We all have our guilty pleasures that we aren’t so quick to admit to. For some people it might be a glass of wine, for others it might be the whole bottle, but thanks to the great invention of Netflix, binge-watching TV is one of the fastest growing guilty pleasures.

People get sucked into these shows so fast that it’s almost scary. Watch one episode of American Horror Story and BOOM, you’re addicted because you have to know what comes next. Watch the first episode of The Walking Dead, and you have to follow the series because you want to find out how the virus started. Watch the first episode of House of Cards, and you have to keep watching to figure out if Kevin Spacey talks to the camera throughout the whole series. A lot of people will say, “I’m not addicted to that show. I could stop watching it right now if I really had to” but we all know deep down inside that they have gone through the stages of becoming addicted to a TV show.

Step 1: Suggestion - It all starts with the harmless suggestion from a friend to start watching a show so they can talk to someone about it. You think about it, and if it’s on Netflix, you watch the first episode and everything is peachy.

Step 2: The Netflix Loop - You finish the first episode, and suddenly it keeps playing into the next episode thanks to the great “Wait 15 seconds for the next episode to play” feature, and the next thing you know, 6 hours have passed. Whoops. You can’t simply fall asleep because you have to know what happens in the next episode, so you watch just one last episode for the night.

Step 3: Distraction - You wake up and go to work the next day and everything is normal, until you start thinking about the show, and then all you want to do is go home and keep watching.

Step 4: Attachment - You keep on watching and you start to get emotionally attached to a character or two. Like, overly attached. You’re watching the show and your boyfriend or girlfriend comes up to you and asks you for something, but you’re too busy because your favorite character is doing something really important right now! All of a sudden, some horrible character that no one likes rolls into the picture and makes everyone mad, so you keep watching to see if the character gets better with time. You have to watch long enough to see how the character develops and by the time you look up to see what time it is, you realize that you’ve missed three days of work and you haven’t showered in four days.

Step 5: Superfan - You decide to go to work the next day because you’re finally at a decent stopping point in the show, but while you’re there, all you can do is fangirl about the show, so you have to jump on the interwebs to see what other people are saying about it. You read a few different blogs and you come across one that is talking smack on your show. Heck no. So you start writing back and tell them what you really think and wonder how anyone could ever feel negatively about the show.

Step 6: Addiction - It soon (if not already) becomes all you talk about and now you’ve worried and annoyed your friends. You tell them that you’re okay, but inside you’re burning to watch the next episode so you rush home and realize that you only have a couple episodes left, and that is not okay.

From this point there are really two categories that you’re going to fall into.

Feeding Your Addiction - If the show is still on the air, consider yourself lucky because you get to finish the show, but now you have to wait a full week in between episodes, and ain’t nobody got time for that.

Reintroduction to Society - The other alternative is that the show is no longer on the air and you finish the last episode and think to yourself “THAT’S IT?” Now you have to start the process of re-familiarizing yourself with how society functions on a daily basis. You have to explain to people why you’re acting so strange and they tell you that it’s just a TV show, but deep inside you know that it’s so much more than that. You vow to stay loyal to that show and not start another one, until that one friend comes up to you and says, “Hey, have you seen this show?” and the vicious cycle starts all over.

You might not have a favorite TV show at this point, but it’s never too late to start. Here is a list of the shows that are worth watching, you can pretty much ignore everything else that’s on TV these days. Especially the news, don’t watch the news.

  1. The Walking Dead

  2. Breaking Bad

  3. American Horror Story

  4. Dexter

  5. Parks and Recreation

  6. Orange Is the New Black

  7. Modern Family

  8. New Girl

  9. The Blacklist

  10. Game of Thrones

Basically, if it’s not on this list, just save yourself the time and emotional distress and don’t watch it. What shows are you watching? Let us know in the comments.