Monday, November 18, 2013

Shows I Cannot Get Into for the Life of Me

It's my Sunday night and I've done almost nothing but watch bad television all day and eat "healthy" junk food from Trader Joe's, (mostly pumpkin-based treats because I've made it my mission to eat ALL OF THE PUMPKIN THINGS ON THE PLANET. And yes, I am a white girl. But can we get over this stereotype? Because pumpkin spice is delicious and my gender and ethnicity have nothing to do with that. Ok, gourd-inspired feminist rant over.) Why did I waste my time watching "bad" television when I could have been writing the Great American Screenplay or at the very least, doing the dishes? Because I was determined to jump on a new bandwagon.

Surprisingly really good!
Though I always have a soft spot
for shows cancelled before their time.
Also, James van der Beek.

Having recently finished my latest obsession, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," and finally closing out "The West Wing" (Which started off brilliant, but was brilliantly painful towards the end. Out of mad respect for Allison Janney I stayed the course), I was on the lookout for the Next Best Thing Ever. I am always open to suggestions as to what I should fixate upon and spend inordinate amounts of time consuming. But sometimes, those bandwagons that are so cherished by others, leave me cold and dusty. I realize that some of the following selections may make me seem hipster-ish in my rejection of what is normally considered to be outstanding and beloved. Let me be clear, I genuinely wish I liked these shows. I would love to participate in the cultural obsession and prattle on about sexual tension, the latest shocking twist, or basking in fan nostalgia. But I just can't get behind them, no matter how hard I try.

These are shows I tried, and failed, to watch despite critical acclaim, and/or high recommendations from friends, family, or pop culture at large:

No strong feelings one way or the other.

"Orange is the New Black"

It's a phenomenal show. The characters are compelling and well-fleshed out (anyone else creeped out by that term?). I like the story structure and it's certainly an original concept. I gave it a good 4-5 episodes before finally determining that no matter how high-quality the show is, I just am not interested in prison. Just like Shawshank Redemption is an incredible movie that I will never watch again, I just couldn't get past the bleakness.

Yeah…no. Put some pants on.

"Breaking Bad"

I watched the entire first season and the beginning of the second at the behest of a boy I was like REALLY into at the time. Ugh. Never again will I let my feelings for a man cloud my judgement of a show that did nothing for me. Yes, it's well-crafted. I get that. But I hated everyone. Like, actually hated. And why would I spend so much time and devotion to a show that just made me angry? Plus, I don't find meth all that fascinating.

I get it. You're sexy. Even with the ridiculous outfits and bad facial hair.
But this is not a world I care to hang out in.

"Sons of Anarchy"

I have been in love with Charlie Hunnam ever since "Green Street Hooligans" (which is one of the best movies you've never seen about British football hooliganism. Which proves that just because I can't actually relate to the world of a film or TV show, I can still lose myself in it. The pretty boys didn't hurt.) Charlie further captured my heart in Judd Apatow's short-lived, unappreciated "Undeclared." In fact, when I learned that he was going to be Christian Grey, I admit that I actually got excited about seeing "50 Shades of Grey." That being said, meh. Six or seven episodes in, I gave up. I do not understand the obsession with motorcycles.

Lulls me into a very fitful sleep.

"The X-Files"

I just tried to watch this on Netflix for the third or fourth time. I don't consider myself a nerd by any means, but I do appreciate quite a bit of nerd culture. (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, I'm sure there are more that aren't solely created by Joss Whedon, but I'm blanking at the moment. Oh Star Wars! I like Star Wars!) But dammit, if I don't fall asleep every time! And then I have nightmares. Because that theme song has made me shiver ever since I was a little girl and would hear it drifting creepily down the hall from the living room while my brothers watched it and I would cover myself in bed with stuffed animals so the aliens would get confused and not be able to find and abduct me. Yes, my biggest childhood fear wasn't spiders or snakes or the bogeyman. I was genuinely convinced that I would get kidnapped by aliens. And since I never was (fingers crossed), I like to think my stuffed animal misdirection method was foolproof. Anyway, back to the X Files. It manages to be both terrifying and boring at the same time. No thanks.

You sir, are no Mr. Darcy.

"North & South"

If you haven't heard of this one, it's a sort of Pride & Prejudice/Downton Abbey-esque mini-series available now on Netflix. Two of my bestest friends in the world, who normally have exquisite taste, have all but forced me to watch "North & South" at gunpoint, convinced that if I just give it a chance, I will love it to pieces. But Jane Austen, it is not. Once more, I hate everyone. They are extremely unlikeable, and not even in the way that is still fun to watch. Plus the setting is so very bleak (which is probably why I don't like prison or meth. But football violence is freaking awesome so the bleak explanation is flawed). Apparently, it's all worth it for the ending. But it's just dreary, and life is dreary enough.

He kills a dog with his bare hands in the first episode.
It was one of the most shocking yet effective character reveals I've ever seen.
But I just couldn't get on board.
"House of Cards"

1. Terrible, awful people you don't particularly feel like rooting for. 2. A setting that I have no relation to (I despise politics and can't fathom living in the hell that is D.C., no matter how awesome old school "West Wing" and new school "Scandal" are). 3. Isn't that enough to give up on a show that is impeccable in all aspects other than the fact that I just don't like it?

I'm referring to any and all series under the banner of "Star Trek."
But for our purposes, let's just focus on The Next Generation.

"Star Trek"

… Sorry, homeboy. I learned my lesson from "Breaking Bad."

I still love you Pacey (even though I was totally Team Dawson).


Another show that was highly recommended to me by a fan who usually shares my same tastes. She had quoted me some of the more memorable lines and insisted that Joshua Jackson was just as charming as Peter Bishop as he was as Pacey Witter. Also, I toured the guy who plays Walter Bishop when I still worked at the Studio City property. I didn't know he was famous until we got stopped by a gushing resident who shook his hand and told him he was a big fan of the show. Awkward. He ended up not leasing an apartment despite clear interest and is therefore dead to me. But I was willing to overlook that fact and have been watching "Fringe" pretty much all day. (Taking a short break to watch some "Sister Wives." Why? I don't really know.) I don't think I'm ready to give up on it just yet. But it's honestly not doing much for me. I find myself more interested in reading blogs or random articles posted on Twitter or Facebook than watching this show. We shall see if it starts grabbing my attention more. Good luck, Pacey.

You can make all the arguments defending these shows you want. And I will probably agree with you in most respects. But like I said, I just can't.

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