I’m usually not a quitter, but sometimes, when it comes to lame television shows, I just have to give up.
The other day my friend told me that finally, she had to pull the plug on one of her guilty pleasures: One Tree Hill. She knew it was a convoluted and incredibly cheesy show, but for some reason, she just couldn’t stop watching it until the end of this season. I understand, because I’ve found myself continuing to watch shows that I no longer have any interest in. I realized though that I only had the strength to quit once my television was taken away from me.
I left for grad school in the summer of 2008 and moved into student housing. It was in an older New York City building, which didn’t have air conditioning and was 1000 degrees even in the winter; I had to leave my window open during snowstorms and wore shorts and tank tops to bed year round. My program was only one year, so it didn’t make sense for me to get a television hookup like some of the guys I lived with who were there for Ph.D.s. Because I only had my laptop, not my DVR, it was time for me to make some choices on what to watch. It was the perfect time to weed out the shows I no longer enjoyed.
The first to go was Grey’s Anatomy, which by that point I was just watching because it was a habit. I stuck with it through the odd Izzy/Denny relationship, even though the plots were inane and I hated most of the characters; in fact, the only one I liked at all was Dr. Bailey. From what I’ve heard, they’ve continued to do some ridiculous plot lines since, including a weird sing-along that I saw a clip of on The Soup. I cringed, and then congratulated myself on cutting the cord.
Why is it that we make ourselves suffer through shows just out of habit? I know a lot of people who admit, “I watch [fill in the blank], even though it’s gotten stupid/boring/unbelievable.” Why is it so hard to just stop watching? The same can be said for books; I’ve started several that I knew wouldn’t get any better, yet I still had to finish the whole thing. There’s nothing wrong with deciding that something’s not right for you, and I certainly didn’t get a cookie for finishing an especially horrible episode of Grey’s. I guess it just doesn’t feel right to not finish something, no matter how bad it is.
So, tell me, what shows did you finally get fed up with? Did you feel empowered when you finally deleted a series from your TiVo?