Is ‘Breaking Bad’ breaking me?

Nikta Mansouri

It’s three o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday. I have an unfinished math assignment lying on my desk, but I’m in bed. I’m not sleeping and I’m not even trying to sleep. My laptop is open, Netflix is running, my heart is pounding. It must be the meth.

I should clarify that I’m not actually high on meth or anything, but am watching “Breaking Bad.” It’s the ninth episode of the fifth season and I simply cannot believe what is happening in front of my eyes. I still have six more episodes to watch to catch up to everyone else. Seven more until the series finale.

3:32 a.m. Should I start another episode? Should I do my math homework? Should I sleep?  I spend 10 minutes contemplating what to do, but most of my thoughts are plagued with the episode’s plot twists. I realize that there’s no way I’m falling asleep tonight. I know I’ll regret it tomorrow, but right now, it’s all about getting my fix. I no longer care about my health, my family or my friends because my addiction has already ruined me.

3:45 a.m. I press “next episode.” I already regret this decision, if you can even call it a decision at this point. I’m only compelled by the thought of getting more. I’ve lost my free will. But I don’t care because the episode has started and I’m held captive by Walter White’s newest scheme.

4:31 a.m. If I go to sleep now I can get two hours of sleep I think to myself. Or I could continue watching and fall deeper into this pit that is my “Breaking Bad” addiction. I have no frees tomorrow and a totally incomplete trig assignment. Which brings up the question – what’s more important? Math homework or sleep? I choose another episode.

5:17 a.m. I hate myself now. Why am I doing this to myself? It’s junior year. Most of my time should be going towards getting good grades. If I’m not doing work, I should be getting sleep, like my dean told me.

Yet I’ve prioritized Breaking Bad over homework and sleep. I’m sure there’s some psychological reason as to why I’m avoiding doing work and how deep down it means I don’t really want to go to college. But honestly, I think it’s just because Vince Gilligan has created one of the most addictive shows ever.

11:47 a.m. I sit (slouch, really) in math class, praying Jeff Snapp doesn’t check my homework today because I was up all night watching TV. I’ve been on the verge of falling asleep the whole day, and I’ve barely paid attention in any of my classes. A majority of my thoughts are about the show. What’s Walt’s next move? Is my favorite character going to get shot next week? Will Aaron Paul still be as cute? I need rehab.

I really don’t know if it’s more important to get sleep or finish my homework, but I do know that doing things you want to do is important.

Sure, it’s really detrimental if I make a habit of never sleeping and never finishing my homework to watch a show I really love. But to maintain my sanity throughout such a stressful year, I need an outlet like “Breaking Bad.”

Five more days till the show is over. I’ll probably cry and mourn for a week, and then move on to Mad Men.