We are legion!
TV fanatics who, after a day mired in social media viral videos and flotsam that calls itself entertainment, opt for shows with character. We're the masses rejecting HBO's "Game of Thrones." Yes, we consider action and story progression the antidote to an inane existence in TV land, but as boob tube connoisseurs we are sticklers for what we consume.
We set bars we will not sink below. In other words, we take vows on what we will not lay eyes on, no matter how many collective eyeballs have seen it. And just like promises made to a significant other, these are actions to which you hold firm, no matter the amount of pressure from outside forces.
I refuse to be peer-pressured into watching "Game of Thrones." That show, while majestically multilayered, seems a bit too convoluted (read: tiring) to catch up on, even on a binge.
No, I will not go along blindly for Season 10 of a show that should have ended in Season 4. Cases in point: "How I Met Your Mother," "Glee" and "Beverly Hills, 90210" (not the reboot). As for that '90s Beverly Hills show, I didn't find the college experience as exciting as the training wheels that the high school years provided. As soon as all the important characters started attending California University, it seemed all the plots were stretched to make sure paychecks continued.
No, I will not get sucked into a show just to have it canceled before it reaches the end of its last story arc. How do I know it will be canceled? Two prerequisites: It's usually on a cable network, and I like it. Cases in point: USA Network's "The 4400" and Syfy's "Alphas."
I also refuse to be an active participant in anything that looks, smells or tastes like ABC's "Lost." It was my favorite show for a long time until mysteries stopped being explained on a regular basis.
And if a series has too much hype, I'm out. (Unless I get into it before the hoopla began. "Mad Men" is a prime example. That show has only grown in critical acclaim, and I have been there for the entire ride.)
While I regret not getting on board with History's "Vikings," I was, however, pressured into watching "House of Cards" and am thankful for the nudge. I withdraw from a show when it takes too many liberties (the characters are too dumbed down and make illogical decisions) or the writing goes from point A to point D without a believable explanation as to what points B and C were. "Prison Break" did that a lot. An intricate plan on how to evade authorities dissolved into a law enforcement official being able to look at one piece of the puzzle and know where the escapees were. I mean, come on!
These are just a few of my vows; here are some that my Tribune brethren have made.
Will Lee, Tribune reporter: "I won't watch any 'CSI,' music/talent shows or anything Kardashian; I vow never to watch reality TV, including 'Duck Dynasty' and 'Survivor.' … TV shows, for me, have to have some feeling of authenticity."
Regrets: "I never get on the bandwagon from the very beginning when it comes to TV, so I often miss out. I regret not getting into 'Firefly,' '24,' 'The Good Wife.'"
When do you throw in the towel on a show? "A show's writing decides how quickly I flee. The writing has to be honest to the characters and consistent. An inability to suspend (disbelief) means death for any show. (Looking at you, Tim Allen!)"
What shows were you peer-pressured into watching? "I usually succumb to good word-of-mouth or published reviews. The last two shows that I was pressured into were 'Mad Men' and 'House of Cards.'"
Nina Metz, Tribune reporter and Chicago Close-Up columnist: "There's a class of procedurals that I just can't/won't watch. I lump them into a generalized 'Criminal Minds' corner of the TV world. Dark is fine, but the grisly obsessions that drive these shows feels like a weird fetish. It's just unrelentingly dour, so I'm out. I'm not opposed to the grim stuff altogether — hello, 'True Detective.' But the crimes on that show are almost irrelevant. These men, their stories — I'm interested. Kevin Bacon and 'The Following'? Not so much. On the reality front, I've never once thought: 'Hey, let's turn on "The Bachelor!"' The talent shows aren't my thing either."
Regrets: "I missed BBC America's 'Orphan Black' the first time around. I remember actively avoiding it; I'm not sure why. Then I caught up with it on demand, and as I'm burning through episode after episode, I'm there on my couch wondering why it took me so long to give this show a look."
When do you throw in the towel? "'Scandal' is a good example of a show I've recently abandoned. … Somewhere along the way, all that slick TV froth wasn't cutting it for me, and the intense accusatory dialogue … was becoming ridiculously repetitive and lacked the kind of bonkers originality that gave this show its specific edge. I would give up on a show if it suddenly became stupid or a lesser version of itself."
Shows peer-pressured into watching: "'Breaking Bad.' I watched a few episodes the first season and then drifted out to watch other things. A season or two later, a friend of mine was on my case like nobody's business, and I finally broke down and caught up. I had a similar experience with 'The Wire.' Missed the first couple of seasons. And then, out of curiosity, I thought, 'What's all the hubbub?' HBO started airing Season 4 — aka, The Kids Season — and it knocked me out, and I went back and caught up, binge-style. I did have this sensation of, 'Why did I resist this show initially?'"
Curt Wagner, deputy digital editor for RedEye and Show Patrol columnist: "I refuse to watch all reality shows — docu-reality — as a rule because I have no interest in watching people pretend to act 'normally' when they are really working for the camera. Competition reality is a little easier for me to handle, but generally I have no interest."
Regrets: "Missing early seasons of 'The Sopranos,' and most of 'Deadwood.'"
When do you throw in the towel? "Time constraints, boredom with the show, story just going in a direction I'm not interested in or going beyond ridiculous."
Shows peer-pressured into watching? "None I can think of. But I did binge on Netflix with 'House of Cards,' and I was satisfied."
Twitter @DarcelTribuneCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun