Five Shows I Desperately Want to Like But Can’t

I give every show a fair shot. I sit through each and every new pilot episode to determine whether or not it deserved my undivided (…mostly) attention and viewership. My taste is eclectic and all over the board. I like everything from trashy reality dating shows to overly dramatic teen soaps to your bread and butter episodic crime shows. I don’t claim to have the best taste in shows (my sister would tell you I watch the worst shows ever), but I do like that I can give everything a fair chance. And all of these shows discussed here got their fair chance. Several of them, in fact.

I tried so hard to like these shows. Truly. I’ve watched each of their pilots countless times and handful of subsequent episodes but I just cannot get hooked. I can put away my personal opinions enough to acknowledge that the plots are interesting, the acting is top notch, and that Jared Padalecki makes for some eye-candy. But that’s it. That’s as much as I can give. Oh, and that Dame Maggie Smith is a bad ass no matter what she’s in.


After being told that you “just need to keep watching” I forced myself to watch the entire first season and part of the second before I gave up. I love me some Jon Hamm, but Mad Men just never piqued my interest. I’ve never been a particular fan of period shows, so I think that’s partly why, but still. Mad Men is an internationally recognized and loved program. It actually angers me that I just don’t like it. And the opening credits are awesome. I always appreciate flashy opening credits.


Another show that I know is extremely well acted, very timely, and smart…but I can’t stand it. I may just place this blame on Kevin Spacey’s southern accent because I find it very hard to concentrate. When people are talking about House of Cards I smile and nod along because I want to be part of this club. I really do. But I can’t. I hate that.


Again, it might be the fact that I don’t like old-timey shows. It might be the fact that the main love interest guy, Matthew Crawley, I don’t find attractive at all. It might be the fact that the loves and lives of a stiff upper lipped aristocratic fambam doesn’t sound like fun to me. But regardless, I could barely get through the pilot. My friends love Downton. My mom loves Downton. I wish I loved Downton, but I don’t.


I started watching the revival with Christopher Eccleston and the chick from Secret Diary of a Call Girl and couldn’t see the hype. I was then told to skip ahead to David Tenant’s season because he was the best. Still don’t get it. A regenerating dude who chills in a telephone booth. The premise alone confuses me as to why it has such a cult following. The acting is meh in my opinion. It’s not really my brand of humor. I’ve sat through many episodes trying desperately to see why it’s attracted such diehard fans and I can’t. Sorry, Doctor. I tried.


 I actually remember watching this pilot episode live back in 2005 and immediately marking it off because of the presence of Jeffrey Dean Morgan aka Denny the Heart Patient aka my only nemesis other than Peyton Sawyer. So basically Supernatural winning my tv-loving heart was not going to be an easy task. I’ll admit I’ll watch anything with a pretty face, so it’s surprising that the power duo of Jensen Ackles and JarPad weren’t enough to keep me coming back. And as a former Tumblr user, all I used to see was #SUPERNATURAL #DESTIEL #WINCEST and I think the entire series just got a bad taste in my mouth.

In Defense of “Crappy” Television

I apologize for some profanity.

It’s recently been brought to my attention that I watch shitty tv. Thank you, sister. I really appreciate that. At first it pissed me off and I was this close to actually saying, “Fuck you. You watch Dance Moms.” But then I realized. Yeah. You know what? I do watch some super shitty television shows. I watch shows that aren’t intellectually stimulating, the actors clearly only got hired because they’re hot, and there’s a possibility I lost brain cells in the process. And those shows are some of the ones that I look forward to the most every week.

Not every show can be a True Detective or a Homeland or her pinnacle of television worthiness, The Newsroom (which is a WHOLE other argument). Sometimes when you have a life that actually belongs on a sitcom or super messed up drama, watching rich kids go to parties and hide behind anonymous gossip blogs sounds pretty entertaining. Sometimes you need to watch a killer clown chop people up on American Horror Story. Of all things to judge a person on, don’t do it on their choice of tv shows. Actually, don’t judge people in general, but to do it on something as menial as tv choice…I have no words.

Yes, I care who is crowned America’s Next Top Model. I want to know that Nick and Jess will find their way back to each other. I am still watching Grey’s after 10 years because I am a goddamn devoted viewer and because Alex Karev deserves some freaking happiness.


I also know what’s going on in Ferguson. I can talk about feminism and rape culture. I know what’s going on in Mexico. I’m up to date with my current events. Just because I like to indulge in some so-called “shitty” and “mindless” television does not mean I’m not informed and lesser than you. I can carry on an intellectual conversation and watch The Vampire Diaries at the same time.

Oh, and PS Meredyth: Jim and Maggie have gotten comparisons to Jim and Pam since the show’s inception. [1, 2, 3,] 🙂

An Argument Against Steroline

Rehab isn’t as glamorous as the movies make it out to be. There’s no massage room or fluffy pillows on every surface. Instead, you’re force-feeding yourself six times a day, using boxes upon boxes of tissues to wipe your weary eyes, and spilling your innermost secrets to a near stranger. Any free time is spent writing about everything you’ve kept so expertly over the years or sleeping. Because being emotionally vulnerable 24/7 is freaking exhausting. Things are different within the walls of Castlewood. When you say, “I’m fine,” everyone immediately knows you’re not. When you break down during a meal, no one bats an eye. Everyone is so simultaneously afraid of rejection that making friends is difficult at first, but once you break down the walls, you know you’ve found an ally for life. I’ve been so thankful for the friendships I’ve been able to accrue inside and outside of Castlewood. I can honestly say that for maybe once in my life, I have a solid support system. And that’s such a relief to say.

Because there’s hardly any time to breathe, my Hulu queue has been left hideously unattended. There are currently 31 lovely beauties waiting to be watched. This is also why I’m only now completely caught up with The Vampire Diaries and I have some things to say. This is isn’t just relevant to TVD, but I’ve never understood why so many television shows use the “incestuous friend group” tactic. Take it from experience; if you’ve slept with every single member of the opposite sex in your friend group, it does not end well. It is awkward. Parties are horrible. Girls talk. Boys talk. I don’t need to know that so-and-so “knows what they’re doing” or other intimate details. And your fellow friends suffer from the sexual tension. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, not even the fictional lives I’m privy to onscreen.

Save for Jeremy, Miss Forbes will have been with all of the male leads. No slut shaming or whatever, but really? Her and Damon will definitely never happen again. The door seems, at least, temporarily closed with Matt. Klaus ain’t coming back (thank God). And I don’t think I have my Forwood blinders on when I say that their relationship is far from over and I’m still convinced the Stelena will be endgame. I understand that you bounce around a lot during your high school/college years, but surely there’s someone viable outside of your immediate group. Like I’m positive that there’s people outside the walls of the Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital. We already have the main triangle to deal with. We don’t need the extra drama between Caroline/Elena and Stefan/Tyler that’s bound to come from this. This also applies to Bamon because that would make absolutely zero sense giving the current story. 

There’s not enough male-female friendships and strictly friendships on television these days. And Stefan and Caroline have a perfect example of one. Not every friendship needs to turn romantic and there is such a thing as intersex platonic relationships. I’m not going to argue that them becoming a couple would ruin their friendship, because it potentially wouldn’t, but in the TVD universe it would cause more harm than good.

Watching 90210 and how Silver was basically passed from guy to guy made me sick. She was originally presented as far too independent to even think about relying on her significant others. Her poor character suffered a character assassination I’m afraid that is what is going to happen with Caroline. Caroline is my favorite character on TVD. Ever since becoming kick-ass vampire Barbie and lost the dumb blonde trope, she’s often the voice of reason on the show. I understand that bringing in new characters for love interests doesn’t often it well with the viewers, but it doesn’t sit right with me that she has such little awareness of their group dynamic. 

Don’t get my wrong, I am a massive fan of the best friends-turned-lovers trope, but I also truly appreciate the dynamic of close male/female friendships. Juliette and Avery, George and Izzie, Liam and Silver, (to name a few), all had well-written, deep friendships until they threw in the love card. Then it’s zero to 60. They’re best friends, then they’re in love. Because there’s no middle ground.  And if adding Stefan into the mix is going to be an opportunity to add another love triangle, please just cancel the show now. I appreciate a good love triangle, (completely guilty) but even I can admit when you’ve gone completely love triangle crazy. 

Dear TVD writers, you have such a great platform with the Steroline friendship. Please do not take it to “the next step” for the sake of ratings or the sake of fans. Deal with the current relationships you have brewing before taking on any new ones. 

A Long Overdue Rant about The Big Bang Theory

I consider myself to be tolerant other peoples’ likes and dislikes when it comes to television. If you’re still obsessed with Supernatural or are convinced that the Teen Wolf writers will pull a 180 and make Stiles/Derek happen, more power to you.  I will accept your opinions without major argument. However, there is one statement that gets a rant bubbling in my brain, and that is: The Big Bang Theory is the best comedy on television.

Let me say first of all that I do enjoy TBBT. I don’t think it’s a complete waste of airtime and I acknowledge that it has a very funny and talented cast. And I think Jim Parsons is just presh incarnate. But claiming that the show is somehow radical or has shed positive light on nerd culture is going a bit far.

Firstly, the argument that it glorifies nerds and “makes being a geek cool.” I’m sorry, are we watching the same show? When have Leonard, Sheldon, and Co. ever been represented as the “cool ones?” When are they ever not defined by their above-average IQs and love for physics? Their geekdom is not celebrated. It’s exploited and used as comic relief to portray them as the perpetual lowly underdogs.  The geeks are stereotypically socially challenged and unable to navigate everyday situations.

Penny is the laughing stock as a community college drop-out and her street-smarts are used to belittle her too, because god-forbid a girl show no qualms about gutting a fish or not showering every single day.  Also, let’s the play “how-many-clichés-can-we-fit-into-one-character game. Ditzy blonde? Check. Constant fan service? Check. Heavy drinker? Check. Small town girl with big dreams? Check. Also, as a native Iowan, would it be that hard to portray the Midwest as anything other than Hick Country and a meth capital? Because, clearly, we all walk around wielding shotguns, barely escape teen pregnancy, and spend all day shoveling cow shit.

It’s also obvious that after the writers discovered they had a comic gem in Jim Parsons / Sheldon, the character was amended.  Remember in the pilot when he and Leonard were at a sperm bank preparing to create their own genetically engineered offspring? Clearly he had no misgivings about getting jiggy with Mr. Righty. Compare that to now when the mere mention of “coitus” is taboo and completely off the table. Cool.

If I was a “nerd” watching this show, would I want to be one of the guys? No. As a girl, do I want to be Penny or one of the girlfriends who exist only to bolster their respective significant others? No.  Really, if you strip TBBT down, it’s 16 million viewers tuning in to watch 20-and-some-odd-minutes of a man with Asperger’s and his “friends” using his lack of social cues as their form of entertainment.  Really progressive, huh? Although, I approve of the Texas jabs. Keep ‘em coming.

Again, I still get laughs out of the TBBT and I think it’s quality compared to a lot of the other sitcoms currently on air.  But in my opinion, it’s not Emmy quality. It’s not buzz worthy. And I don’t know how it’s managed to trick people into believing that this is somehow a confidence booster for those who identify with the geeks.

Sorry to the several family members of mine who worship this show. I’d stick to Bill Nye.

Oh Look, It’s Another Glee Rant!

Can we talk about Glee for a second? There are many topics to consider here: How the departing seniors basically got mini-me twins; how there’s no conceivable way Kurt, Rachel, and Santana are living in that huge loft in New York with no income; and apparently teachers can leave for extended periods and hand-off their duties to a recent high school grad not currently pursuing higher education. But today it’s their recent and not-so recent handling of emotionally triggering subjects.

Now, I’m always up for a little controversial humor as long as it doesn’t cross the line into completely unnecessary and offensive. And I would even say I have a relatively high tolerance for that sort of thing, but lately this show has been making me cringe more than an episode of Catfish. The second-hand embarrassment I felt from Tina’s ill-advised crush on Blaine forced me to mute pretty much all of their scenes.

It’s upsetting how the writers have to take the glee clubbers completely out of character to drive the message home. Sam and Artie would never congratulate Ryder for being molested as a kid because a teenage girl had prematurely touched his junk. And Ryder would never demand that Unique to pick a bathroom because her gender fluidity confused him. Will is probably the worst teacher in the history of the profession. Don’t even get me started about the school-shooting episode, which handled a sensitive topic horribly and copped out without any real resolution. Am I the only one who would actually fight against having to do these types of scenes? There’s no way that presenting topics in this matter is actually helping to build tolerance and acceptance.

It’s getting more and more difficult to convince people that for roughly thirteen episodes, aka the first thirteen episodes of the series, Glee was genuinely a quality program. Because it was. There was little to no deliberate fan-service, songs were relevant to the storylines, the female characters weren’t treated like complete shit, and things weren’t presented solely for shock factor. This show has deteriorated faster than Heroes, (a feat unto itself) which at least had a great first season in its entirety. And I’m not saying there’s occasionally an episode that’s reminiscent of its glory days. As much as I despise all three of the core couples, “The Break-Up” was easily one of the best episodes of this craptastic season.

Insert the “I wish I knew how to quit you” line because I wish with all my tv-loving heart that I could officially cut this program out of my life. Sam and the occasional appearance by Quinn are seriously the only reasons I still have this show in my Hulu queue. Open letter to Glee writers: You have an amazing platform to which millions of teens are paying attention. If you’re going to tackle a pressing and serious issue, at least follow through completely. Don’t cop out with a trivial resolution or try to make light of the situation. It’s not funny nor helping in the long run.

25 Favorite Television Characters

My intense love for certain fictional characters generally stems from four reasons:

  1. I wish they were real so I could marry them,
  2. I wish they were real so they could be my best friend,
  3. We’re the same exact person except they have a significantly better wardrobe and a hot boyfriend,
  4. Their life is so shitty that all I want to do is reach through the screen and give them a hug.

There’s also a line between characters I genuinely like as characters and not because their portrayer was obviously created on a day that God was channeling The CW Network. Is Ian Somerhalder good looking? Uh yeah. Do I worship the altar of Damon Salvatore? No. Stefan5eva. And it goes both ways. So, taking in no (or as little as I could) consideration of how much I love/hate the actor or their face, these are my favorite television characters: In alphabetical order…

Andie McPhee
“Don’t play dumb. When dumb people play dumb, it’s very disconcerting.”

You’re going to see a lot of Type A personalities on this list, because I have a great love for the straitlaced constantly stressed workaholic who is always on the precipice of a complete mental breakdown. Enter Andie, the future Harvard medical school grad who finally cracked under the pressure of being a severe perfectionist and started hallucinating her dead brother, Tim.

Annie Edison
I’ve been worried about how uptight I am and how I’m no fun. And then I was worried I wouldn’t fit in here or be able to hang out with you guys. But you know what? Why don’t you ever ask yourselves whether you can hang with me? Why am I always the one who has to adapt?

Forced to attend community college after suffering from a nervous breakdown and narcotics addiction, book-smart Annie has always been my favorite member of the Greendale 7.

Caroline Forbes
“So youre saying that now I’m basically an insecure, neurotic, control freak on crack?”

Prior to joining the League of the Undead, Caroline Forbes was my least favorite character on TVD. Seemingly shallow yet overwhelmingly insecure, the future vamp was not my cup of tea. Since being turned into kick-ass Vampire Barbie, that title has been passed on (congratulations, Bonnie!) and Caroline has become my favorite. Who knew all it took was becoming a night-walker to make me like you…

Cassie Ainsworth
I stopped eating, and then everyone had to do what I said. That was powerful. I think it was the happiest time of my life.

Generation 1 of Skins will always be my favorite, thanks in large part to the eccentric but lovably innocent, Cassie.

Chandler Bing
I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

Each Friends character is amazing in their own right, but Chandler is hands-down my favorite. I’d never want to date a Chandler, but as my BFF4LYFE? Hell. Yes.

Chuck Bass
“So you’re finally learning there are upsides to pissing off your family?”

Chuck Bass is an ass. He sold his girlfriend for a hotel. He wears purple sparkly suits. Worst of all, he bumped uglies with Jenny Humphrey. And I could seriously care less.

Cristina Yang
“I have an MD and a PhD. I’m a freaking cardiothoracic surgeon. I’m supposed to be studying for my boards, the most important exam of my life. And I’m locked in the bathroom crying because of a boy!”

It took three seasons for me to appreciate Cristina Yang. I was a big fan of her and Burke, but after he left her at the altar and she was so happy to finally be free, that moment made me a Cristina fan. Yes, she can be callous, emotionless, and, well, a bitch, but she always means well.

Debra Morgan
“We can play who’s the better asshole. But I guarantee you I’ll win.”

Deb is a character that grows on you. Her dropping an F-bomb every five seconds was initially annoying as all hell and her bitchy, cold demeanor seemed impenetrable. But I guess falling for a serial killer aka your adopted bro’s real bro and then almost becoming a victim of his tends to soften people up…spoilers?

Hannah Rogers
“I’m not beautiful. And that’s okay, because I’ve got other stuff. And eventually I will remember what that other stuff is and why it’s more important. It’s just taking longer than I thought.”

As much as I wanted to like Amy, the lead female character of Everwood, I never found her particularly relatable. Her “nerdy,” deer-in-the-headlights bestie on the other hand? Instant favorite.

Jack Shephard
“But if we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.”

I have a tendency to like characters who are hated by the general viewing population. And it pains me that Jack is one of them. The Man of Science turned Man of Faith had one of the most compelling arcs on LOST and if his ultimate sacrifice didn’t make you cry the Pacific Ocean, we can’t be friends.

Jason Stackhouse
“Sometimes you need to destroy something to save it. That’s in the Bible or the Constitution.”

He’s pretty. He’s dumb. He’s pretty dumb. And it’s one of the many reasons why I love him. A serial ladies’ man with a heart of gold, Jason always has the best of intentions even when he eventually effs everything up.

Jesse Pinkman
“For what it’s worth, getting the shit kicked out of you? Not to say you get used to it, but you do kind of get used to it.”

I’ve never wished happiness for a character more than for Jesse. Poor guy has had it rough. Yeah, he’s a murderer, a drug dealer, and an addict, but he’s also been playing the role of Walter White’s bitch for far too long.

Jim Halpert
“A lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a date with a girl I work with. But I think even then I knew that I was waiting for my wife.”

Oh Jim Halpert. You have set the bar for my future husband so impossibly high. I would brave the Dunder-Mifflin offices to work alongside Jim.

Matt Saracen
“You don’t care about me. You left me for a better job. Your daughter left me for a better guy. Carlotta left me for Guatemala. My dad left me for a damn war. Everybody leaves me. What’s wrong with me?”

Thrust into the spotlight after the first string quarterback is paralyzed during a game, Matt Saracen overcame all odds to become the starting QB the small, football-loving town of Dillon, Texas, needed. He navigated thru the perils of wooing Coach’s daughter and the arrival of his MIA parents. And he was a good friend to the ever-annoying Landry, and that more than anything makes him a hero.

Michael Scofield
“Preparation will only take you so far. After that you got to take a few leaps of faith.”

He may hold a serious grudge and talk like a serial killer, but the guy’s kind of a bamf seeing as he broke out of two prisons, successfully broke his wife out of a third, and helped clear his brother of a murder charge.

Nathan Young
“We had it all. We fucked up bigger and better than any generation that came before us. We were so beautiful!”

A smart-ass with an even smarter mouth, vulgar-mouthed Nathan was my favorite Misfit from the start. Let’s hope he wiggles his way out of prison soon so he can return with all his immortal glory.

Phil Dunphy
“I’m the cool dad. That’s my thing. I’m hip. I surf the Web. I text. LOL: laughing out loud. OMG: Oh my God. WTF: Why the face? Um you know, I know all the dances to High School Musical.”

He knows all the dances to High School Musical. ‘Nuff said.

Quinn Fabray
“I may not look like the head cheerleader anymore, but I’m still her on the inside.”

I get the hate that Quinn gets, the former HBIC of McKinley was needlessly cruel at first to pretty much every member of glee club. But Quinn hasn’t been season 1 Quinn since well….season 1. At her core, Quinn is someone who was dealt a super shitty hand and just wants someone there at the end of the day. And I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

Ron Swanson
“I’m not big on charities. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.”

Ron Swanson is my best friend. But seriously. If my best friend worked for the city government and grew a mustache (amongst other things) she’d be Ron Swanson.

“Schmidt happens.”

Douche-bag characters are often one-dimensional and they remain only douche-bags for the entirety of the series. Luckily for Schmidt, douchey as he may be, the New Girl writers took a trip to the Wizard and blessed him with a brain, heart, and courage.

Seth Cohen
“Dude. You’re a Cohen now. Welcome to a life of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt.”

Unabashedly nerdy and self-deprecating,  leave it to Orange County to make the tousled-hair, pop-culture enthusiast the laughing stock of the Harbor School.

“Stiles” Stilinski
“I’m 146 pounds of pale skin and fragile bone, okay? Sarcasm is my only defense.”

Stiles may be one of the only true “humans” left on Teen Wolf, but he has the super-human power of sarcasm to get him thru the day. And it’s not like every other word I say is sarcastic…not at all. Clearly, we were not meant to be bffs.

Summer Roberts
“Ew. But I like it.”

As Marissa started get more and more annoying with her drug and drinking problems, Summer got more and more endearing by falling for the nerd and showing off her geeky side (Princess Sparkle, helloooo). A tiny whirlwind of shopping bags and boho dresses, Summer, thankfully, easily overcame her rich bitch trope to become the best female character on The O.C.

Veronica Mars
“Congratulations, you’ve been named World’s Biggest Cockroach. This award is given in recognition of your unparalleled lack of humanity. Bravo. You’re going to die friendless and alone.”

If the voice inside my head manifested into a person, it would be Veronica Mars. Shamelessly snarky and unbeatably honest, it’s easy to see why she was either revered or abhorred by her peers. The teen sleuth had her character flaws: she was easy to piss-off, meddled in everything, held grudges like whoa, and served payback like a bitch. But in tandem, she was fiercely loyal to those who upheld the Mars Code of Ethical Behavior and was never afraid to put it all on the line for a friend.

Wes Mitchell
“I am way too hungry to be mature about something like this.”

I started planning my nonexistent wedding to Wes immediately after the pilot of Common Law aired. A former lawyer who swapped depositions for an LAPD badge after sending an innocent man to prison, Wes is a classic OCD-level perfectionist. He constantly clashes and bickers with his partner and (arguably) best friend, Travis, because of his laid-back stance on life. And while I feel like the show presents Travis as the guy we’re supposed to immediately root for, Wes’ personality is much more to my druthers. It also doesn’t hurt that he likes flashy cars and dresses like a GQ fashion spread, either.