True confession time: You know how they call television "the boob tube"? I'm the boob. Give me any list of the best shows on television, and the odds are that I don't watch any of them. Don't get me wrong; I love TV. I just don't love good TV. Is the plotting shoddy? The dialogue laughable? Is it on the CW? I'm there. Unfortunately, my poor taste in entertainment often leads to problems when I'm talking TV with friends and aquaintances. Inevitably, someone says something like, "You watch Lost, right?" And I go, "No, I watched a season and a half and it never really grabbed me."
Most of the time, the asker will pause and look at me like maybe I recently fell to Earth, then move on to another show. (We usually find common ground in reality shows, where my taste is less embarrassing.) But the other times are the topic of today's post: Don't tell me I HAVE to watch your favorite show.
"Oh it's so good! You can catch up on the DVDs." I know. No, I don't want to borrow them from you. Or Netflix them. Did you miss the part where I said I tried it and quit?
"But, listen, this is what happened..." Wow, that's amazing. A bunch of stuff I don't care about happened to a bunch of characters I didn't like. You're really winning me over.
I should point out here that it's not just Lost - that's just the current show I can't escape from. It's previously been Battlestar Galactica, The Sopranos, 24, Glee, and Heroes (remember how much you loved that first season?).
At least with Lost there are twenty billion other people the pimpers can talk to who actually watch the show. If it's a cult show on the verge of cancellation? Oh lord. Look, I didn't like Pushing Daisies! Stop trying to make me feel guilty that it got dropped! And Dollhouse held no interest for me and, apparently, 99.5% of the rest of the world, which is why it got cancelled - not because I can't recognize Joss Whedon's brilliance. I went to see Serenity on opening night, so step off.
Wow, I'm more annoyed by this topic than I thought. Which brings me to another point: pushing your favorite show too hard not only doesn't help your cause, it can actually hurt. So many people told me that if I didn't watch Veronica Mars I was a complete philistine that I switched over to contrary mode, embraced my, um, philistine-ism and started actively rooting for VM's cancelation.
I can see you thinking, Yeah, but I've never been annoying like that. Yes, you have. You know how I know? Because I've done it too. I harassed people about Alias like I was on Bad Robot's payroll. I made my now-husband watch it with me on our third date. And I too have known the pain of a show canceled before its time, having loved Freaks & Geeks beyond all rationality and reason. But here's the thing: no one has your exact same taste in television. Friends who watch all the same shows as me told me I would love Glee. I watched two episodes and wondered if they were playing an elaborate practical joke on me.
When my husband discovered Firefly (on his own; I lost all pimping credibility when Alias went to shit), I got all excited that we could now watch Buffy: The Vampire Slayer together. He said, "Yeah, I don't really like vampires." And while I could have given him the ten minute lecture about how Buffy isn't really about vampires, I realized that, actually, not liking vampires was a perfectly reasonable excuse. Especially when I considered that my reason for not watching Mad Men is, "I find my mother's stories about the 60's more entertaining."
So the next time you're about to launch into a ten minute treatise on Lost's brilliance to an unbeliever, please stop, think about that other show that everyone loves that you just don't get, and see if they share your love of Antiques Roadshow instead.