I love “Game of Thrones.” I love it so much, I stay up to watch the week’s new episode at 4am on Monday mornings (time zone differences be thanked). Let’s look at this crass form of escapism through some criteria:
I just love the complex storylines and thus possibilities for theorycrafting this show has. I love the actors and I love the epic production. I love contemplating episodes during the week between them. I jump in my chair when the countdown for a new episode or, even better, season begins. Nothing could satisfy me more.
Watching GoT doesn’t have negative consequences time-wise (it’s 1 hour per week), physically, socially, or emotionally. Counter-examples would be binge-watching different shows (time-consuming), excessive masturbation (unhealthy), aggressive behavior (won’t make you popular) and sex for the wrong (ego/validation-driven) reasons.
I get completely lost for an hour when watching it and return to normal life with a cleared head afterwards. If your escapism doesn’t draw you in, it will not have the same relaxing effect.
Similar to joy: It must be entertaining long-term. This would be the case with GoT’s twisted story if it went on forever. But when it’s over, watching reruns might get boring and I wouldn’t be immersed in or derive joy from it anymore. Novelty can come from entertainment or increasing skill demand, but without it, your escapism gets boring.
Find your escapism by applying the above criteria and enjoy a more relaxed life. None of us can hustle 16 hours a day.