Pro­nun­ci­a­tion: ‘äb- se- sh&n

Func­tion: noun

Def­i­n­i­tion: An extend­ed peri­od of time spent view­ing count­less episodes of shows or movies in a sim­i­lar genre or the same series because one has become seem­ing­ly addicted.

Synonym(s): Butt-numb-o-thon (see Har­ry Knowles), addic­tion, OCD.

Ety­mol­o­gy: Derived from obses­sion (note the stress on the first syl­la­ble for the new deriva­tion), a direct result of DVD sales of entire sea­sons of tele­vi­sion shows and movie col­lec­tions in a sin­gle pack­age and/or the TiVo Sea­son Pass feature.

Vari­ants: Orb Ses­sion, Obsessathon.

Exam­ple: Once I watched the pilot episode of “Arrest­ed Devel­op­ment,” I sim­ply could­n’t sleep until I had seen every episode I could get my hands on.

By Jason Coleman

Structural engineer and technical content manager Bentley Systems by day. Geeky father and husband all the rest of time.


  1. Man, I just don’t get it. I don’t think I’m a dumb guy or any­thing but Arrest­ed Devel­op­ment nev­er attract­ed me. Maybe I just don’t get it but it nev­er seemed the hip, zany, and enchant­i­ng show that every­one made it out to be.

  2. You know what’s fun­ny? I real­ly thought I’d hate it. It’s just that it kept get­ting rec­om­mend­ed to me (by friends and web sites). Then I watched it and loved it. That always goes with some oth­er shows as well: Lost, Des­per­ate House­wives, The West Wing.

    I guess it’s not for every­one, though. Of course, per­haps I should get a life and get out more…

  3. We watched a cou­ple of epid­sodes of Arrest­ed Devel­op­ment for the first time this week­end. Wow it is a real­ly fun­ny show, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Fonz. We haven’t seen episodes with Chachi yet.

  4. I did­n’t think I’d like it either. And I did­n’t think I’d watch the entire disc 1 in a sin­gle sit­ting. And I did­n’t think I’d obses­sive­ly try to watch every episode I could get my hands on. But I was wrong, wrong and wrong. Thanks a lot, Jason for that seem­ing­ly innocu­ous Net­flix recommendation. 

    Know of any ther­a­py groups?

  5. Well, noth­ing but cold turkey. The show’s third sea­son just end­ed (short, even) on Fox and the net­work isn’t pick­ing it back up again. So, unless, Show­time decides to fol­low through with all the rumors, we’ll have a seri­ous sup­ply/de­mand-ratio-equals-zero-prob­lem.

  6. I have decid­ed my new obses­sion is macro pho­tog­ra­phy. I am going to try to take a macro pic­ture every day for the rest of January.

  7. Just remem­ber, there’s obSES­sion, which is what Kevin (and I, also, for that mat­ter.. he’s just bet­ter at it) seem to have with macro pho­tog­ra­phy. Then theres OBses­sion, which is what Jason and I seem to have devel­oped for A.D.

  8. Man, I total­ly missed that dif­fer­ence in the main arti­cle. That’ll teach me to read.

    Also, I’m not bet­ter at macro pho­tog­ra­phy — I just get clos­er, that’s all. Do what I do — put the cam­era painful­ly close and try to focus. It won’t focus, of course, so draw it back a quar­ter of an inch and try again. And again. And again, until you’re just bare­ly far enough back to focus.

    and now I just went and looked at the specs for your cam­era ver­sus the specs for my cam­era. I think the main dif­fer­ence here is that mine has a macro focal length min­i­mum of 2 inch­es where­as yours is 3.9 inch­es. So … my cam­era allows me to get clos­er is all.

  9. Yeah, it does sound like our method for get­ting as close as pos­si­ble is rough­ly the same. I’d agree with the num­ber of just under four inch­es from my own empir­i­cal mea­sure­ments. Wow, I’d love to be able to get in even clos­er. I’ll have to exper­i­ment with the zoom to see what I can accomplish.

    Some­day I’ll buy a nice SLR or some­thing, but not for a long time due to their high cost and the fact that I still can’t even use all the fea­tures on the cam­era I have now.

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