A calamity. By an accident of poor personal scheduling Sons Of Anarchy ended the same weekend as Dexter.
The former I took in mighty gulps, the latter was more of a whisky, to be savoured at leisure. But their finales coincided like lorries and low bridges and now there’s an emptiness. Am I ready to get out there again, knowing what I know?
A box set isn’t about binge-watching, which is sleazy; or pick-and-mix which is a lazy; a box-set is about endurance and loyalty. Early season promise and mid-season malaise – treat those two imposters just the same.
They say grief is the price of love, I say Prison Break Season Three is the price of Prison Break Season Four.
A box set is not to be entered into lightly or thoughtlessly, but reverently, soberly, with deep purpose.
One can bail early. That’s fine. When a date is going no further you call it quits and forestall the cheesecake. I look with amazement at all the perky suitors cast by the wayside. The ones that ticked all the boxes on paper but, on acquaintance, lacked the requisite chemistry – Damages, True Detective, Suits, 24, Mad Men, even Boardwalk Empire, for goodness sake.
Their culling is what makes the special ones so special and at that low point I wondered if I’d ever be open to the siren song of a Breaking Bad, a Wire, a Justified again.
In a fit of nostalgia, I watch the pilot of Sons Of Anarchy and reflect on the heartache to come – Clay, Donna, Otto, Piney, Bobby, Juice, Opie, Tara, Gemma, Jax.
There’s this line from Clay. “We worked hard to build this. We served time. Spilled blood. Lost a lot of brothers.”
Yes, my friend. This seven-season arc is a killer.
There are many crises available on the market, especially during the summer months when the idle browser finds himself drawn, for the sake of novelty, to unusual stalls – oppressed foreign animals or early season football carnage for example.
On a scale on one to 10 – one being the non-crisis caused by the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership and 10 being an asteroid the size of bus hitting my apple pie (preferably of similar proportions as it’s my last meal) – I would place the growing resistance to antibiotics in double digits.
There are sizeable chunks of the world, says the World Health Organisation, where antibiotics have ceased to work altogether and others where they require both luck and multi-drug reinforcements.
• Also by Giles Broadbent: Avoiding the pulled pork apocalypse in Shoreditch
All the while farmers and doctors and scientists scatter their precious antimicrobial secrets on the sea or pour them without restraint into cows or prescribe them liberally for tickly coughs so an army of ferocious bacteria has a ready supply of raw material to decode and neuter.
So ubiquitous have these remedies become that we can no sooner imagine a world without them than imagine a world deprived of oxygen or Wi-fi – and yet the effect would be as catastrophic.
We look back with amusement at the legion of forebears in Bronte novels who spluttered their feeble last with a nondescript fever, ague, cut knee or thorn prick – yet we could join their insipid ranks within a generation.
I lie stoic like a pharaoh on my summer bed, arms crossed and still. Where King Tut has crook and flail, I have swat and torch. Mosquitoes are back and there is no rest for those whose blood flows sweet and ruddy like a hot barbecue sauce.