As I neared the two-hour mark I knew my faith was being tested. What I didn't know was whether my belief was strong enough to carry me through.
I wanted to believe the good word about Netflix's new religious horror series Midnight Mass, truly I did, but I was having trouble staying the course. I turned once again to the scriptures of Rotten Tomatoes and lo and behold the aggregated critic review score shone bright in the darkness of my doubts.
This premium series had received a heavenly 92 per cent and the critics' writings all spoke of a promised land. None had spoken of this struggle. I wondered, hadst thou forsaken me?
Being a fickle man with weak resolve, I wanted to stop watching Midnight Mass. To give in to overwhelming temptation and simply click off this snoozefest. To turn away from the light and wander back into the valley of darkness where the shows move at a fast pace and offer plenty of cheap thrills.
But faith is the assurance of things hoped for and a conviction of things not seen and so I stayed the course.
And before my hand could drift off the path and towards the remote a miracle! Dead cats, hundreds of them, throats slit and bloody, washed upon the shoreline of the depressed and isolated fishing village of Crockett Island.
Oh how I rejoiced at the gruesome sight of their awful deaths. Finally, something was happening other than people talking and talking and talking some more. This was creepy and awful and I couldn't have been happier.
But lo my celebrations did not last long. For soon enough people began to talk. And this talking continued and did not stop for what felt like 40 days and 40 nights and my renewed faith begin to lapse.
However, my attention did not stray to my phone and the unholy pit of Twitter. Nor did it succumb to the pleasures of watching just about anything else. Instead, I rode out the storm and watched the island's inhabitants brace and ready themselves for a ferocious storm of their own in painfully slow and monologue-filled detail.
Yet again, my faith was rewarded. A mysterious figure spotted in the storm. Was it the sickly priest who, we'd been told by his temporary replacement, was in care on the mainland? It couldn't be. Yet ... it was! Was it?
Riley, a young man who'd recently returned to the island, certainly thought so. He ran off into the thunderous storm to help the old priest. But when the sick elderly man spotted him he turned and bolted off at a pace that matched the lightning striking down from the heavens.
I caught myself leaning in on my seat. What was going on? I was invested. I wanted, nay, needed to know more. And then the storm cleared and people began talking. And talking. And the remote by my side beckoned once more.
This is my account of what watching the first two episodes of Midnight Mass is like. Great tedium interspersed with flashes of intrigue and fright that do just enough to keep you watching. But with the episodes running at a fraction over an hour each you have to invest great faith that your time will be rewarded.
Don't get me wrong, the conversations are tightly scripted and layered, it's very well acted and beautifully shot. But holy moley is it ever slow going.
Fortunately it's anchored by a supremely enigmatic and praiseworthy performance by Hamish Linklater as Father Paul, a likeable priest who arrives to tend to the small island's religious flock after the old priest falls ill. His charismatic sermons and genial nature begin winning over the small community even before the first miracle happens.
So awe-inspiring is this miracle that the grim deaths and unexplainable occurrences that coincide with his arrival are overlooked by the town's believers. Only the Muslim sheriff and the faithless Riley, a reformed drunk driver haunted by the woman he killed behind the wheel, are sceptical in thinking not everything is kosher with the island's new priest.
For me, the greatest miracle was that I made it to the episode when all the freaky religious stuff started kicking in. That's when the show takes an unexpectedly devilish turn. But until then all you can pin your faith on are the occasional little jump scare and all those dead cats.
Much like a boring sermon, the show has a tendency to drone on. Just getting to the fourth episode was a test. But I'm glad I've kept the faith. Having left off on a deadly cliffhanger at the end of episode three my hope in the show was entirely resurrected.
So I'm once again a believer. For now, anyway. But I know temptation to bail is always only one long-winded conversation away.