Find us on Facebook
Sorry. No data so far.
Has this happened to you?:
All your friends are talking about a show you HAVE to watch, and you’re like, “Eh, whatever.” Suddenly, maybe six months later, maybe a year, maybe longer, you get religion and start binging. And then, you want to talk about it and all your friends are like, “Eh, whatever.” And even if they’re excited that you’re watching what they claim is their favorite show ever, it’s been so long since they’ve seen the episode that you’re currently obsessing over that they can only commune with you in the most general way.
It happens to me all the time.
And another thing – what about shows you started watching, and then gave up on. Now, they’re in the headlines for their “ground breaking,” “dramatic,” and “mind-blowing” final season. What to do? Do you try to catch up with the seasons you missed, or do just dig into those current episodes.
Now, I am considering shows of varying vintages as well as shows that I began watching and lost interest in along the way. These include:
I thought the first season was outstanding, but the second season lost me along the way. I’m considering trying again so I can talk to my obsessed friends.
This show thrilled me in the first season, interested me in the second, and gradually lost me in its third season. Now, it is ending and I scratch my head considering the tweets I keep reading as each episode is aired. Trouble is, I don’t know if I have the fortitude to puzzle my way through season 4 before I can watch the denouement. “Do I have to?” I ask like a spoiled child forced to make her bed.
I think I watched part of the first episode, and for some reason, never finished it and never went back. Is this the best-reviewed show that no one watches? What’s worse for me is that one of my oldest and closest friends is an exec producer and writer for the show. AND he was nominated for an Emmy for an episode I never saw. Am I the worst friend EVER?? (Full disclosure: he doesn’t care.)
At the behest of a good friend and fellow TV-lover, I watched the first episode. Meh. She exhorted me to watch the second, since it took her a while to get into it. Still meh. Keep going, she encouraged me. After 5 episodes, I just could not go on. Kyle Chandler? Yum. Linda Cardellini? Adorbs. But I just could not care less about these people.
I devoured the first season like an iftar after a Ramadan fast. I couldn’t get enough. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright could not have been more diabolically perfect. By season 2, my interest waned so severely that I just could not have cared less. Now, everyone is talking about how wonderful the current season is, and I can’t even give the season a number since I’ve lost track.
I have a theory about what makes or breaks a show for me: it’s all about the characters. Often, when the pyrotechnics of storytelling overwhelm the characters, I stop caring. I know that’s what happened for me with Mr. Robot, House of Cards, and Orphan Black. I never gave The Americans a chance, and I just didn’t care enough about the characters in Bloodline to keep going.
Although I feel that it is possible to make compelling television when the characters are generally unlikeable, I used to always insist on something I called the ‘audience surrogate.’ That is, a character that lets a viewer into the world – someone with whom the audience can identify with in some way. Television is very different than movies in that those characters are invited into your home week after week. No one likes deadbeat company.
So, here’s the question, to paraphrase Shakespeare: Is the fault in us or in the shows we watch? What draws you to a show, and what makes you pull back? I will definitely watch The Americans at some point, but I know that when I do, I will be hopelessly out of phase with everyone I know. I guess I’ll have to live with that!
Roseanne Leto is a 25-year veteran of the TV industry. She has been head of East Coast Programming and Development for CBS, an Associate in Programs at NBC, and a Producer of many TV movies. When it comes to TV, she is picky, picky, picky, and despite her years in TV, Charles Dickens is still her bae. Follow her on Twitter @roxlet
Sorry. No data so far.