1. Do not get a job.
This will inevitably be the first mistake you make. Society will pressure you, with its fiction-made-material “money” and its phrases like “cost of living,” to occupy your time with activities that you may or may not enjoy (most likely not), to make a salary that may or may not cover your living expenses (most likely not). This is called a “job.” If you live somewhere that is “expensive,” you will most likely work your weekdays away. If you live somewhere that is “expensive” and also do not like “roughing it,” you will ultimately end up working–or trying to find a job that will let you work–your weekends away as well. Neither option will give you very much time to watch that next episode of “Breaking Bad” that you misguidedly started at 1AM this morning but quit watching because you didn’t want to stay up too late before said “job.”
2. Do not have friends.
When you are not working the above “job,” you could watch TV. However, if you have ever participated in anything community-based (re: school, work, a neighborhood, book clubs, sports clubs, your “regular bar”), you have most likely made “friends.” If you do not have any of those, skip right to item 3. For those of you that do have “friends,” I’ll assume that you like them, or liked them enough one day in the past to emotionally saddle yourself to them, or needed some sort of human intimacy at one point in your life enough to pretend to like them. Chances are, if you’re lucky (maybe unlucky, depending on your selection here), they still like/are emotionally saddled to/continue to pretend to like you. You all will probably compare “work” schedules and try to find times outside of that nightmare to “hang out.” This could be anything: seeing movies, grabbing coffee, having a/4-5 drinks, going to a museum, sitting in a park. But transportation is an important, if often intentionally ignored, component of “hanging out.” You will get off of work at 6PM (if we go with the most typical work schedule); truly, no matter the method, it will take you a minimum of 20 minutes to get anywhere and a maximum of 45-60 (unless you’re absolutely bonkers and are traveling an hour-and-a-half to see some sad sap you knew in high school); then, after hanging out, it will take you the same amount of time–if not longer–to get home. Think of all the “Cheers” you could be re-watching if you’d only forego those pesky friends, go home after work, stupefy yourself in front of your computer/television for a few hours, and then sleep. Let’s not even talk about how potentially TV-filled your weekends could be, depending on your “job.” That’s a lot of “Cheers.”
3. Do not have any personal or artistic goals.
Let’s say you do have a “job” and you do have “friends.” Unless you have a lot of either one of those or both of them, you will have some occasional downtime. There will necessarily be an evening that you are not working and do not have friends to see, a morning, a weekend, an anything, a vacation. Any of those would be the perfect time to check out an episode or eight of that weird Irish TV show that Netflix keeps shoving in your face; maybe you can get through two seasons of it if you really try. But let’s also say that you had “aspirations” at one point in your life, or did any extracurriculars as a child, or ever felt you had a higher artistic calling in this world. If you find yourself in this unfortunate position, watch your TV hours dwindle away. Studied English in college? You probably “write,” even if it’s just on the side. Maybe you “acted” occasionally through a $160,000 education that ended with a degree in “acting”–you might still be doing that, even though you’re also probably “working” to pay your “rent.” What if your parents encouraged your drawing skills at a young age, and now you get a little restless if you don’t draw something once in a blue moon, and you’re also offhandedly trying to land a solo show at some hole-in-the-wall Brooklyn gallery. If you are doing any of these things, at any point in the day, at any odd hour of the early twilight, you are wasting valuable TV time. “Mad Men” will not watch itself, and the number of “Mad Men” episodes increases while we speak. If you could simply renounce any and all creativity or invention, you could see a lot of half-naked Jon Hamm.
4. Do not do this.
Do not start blogs that you have to update every day. Do not read books. Do not wear clothes that will eventually need washing, or have pets that will eventually need walking, or have come from parents that will eventually want to see you. Do not have separate bedrooms, kitchens, and baths. Do not enjoy the outdoors. Do not ever bother getting your driver’s license (although train, plane, and friends’ automobiles are negotiable situations). Do not ever move to a new city, necessitating a few days without internet or cable. Do not ever move to a new house or apartment. Do not ever fall in love (outside of the confines of a fictional TV character, but in that case, have at ’em, Cupid!). Do not write articles about how to watch more TV. Do not question which TV show to watch next. Do not contemplate the artistic value of a TV show, or why the first half of season 1 of “Damages” was so good but season 2’s opener alone was enough to make you move along. Do not continue reading this.