I have a confession to make. A confession that will likely lose me the respect of some of you fine readers, but that’s just a risk I’m willing to take. It’s been weighing on me for such a long time that I finally have to get it off my chest before it eats me up inside. Are you ready? Here it is:
I only watch mindless television.
I feel as though I’ve been living a lie. When people tweet about Game of Thrones, I favorite it so it looks like I care. I hear that Orange Is The New Black is supposedly fabulous, but all I really know about it is from the Entertainment Weekly I read once when I was in the bathroom. When someone talks about True Detective, I nod and murmur “genius” so they think I know what they’re talking about. I’m aware that The Walking Dead is about zombies, but that’s about it. I recently looked at the 2015 Emmy nominees, and the only shows I’ve seen on that list are Modern Family and Parks and Recreation, which if we’re honest, aren’t exactly thought-provoking.
And that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a television show – ones that don’t make me think. I spend about 90% of my time thinking. I think at work, I think at grad school, I think when I’m writing columns for all of you. So in the limited amount of time I have to watch TV, I don’t want to think. I don’t want to have to follow a complicated plotline or try to pick up hidden metaphors. I want to turn my brain off and just stare absentmindedly at the screen.
Before you start to think I’m some kind of an idiot, I’d like to assure you that’s not the case. I mean, I’m a complete moron when it comes to some stuff: dating, anything math-related, understanding what the hell Reddit is. But I’m generally pretty intelligent. I graduated college magna cum laude. I finished my first graduate degree with a 4.0 and I’m getting a second one. I read almost anything I can get my hands on. But for too long, I’ve been afraid to admit that I prefer lowbrow TV. I worried that people would think less of me because I didn’t want to watch Breaking Bad. But if Kim Kardashian can be brave enough to go without makeup, I can be courageous enough to admit that I prefer her show to Downton Abbey. Just because I don’t like smart TV doesn’t mean I’m stupid.
So therefore, my DVR is filled with the most mindless crap on television. Say Yes To the Dress? Yes, please. Botched? Obviously, ’cause those surgeon dudes from Real Housewives are hysterical. Reruns of The Golden Girls, King of Queens, Friends or Full House? 100% yes to all of them. In fact, the closest I get to using my brain when I watch TV is trying to guess what a hundred people responded on Family Feud or when I try to remember who the perp is on an episode of SVU I’ve seen eighty times. And that’s exactly how I like it.
Now, I know there are more of you out there who are like me, but maybe you’ve caved in to societal pressure to watch TV shows that supposedly “matter.” Maybe you don’t feel like you can admit your disdain for shows that give you a cerebral workout and your love for complete crap television. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. You want to watch House Hunters instead of House of Cards? Do it. You enjoy America’s Funniest Home Videos more than American Horror Story? You do you. (And yes, America’s Funniest Home Videos is STILL on). Free yourself, fire up that season of Toddlers and Tiaras you have DVRed, and join me here in the land of those who are free from high TV expectations. Your brain will thank you..
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