I have fond memories sitting in front of a TV watching hours of prime time television shows, but somewhere along the lines of the fall of Disney Channel in ’09 and the calamity that ensued thereafter, I developed TV commitment issues.
Breaking my childhood binge watching habits meant that I no longer planned my days around the airtime of Lizzie McGuire and the Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but it also left me unable to commit to long series that I feared would waste my time.
I still needed TV in my life, but I refused to watch good shows. Simply put, good TV builds standards and expectations, which just opens the door for subsequent bitter disappointment.
So I started watching terrible shows that I knew would get cancelled, like Minority Report, a drama and mystery that took more turns than I can count before hastily ending after 10 episodes.
This lifestyle choice was completely risk-free. There was no attachment nor commitment. It even made me a better person.
I became more honest by watching terrible TV shows. I no longer felt pressured to conform into a fake fangirl. I was no longer spending time searching up major plot lines and funny moments so I would have something to talk about with friends. I avoided the fan bases all together because there were none.
The only downside is that shows get a little boring. To overcome this challenge, I turn to my mother’s advice while growing up as a socially awkward kid who didn’t have anyone to hang out with.
“It’s up to you to make things fun. Even if you’re by yourself in a boring place, you can create your own happiness”.
So I did. I sought entertainment from poor acting, cheesy lines and terrible production. I found unrealistic visual effect hilarious, especially fight scenes where actions and reactions never seemed to be in sync.
I watched Shadowhunters, a science fiction drama that follows human-angel hybrids as they battle demons, just to see how they attempted to make Toronto look like Chicago. I watched a clip of the characters on a rooftop and I could feel the struggles of the cameramen trying to avoid the CN tower. They didn’t succeed.
My instincts that the show would get cancelled were proved wrong. Despite losing half a million viewers by the first eight episodes, the drama series has been renewed for a third season.
Needless to say, I stopped watching in fear that they improved their convoluted plotlines and production.
There were many other shows to choose from, like the one season of the comedy Limitless based on the thriller movie of the same name and Selfie which only survived 13 episodes. There was no way I was watching 10 seasons of Doctor Who, so the failed spin-off was convenient.
I absolutely dreaded being asked what shows I watch out of fear of exposing my commitment issues, but once I started dialogue on my struggles, I realized that many people around me had their own TV confessions to make.
Not everyone can commit to long series and can handle the deep affection and attachment for fictional shows. It simply isn’t for me. I’m happy with my one-season wonders and shows that shouldn’t have been written in the first place.