In one of the many TN team member text chains, Zanib recently shared a link to a t-shirt she bought featuring a quote from The Golden Girls, which Nikki loved so much she immediately bought as well. Others chimed in with exclamations about how much they love the show and shared which character they most embodied, and I had to confess that I’ve never seen an episode of the show. I know about it — It’s a cultural touchstone and so learned about it in various media classes, but I haven’t actually seen it. A Buzzfeed quiz informed me that I’m most like Dorothy, and a quick glance at the Google search results confirms that it’s pretty spot on.
When you love something, especially something very well known, it can seem crazy to you that someone hasn’t experienced it. I know people who haven’t seen a single Marvel movie, and am honestly baffled as to how they’ve been able to avoid them for the past decade. I’m even more scandalized by people who haven’t read Harry Potter or seen any of the movies. I know that it’s theoretically very possible, but just…how?
But at the same time, I know that there are similarly massive pop culture events that I’ve never been a part of, and people shake their heads at me when they hear that I’ve never seen an entire Star Wars movie, just a few bits here and there on TV. Same goes for Lord of the Rings. I tried to watch The Princess Bride a few years ago and only made it about half way through. I always meant to check out Game of Thrones and never did, but in that case, based on most people’s reaction to the last few episodes all I did there was save myself from crushing disappointment after investing hours and hours of my life into that story.
A few years ago on The Graham Norton Show Rebel Wilson told Matt LeBlanc to his face that she has never seen an episode of Friends. I get it Rebel, I’ve never seen Seinfeld! ( While trying to find the video I found out that Miriam Margolyes — hey there Professor Sprout! — told Matthew Perry the same thing on the same show.)
There is so much content out there. There’s almost always a massive movie opening, that new show everyone is talking about, some new rom-com that’s hitting Netflix. There’s no way any one person has time to watch every single huge cultural phenomenon. There’s just not enough hours in the day, we all have to pick and choose. So everyone has a list of things that make some other people’s jaw drop in shock that you’ve never experienced it. I’m not saying I’ll never watch any of these things — except Outlander, I know enough about that to know that it’s definitely not for me — but I can’t say that I feel overly left out for not having seen them either. I’m more than happy to sit back and watch other people enjoy all of it.
(Seriously though, who’s never read Harry Potter…)