Tuesday, March 03, 2015

All hail, the TV snob!


For some reason, I feel like I need to stand on my soap box to proclaim how my taste in TV is just as good as anyone else's.

Now, I'm not talking about my obsession with reality TV and how I can't get enough of "The Bachelor."

I understand that garbage is mindless, and I also cheer on those people that sit down to watch those shows because they are garbage (except the Kardashians. They, alone, are ruining the Earth).

There was a marathon of "Love It or List It" on HGTV Sunday, and I couldn't tear myself away -- not because I was actually enjoyed myself (well, OK, I was, but not because the show is actually good), but because I was hate-watching.

I made snide remarks at the show the entire hour. I know it's overly produced. I'm sure many of the scenes aren't even real. The people are all idiots and are probably robots, but they can't hear me as I cut them to pieces with my words. They don't even care if I exist or not. Really, I'm not holding my breath over their existence, either.

There are times when we need to sit down and refrain from being cerebral.

My defensive streak comes in to play because my taste in TV doesn't tend to flow with the mainstream. Now, I'm not talking about underground shows that can only be watched on the web. I just don't binge on all the shows other people binge on, but when people find this out...I feel like I need to defend myself.

This has been going on since my sophomore year of high school. I'm kind of used to it, but there are other shows on TV than just the ones on HBO, Netflix and AMC.

There was a time when a little network called the WB showed up (now the CW) and premiered a seemingly ridiculous show. When I first heard of it, I, too, turned my nose. Just like anyone else, I questioned the WB's ability to even be a network. That little show, a trailblazer that other shows have tried to be like, was "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

You scoff, and that's fine. I scoffed, too. Then, I gave it a sincere try, and found out how enjoyable the show was. I cared about the characters. My blood pressure rose. The story arcs were riveting. The dialogue was witty.

Luckily, Entertainment Weekly stands behind me in it's realization that it's one of the best TV shows that has ever aired.

I continue to stand by it. I've seen the entire series over three or four times, and continue to be surprised by it -- and the show's been off the air for 11 years.

Yet, when I tell people it's one of my favorites, they roll their eyes.

I get the same reaction when I recommend "Once Upon a Time" to people.

Someone actually asked, "Isn't that a kid's show?"

If Cruella De Vil pointing a gun at someone's head is a kid's show, then, yes. Yes it is.

The best kind.

I find myself in the same position I was as a teenager and a young adult: defending my taste. Another person was all, "I can't even watch anything on network TV anymore."

And there it was! The proclamation of a TV snob. 

This person that must turn her eyes away from network TV (it burns! It burns!) was probably the same person who bemoaned anyone who didn't watch "The Office" (long before the Netflix TV series existed).

This is also the same type of person who tells me that I need to give "Parks and Recreation" a try, and that I have to sit through the first season of awful before it "gets better."

I'm sure it's lovely, and I probably would like it, but since you're telling me that I have to force myself to watch it before I like it...well, it's like telling me that something you're eating tastes like pooh, but you still want me to try it.

I'll just sit over here and watch my "30 Rock" and "Modern Family" and "The Goldbergs."

I'd rather sit down and watch something I'm interested in from the beginning. It's the same thing with a book -- I'm sure "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is amaze-balls, but after hearing how everyone trudged through the first 100 pages, well, I just don't wanna.

And you can't make me.

Now, I probably would enjoy "House of Cards" and I might even enjoy "Orange is the New Black." I plan on watching "The Blacklist" over the summer because the promos are fantastic -- some of the best promos I've ever seen, but what I don't like is a TV snob.

What you watch is not better than what I watch.

I don't turn my nose at your obsession with "Breaking Bad" and how you enjoy "Mad Men." I don't rattle your cage about how you just love to watch misery in human form.

Because, really, that's what those shows are. The writing is good. The acting is good. The set design is good. It's all really, really good, but it's also sad. And dark. And all those stories are about awful people.

And you know what? That's not really escapism. Not for me, at least. I don't really feel like running away from a stressful day into the arms of horrible people who make bad decisions.

That's what TV is for me, most of the time. I watch it to be told a story, but it's also escapism. I know some of the best art out there does a fine job of being a commentary about life as we know it, but I also just enjoy a good story.

There are times when I don't want to deal with all the serious that is out there in the world. Thanks to modern mainstream news outlets and those friends on Facebook, it's inescapable.

I know there are people out there that enjoy the same TV shows I do, and I'm not saying that I will never watch your shows, but please don't make it sound like I'm watching cancer.

You may think "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is beneath you, but the writer/creator of the show, Joss Whedon, is feasting on all your money he made from "The Avengers" and the upcoming "Avengers: Age of Ultron." He wrote and directed both movies.

He also did a small-budget, black and white modern take on "Much Ado About Nothing" instead of going on vacation -- for those who enjoy something a bit more fancy.

Not too shabby for someone who created a show I love about some blonde girl that kills vampires.