I live with my girlfriend and for the most part, our taste in television overlaps. We like Dexter, we like Homeland, we’ve just started watching Justified.
We watch a lot of shows together, but we don’t always agree.
There’s often a tug-of-war for the remote and our television becomes the staging area for some sort of World War I style trench warfare, which I’m using as a clunky metaphor to segueway awkwardly into this info chart:
That’s a snapshot of our TV battleground over the past few months. As you can see, Cathy will watch a lot of good shows, as seen in the no-man’s land there at the centre. Cathy has even watched and liked some of “my” shows, only that she either got bored or missed the beginning and hasn’t caught up. Then there’s the Cathy shows.
When I eventually succumb to compromacy (it’s diplomacy and a compromise, I’m coining that right now), and Cathy watches her shows in my presence, I tend to play games on my phone or write inane blog posts like this. Sadly though, I often can’t help but be distracted by the numbing, mesmeric quality of shows like Revenge and I somehow get drawn in enough to have an embarrassingly passable knowledge of most of the shows at the right of that chart.
For instance, I think I can name all of the characters of Grey’s Anatomy and I know that Alf is currently running for local council in Summer Bay.
This is information I wish I didn’t own, but nonetheless, if I had to, I could easily maintain a water-cooler conversation about Liam and Hope’s ongoing love saga on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Am I proud? No. Do I cry myself to sleep? Sometimes. Do I love Home and Away? A little bit.
These shows don’t even qualify as guilty pleasures as I don’t actually take any pleasure in watching them. They’re more like guilty experiences or guilty peeks of misery.
It’s like this. Imagine if you were sitting in a cafe, relaxing and playing games on your phone. You look up and suddenly you notice a man with hideously insane facial hair.
You quickly look back down because you don’t want to stare. Fascinatingly bad as it is, he clearly gets enough attention and you don’t want to join the ranks of gawping onlookers. You focus more intensely on your game of online scrabble, but your mind keeps wandering. Surely enough, words like “moustache”, “shaggy” and “muttonchops” begin to creep onto your board. You’re particularly impressed with your triple word score on “muttonchops”, but there’s no time for that, BECAUSE THAT GUY HAS A CRAZY BEARD.
You sneak a peek. Nobody notices. You sneak another peek, still nobody cares. You’re not even sure he can see you through that face-hugging forest of hair.
You keep glancing at your phone to pretend you’re not watching, but there’s no denying that beard has made it’s mark. You’ll be mulling over its contours in your sleep, you’ll be telling friends about it. “No really, it was weirdly fascinating, you should see this guy.” They look at you like you’re the one with the crazy beard.
By the end you’ll be writing a blog post about it and nobody will respect you anymore.