Robyn and her husband, John, are lying flat on the floor, heads close together. Amber, a therapist, sits on a large fitness ball. Amber and Robyn have iPads. John has an iPhone.
John, how does that make you feel?
When she binge watches without me?
AMBER Robyn. Please. You’ll have your turn. Lets work on our breathing skills. In, 1, 2, 3, out, 1,
JOHN I feel betrayed. I work on site all day. I’m too exhausted at night to binge watch, and,
anyway, she promised to wait for me. For the new season of Real Royals. So, last week my crew had to pour a concrete floor, but it was raining and we didn’t want it pockmarked, so we had to wait all day for the rain to stop. I came home late and found her in bed, already on the last episode. When I asked her about it, she threatened me with spoilers.
ROBYN Hardly a spoiler. You’re like the only person in America who didn’t know the Duke is gay.
ROBYN John doesn’t work in an office like I do. How am I supposed to go to work, day after day,
and stand around like an idiot, the only one without a clue about popular culture? Everyone binge watches.
John? Tell me more about that.
JOHN We sit at the dinner table, alone-together, staring into our iPads. Even when we’re watching
the same show, she won’t share her screen with me.
ROBYN Because you’re always stopping the video to make comments.
AMBER What I hear John, is that you miss your couple quality time together.
JOHN We can’t take walks by the ocean anymore because the battery on her Google Glass won’t
last long enough.
I’m getting a power bank--
Someday she’s going to walk off a cliff, like that guy in Santa Cruz.
The guy in Santa Cruz was binging on food porn. That’s a totally different thing.
JOHN It’s the same thing! You just don’t want to admit that binge watching by yourself is more
interesting than connecting with me. “Oh look, the Duke is cruising Old Compton Street, window shopping for giant rubber cocks.” Much more fascinating than the old husband.
How do you know about the rubber cocks?
You told me.
I did not.
Then you tweeted it.
ROBYN The Duke isn’t outed until the final episode! You’ve been binge watching Real Royals
behind my back!
JOHN It wasn’t me. It was Bender. We were stuck in the truck, waiting for the rain to stop.
Bender had his Chromebook. I didn’t have a choice.
JOHN You deliberately cheated on me! I was forced to watch.
ROBYN Well, it doesn’t matter now, does it? The season’s over.
Binge watching was something we shared, not something to fight about. I miss you.
ROBYN I miss you too. Maybe we could sit together and read recaps of last season. If you ever
came home on time!
If you didn’t lie to me!
Excellent! This is excellent work. I’m going to stop you there. What I’m hearing is, if you
could binge watch the next season of Real Royals, together, right now, and in a more collaborative way, on a single screen, that would be a therapeutic bonding experience. I’m sending John a link to Tunnel Bear. It’s an app that sets up a VPN so you can access the Internet as if you live in London. All the episodes of next season’s Real Royals are already available on the BBC One player in the UK.
Amber taps on her iPad.
JOHN What kind of therapy is that? What about her lies to me?
ROBYN Aren’t we going to talk about his hypocrisy and the lack of trust in our relationship?
John’s phone dings.
AMBER This is more effective than talk therapy. This is binge therapy. John, please check your
John taps his phone.
Eeeeeeeehhhh... I don't see it.
You have to allow access.
JOHN Eeeeeeeehhhh... I still don't see it.
John’s a Luddite.
Robyn grabs John’s iPhone and taps. John and Robyn watch on his iPhone, together. The sound of the Real Royals show opening music. Amber watches the show on her own device. They all laugh, then sigh, in unison.
AMBER This is the episode where the Duke goes to reparative therapy.
JOHN & ROBYN & AMBER
John reaches out to tap his phone and pause the video, but Robyn fends him off. They all stare at the blue glow of their screens as lights fade.