Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How I Enjoy Bad TV

Okay, sort of a provocative title. I guess what I mean to say by it is that I watch shows that more discerning viewers like to tear apart in comments and reviews. To put it in perspective, some of my favorite (recent) shows to date are: Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Doctor Who, Agents of SHIELD, and Sherlock.

Every single one of these shows has been ripped to shreds in one way or anther. Appropriation of fandoms in unrealistic ways/bad portrayal of geeks -- Big Bang Theory. Ruining the entire path of the story to meet the mother we waited 8 years for -- How I Met Your Mother. Moffat -- Doctor Who. Moffat -- Sherlock. Slow plot -- Agents of SHIELD. It's one in the morning as I write this so I apologize to everyone out there for forgetting other criticisms of these shows.

And I can see the validity of all these arguments against these shows. As a book lover I do the same sort of thing with novels on a regular basis. I wouldn't be an editor if I didn't. I really try not to do it with books I read for fun because I don't want my life as an editor to have a huge effect on my life as a reader. I want to always be able to read for fun and not think "Oooh there should be a comma" or "I bet that scene was made shorter than the original" or some such. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes I don't. It's hard, and I work at it.

But I am pretty successful at watching tv without my editorial brain kicking in. I like the cheap laughs of Big Bang Theory, and I love Sheldon. I love the interplay between Barney and Robin, although I totally agree about the screwed up resolution with the Mother. In Doctor Who I fell in love with Tennant and then again with Smith. In Sherlock I liked the wit and the bromance between John and Sherlock.

These shows all have problems (looking at you, Moffat), but I love them all. Why? How can I do this? I think I figured out why. I turn my brain off a bit when I watch tv. When I read I'm looking to be intellectually stimulated and drawn in to a world. When I watch tv I want to be entertained. I want to be entertained when I read of course, and my brain stimulated when I watch tv. But for some reason when I watch netflix I don't care so much about the bad science and plot holes in Doctor Who and Sherlock. I don't care that Big Bang Theory has a really loud laugh track or Agents of SHIELD stalled until Captain America 2 came out before it went anywhere. One big exception to this is the series finale of HIMYM in which I rage quit so hard it *literally* ruined half a day for me. But that's another post for another time.

I try really really hard just absorb when I watch tv. For a little while it's nice to sit back and be entertained. I don't always succeed, and I've stopped watching shows before because they insulted my intelligence too much. Well written is a must, laughing is appreciated, and if it can make me cry it's genius.

So I'll go back to fangirling over the season 8 premiere of Doctor Who while reading articles about the plot holes and agreeing.

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