Posted On December 4, 2014 By In Television

10 Side Effects of Binge Watching Medical Shows


Like you, I love Netflix.  I love the catalog of shows at my finger tips and the blatant disregard Netflix marathons represent for my well being and productivity as a human being.  Just over this Thanksgiving holiday I watched at least 12 episodes of a TV show.  Also like you, I enjoy reading Writtalin. That’s why this week I’m just straight rippin off the fine commentary of one Sara F Carter who has the Criminal Minds analysis game on lock.  I’m sure many of us binge watched TV shows and I happen to be in the middle of a House marathon right now.  Much like Sara’s assertion that you start to see crime everywhere you look after watching those shows, a persistent cough, a cold and the occasional eye twitch are clearly symptoms of my impending doom thanks to some sort of Palsy or Lupus or something.  Appropriately, here are 10 side effects of binge watching medical shows.

1) It’s easy to forget that Netflix is kind of a new phenomenon.  Watching seven episodes of something in a row wasn’t common before five years ago.  The way TV shows are made hasn’t really adjusted to that fact.  Writers and actors rely on the week or more between each viewing to fill the space between plot points.  Especially with fast paced dialogue and medical jargon, characters often say the same things and expect you to forget them.  For example, Amyloidosis, a condition affecting 8 out of every 1 million people annually, is proposed every other week on House.  I would never have noticed if I hadn’t watched four episodes in a row.


2) Experiencing fantasies (or nightmares) about medical school and how stressful yet fulfilling your life might have been if you’d actually gone like your dad wanted…oh that just me?


3) Considering domain-blocking Web M.D. from my home network so I won’t be tempted to look up that cough or sweating or eye twitch or leg pain or dryness of the mouth again?


4) Is there anyone besides doctors, nurses and hot or dickhead leader types in any of these hospitals?  Who gets stuff done? Are doctors filing their own paperwork?  Trust me, I work in a hospital.  There are hundreds of support staff of all kinds in the nethers of a hospital.  Not just janitors either…


5) Has anyone kept track of how many laws House broke over the course of eight seasons or how many lawsuits he would have faced in real life?


6) I definitely feel confident in my ability to diagnose diseases that anyone might have with the exception of whatever the hell is causing my left ankle to itch while simultaneously making me clumsy.  Clearly I have an autoimmune condition.


7) I wonder what my doctor friends think of this show. Do they think it’s funny?  Do they watch these shows and compete?  Is there like a Medical Drama Jeopardy in school?


8) What do you get paid to be a one-off guest “star” in a show where your only role is to have seizures all the time or vomit blood while being sad and crying a lot?  Where do I sign up?


9) How long did it take to get all of the footage for the aerial, establishing shots of the various hospitals.  Do they change it over time or is it the same two days’ worth of footage for 10 seasons?


10) All I know is there is no better way to get ready for bed or have a relaxing night in than by realistic looking fake medical procedures with lots of blood and guts and a good puzzle.

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Erdi Erdem is a writer, tech guy, sports guy, car guy, and expert in all things nerd… guy. His writing appears on Writtalin, as well as Thought Catalog, Grand Blog Tarkin, and Where We Watch. He likes tech, sports, cars, bikes, and writing. He tends to repeat himself.