Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bottom Shelf TV

Let's talk about TV.  Talking about TV is easy, right?  If I find myself in a dreaded conversation lull at a party, which I often do, I resist the urge to stare off into the distance with blank face (my favorite past time) and instead I ask if the person watches a certain show.  Then we have something to talk about. I think conversations about television are what hold us together as people.  They're the bun to our hot dog, the beard to our indie band, the Lexus to our Beverly Hills.  In elementary school, I talked about The Cosby Show to anyone who would listen and it really helped me get through P.E., you guys.  We all talk about the shows we watch.  It's just what we do, with our friends and our family, with our pharmacists and our yoga teachers.  We can't help it.

But, we're kind-of liars.  There's certain shows, let's call them top shelf shows, that are completely socially acceptable to admit you like.  They're like Kettel One or Grey Goose. We all watch them.  We all admit to watching them.  Nobody is ashamed to be addicted to Mad Men or Downton Abbey or Breaking Bad or Game Of Thrones.  No one gets embarrassed to "like" Walking Dead on Facebook.  So those are top shelf shows you can talk about as loudly as you want at happy hour.  You can tweet your love for The Wire until your fingers fall off.  And, look, I love them too.  LOVE THEM.  But, I don't really care who loves Mad Men.  Because everyone loves Mad Men so it's not interesting.  It doesn't make you unique, it doesn't make you you.  It's just a great show.

Then there's the shows you're not ashamed to like but you're not shouting your love from the rooftops.  They're the 2nd tier shelf shows, crammed in next to the Absolut and the Tito's.  Good shows but maybe not as hip, man.  For me, these would be Sons Of Anarchy and Supernatural.  I love these shows like I drink Tito's.  (A lot.)  But, I'm not necessarily bringing them up in a conversation unless you do first.  (The exception to this is my pal, Alyssa.  I'll talk to her about Sons Of Anarchy until she tells me to shut up or mutes me.)

There's also shows you watch just because.  You like them, kind-of, but it's more something to do.  Like doing a Jell-O shot at a party.  For example, I've watched all of Bones.  Probably started because, duh, David Boreanaz, but I'm not sure why I stuck around.  I just did.  I just did the shot and kept doing the shot and danced around to the dumb theme song.  I'm shrugging.

Then you've got the shows you truly like but don't love.  You're not gung-ho to shoot the shit about them unless someone else wants to.  For me, these are True Blood and Dexter and Girls.  I'll watch them and talk about them but they're like flavored vodka, if someone offers, cool, but I'm not looking to find out what you thought about Hannah's shorts or Sookie's sex scene just like I'm not going out and buying a bottle of Effen Black Cherry.  I'll drink it but I don't care about it.

But here's what I care about.  I care about the bottom shelf shows.  The vodka with the handle.  The Stoli, the Gordon's.  The crappy vodkas you have to mix with a sugary sweet mixer to even drink but you love the taste.  What I wanna know about is that show you looooove that you're embarrassed to tell people you watch. Maybe you tell your sister or your best friend but that's it.  It might not be well done like Downton Abbey but you can't wait for another episode.  OK, I'll go first.  I love The Vampire DiariesPretty Little Liars and Nashville.  Love them.  Devour them.  I watched three seasons of Pretty Little Liars in like a minute.  I get excited whenever there's a new episode of Nashville.  (What will they do to Juliette's hair?!  What kind of tight pants will Rayna wear?  I need to know!)  I never ever miss an episode of Vampire Diaries and I might have rated the cast in order of hotness once or twice. (Twice.)  I would be just as sad if any of these were canceled as if Downton Abbey got the axe.  Seriously.

I think your bottom shelf shows might reveal who you are more than your top shelf shows.  Like, I'm absolutely a teenage vampire with a penchant for country music.  OK, maybe not.  But, I think it's way more compelling than how much you love Breaking Bad.  It just is.  So, tell me what show you really love.  Please.  Walter White will forgive you.

*photo from my instagram, yo.