Alden Boon

How to Do a Marathon (TV, Of Course). Literally.


Some people run a full marathon for four hours and they brag about it for weeks. They populate their social media timelines with photos of them crossing the finishing line, of their sweaty armpits and unflattering bulges in spandex — watermarked, no less, because they’re too cheap to buy the official photos. They wax lyrical about how they had mind over body despite not having trained for the marathon, and how they have chafing in places you don’t want to chafe. They post statuses like “4:32:21… clocked my best timing” even though they only shaved their legs… or something arbitrary like four seconds.

You endure pain for four hours, big deal. Now, it takes laser focus and ironclad will of a Tibetan monk to do a TV marathon. A marathon that lasts 13 hours, mind you. We TV marathoners have “mind over body” too — we keep on pushing because we need to know the fate of our reel friends and we revolt when plagued with cliff-hangers.

Adhering to the appropriate diet

Carbohydrates are to TV marathoners what potassium is to runners. Sustenance is very important when embarking on something so strenuous. Potatoes are your best friend — it’s in the name: “couch potatoes”. Not everybody has the stomach to stomach a cocktail of pizza, chips and burgers every 30 minutes — only the cream of the crop can survive it. Speaking of, wash all the food down with frappucino with whipped cream.

Keep an oxygen tank by your side  

Blurred vision, sore neck and increased heart rate are all part of TV-marathon fatigue. Gory and bloody scenes of body disassembly — or heightened eroticism — will have you hyperventilating gasping for air. For your own safety, always keep your oxygen mask within reach.

Get all the gear you need

Athletes love spandex that wicks sweat away. They wear their Fitbit Charge like a badge of honour, and they announce the number of steps they have taken in two hours — as if we care. They dedicate an Instagram post to their pristine limited-edition sports shoes. They do protein powder like meth heads do drugs.

Likewise, neophyte TV marathoners have a long shopping list.  Purchase brand-new polyester sheets: they are so rough on the skin it’s impossible to doze off and sleep on them. Icing sugar is your new snack — when the tough times get going, get a sugar rush and kick things into high gear. Also, download a data management app to track the amount of downloaded data, which is your mileage. “I downloaded 20GB of data in just 15 minutes!” is bound to earn the envy of those on dial-up.


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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