Have been giving consideration to amount of time (or really, the lack thereof these days) I spend watching television and I’ve started to notice a couple of things. Evidently, I have astronomically high standards in terms of the shows I watch. This year, I can literally count on one hand the number of new shows I tuned into* and, on that same hand, I can also add the shows I continued to watch and like.** Needless to say, it is an abysmally low number for all of the options available.
The biggest thing that turns me off of a television show is stupidity. Not in “oh, God, this guy is such a fucking idiot” kind of stupid – Justified had some seriously dumb characters on it (Dewey Crowe, I’m thinking of you!) but the actual writing of the show wasn’t stupid (in fact, it was the definite opposite of stupid; Justified had some of the smartest writing for a show I’ve ever seen and I miss it quite a bit.) So I require my entertainment to not repeatedly insult my intelligence by having otherwise smart characters repeatedly do stupid things. This is probably one of the reasons I ended up tuning out of NCIS (as the characters were progressively twisted and bent out of shape; this is especially true for the real stars of the show, DiNozzo (who was consistently written as a complete moron, despite multiple seasons beforehand that showed he was actually quite good at his job) and Ziva (who the showrunners seemed to hate, as shown by their inane decision to kill her off in a stupid, senseless way off screen; no wonder Cote de Pablo walked away from that crap) and why season 2 of Sleepy Hollow was such a disaster after an amazing first season I tuned completely out after the second or third ep. It is why season 2 of Flash has sucked so very, very hard. Don’t tell me that a character is intelligent, show me, because when a “smart guy” keeps doing stupid shit, I no longer consider him a “smart guy.”
Interestingly, Game of Thrones is on my list of “don’t care, don’t watch” although not for the above reasons. I dropped that show at pretty much the same point I dropped the books (right around the Red Wedding) because I frankly loath most of the characters. I ran into this with the new Battlestar Galactica as well – the characters are not necessarily stupid or anything; I just want them all to die in a fire. Everything they do is in-character for them, but … see before-mentioned “die in a fire” remark.
So what does a person do in this case? I’ve tried “lowering my standards” so as to watch a show, but … I can’t. And dammit, I shouldn’t have to. Surely somewhere, there’s an intelligently written show that doesn’t insult me. Surely? Please?
* – It was The Expanse on SyFy, by the way, and I originally tuned it just because I was dying for some good science fiction. I have since read most of the books the series is based on and am (impatiently) waiting for season 2.
** – Watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was … okay, I guess. Not super great but straddling that line of “time to move on” and “I think I can stomach one more episode.” As stated above, Flash has kind of sucked this year – Barry consistently makes stupid decisions for the purposes of the plot – and I’m struggling with disinterest when it comes to catching up. Orphan Black is also still holding my interest, although I’d be a liar if I didn’t say that was mostly due to Tatiana Maslany being able to just disappear into these different characters so well that I have to remind myself they aren’t being portrayed by different characters. If Netflix counts, then I watched Daredevil, season 2, and mostly enjoyed it.