There’s nothing more enjoyable than immersing yourself in a good TV show, and nothing more maddening than wasting more time than it takes to watch a Yanks Soxs game scrolling through Netflix, only to find there’s no shows left to watch. Here are the difficulties I face every time I go to Netflix.
Personally, anything with a laugh track is immediately excluded. Laugh tracks are usually more a symptom than a cause of a bad show, but either way I hate them. From Saved by the Bell to Seinfeld I’ve seen quite a few laugh track shows, but besides turning on TBS when I’m hung-over, I’m pretty sure I’m done with them.
I’m not averse to all TV dramas; I’ve seen enough Law and Order to salivate when I hear the Da Dum, but I am against any drama that actually makes me think. There goes The Wire, Mad Men, and any other show that gives the false sense of superiority I usually crave.
Try coming up with a definition of pornography that doesn’t encompass 95% of reality TV. And it’s not like I don’t watch reality TV, or porn for that matter, it’s just I watch it for the same reason I do those YouTube videos where people hurt themselves, mindless arousal.
Well what about teen dramas? They require no thinking and don’t have a laugh track, just a music track that is a perpetual Aww. I used to love them; sometime between puberty and losing my hair the idea of watching them became too pathetic to bear. Though that didn’t stop me from getting though the first season of One Tree Hill last year.
I loved The Simpsons, and thanks to local syndication, growing up I watched up to 4 episodes a day on week nights. Maybe I’ll go back someday and re-watch the episodes of Futurama I’ve only seen twice. Every time I watch South Park it reminds me of being in middle-school, so I have to stop. And I jumped off the Family Guy bandwagon when it came back to Fox, and I stopped smoking weed.
What I’m left with is 22 min laughers without a laugh track and with a sense of humor. Arrested Development and the British Office being my undisputed favorites. Unfortunately both ran for only a few more episodes than the average show on NBC. I used to love the American Office, until it jumped the shark harder than the term jump the shark. 30 Rock, or I should say, Tracy Morgan and that awkward white guy, just annoy me. It’s Always Sunny took misanthropic humor to heights Seinfeld never dreamed, then it became a caricature of itself. Curb Your Enthusiasm has always seemed like a bad episode of Seinfeld I’ve already seen. Parks and Rec is the only show I’m really looking forward to next season.
I love Netflix, and I love TV shows, but when I search them for something to watch I cannot help but be confounded. Have I really already watched every good show? Is TV really this bad? Am I too closed-minded? Better Than Ted seemed good, should I try that again? And then I give up and decide to watch the British Office from start to finish again: all 14 episodes, including the two specials.