them entertained as to what will really happen in the next episode. Just last week, I binge-watched all 4 seasons of Money Heist in 4 days, and to be honest, I kind of regret it.
I realized that even though I was watching the show, I was barely registering the depth of what was happening and was not truly appreciating it. I was watching it blankly rather than focusing my entire attention on the show, sometimes even scrolling through my Instagram feed as I watched it. As India is in a lockdown, there is barely anything for people to do, everyone is kind of bored and it is truly one of the darkest times that millennials are currently witnessing. There is a term I have coined for what I was doing – “Anxiety binging”. I was simply watching something because I wanted to feel like I was doing something with my time.
Usually, if I watched a show, I would’ve had discussions about it with my friends, about the role of feminism, media, power, and other political themes. These discussions generally made the show much more interesting because I understood the depth of the characters, their mentality, and the possible future of the show which could be predicted by such themes. However, the lack of such discussions made the show much less meaningful for me, because I missed out on all the interesting conversations.
As the world is on lockdown, many of us are doing things because we want to ace the race for being productive. However, we are barely gaining anything out of doing those things. Aren’t many of us doing things simply for the heck of doing them, without realizing the underlying meaning?
Cinema and films were intended to bring people together, to bring a change in mindset, to affect political thinking along with adding entertainment to our lives. However, they have increasingly just become a source of procrastination, where we rarely think about the underlying message or themes. There are so many shows on online streaming platforms today, and there is a race to complete those shows, sometimes simply for completing them and not truly understanding their depth. While this can be entertaining and can help us pass time, there are many shows, like Money Heist, which truly deserve our attention, and pose questions worth thinking about further.
When I thought about it in more detail, I decided to reduce the number of shows I was watching per week, instead increase the time I spent thinking about each show. Quality over quantity. Anxiety binging can lead to you not picking up anything from the show, except the basic story, it can even make it harder for you to recollect moments from the movies or shows which are key essential. Most times, an important scene may not even hit you the way it was supposed to hit you. I suggest you put a face mask on, make yourself some green tea or coffee, pause, and think about what truly happened in the episode you were watching. Take your time with the show, think about the themes, think about what you agree with and disagree with, in the show, analyze the intention of the episode before moving on.
I am a true Money Heist fan, and I totally love the show, characters like Tokyo and Nairobi are those I love because they stand up for feminism. Even Lisbon is a character I deeply associate with because she is brave, honourable, and follows her instinct. As I thought more about the show, I realized I had formed a deep connection with the characters, almost like they were a part of my living room.
This lockdown, as many of us are struggling with things we like to do, and questioning our identities and trying to build new ones, let’s think deeper about the things we spend time watching and what they truly intend to tell us. We have the luxury of time in our hands now, let’s be more attentive with how we use it. Let’s not watch shows in a hurry and then regret what we have lost about the show when we think about it a week later.