I’ve blogged on many occasions about my TV watching habits, but for some reason, I’ve been really thinking about it the past week. It started while I was watching Hawaii Five-0 on Monday. The episode’s promos highlighted the fact that Vanessa Manillo and Nick Lachey were guest starring. They showed up somewhere in the beginning, when the case of the week was being set up and sort of disappeared. Then about halfway through the hour, it just popped into my head: “I bet Nick Lachey’s the bad guy.” Turns out I was right – again (when Kevin Sorbo guest starred in an episode earlier in the season, I knew straight up he was the bad guy). First of all, I totally blame my professor from my Music in Film class for making me notice all the stuff that happens at the beginning of TV shows and movies now. But back to the point, despite its complete and utter predictability, I still like watching Hawaii Five-0.
How is that possible? Why would anyone want to watch something (especially a crime show) where you can easily guess who the villain is, 5 minutes into the episode? My justification for Five-0 is that its got an extremely likeable cast, who have great chemistry together. Thinking about it now, I’m really watching the show to see this cast interact with one another – they look like they’re having a good time. Plus the show itself, doesn’t really take itself too seriously; it can be cheesy and fun, but also serious in getting the bad guys and giving us some action.
On the other hand, also on Monday was Gossip Girl. I expressed my feelings about it at the beginning of the season, wherein I pretty much watch this show out of habit. This past episode made me think numerous times: “Why am I watching this? I. AM. SO. BORED.” I should’ve given up on this show already, but no matter what they do, there’s always one thing/plotline that keeps me hanging. Currently, it’s the Blair and Dan relationship/friendship storyline. It’s the ONLY interesting thing going on in that show right now. The Bass Industries business deal storyline? BORING. Serena and her former teacher storyline? BORING. And Nate has NO storyline! He’s lucky if he even gets to say 2 lines in an episode.
Something else I realized this week: I haven’t been watching Parenthood. Don’t get me wrong, the show is amazing. The cast is awesome and the writing is great. There are not a lot of shows like this anymore. While I do want to watch the show, I guess the past few weeks, I haven’t felt motivated to watch. I appreciate how real and grounded the show is, but at the same time, when your life’s sort of a downer, you want to watch something that will distract you (hence the watching of something like 5-0).
Then there are times when I think about shows that have been on the air for a while, and despite still loving these shows, I kind of hope they end this season simply because its run its course. Does that make me a bad fan? By shows I love but think they should end, I mean One Tree Hill and The Office. With OTH, there were times over the years where they might have been cancelled and the writers gave a pseudo-ending just in case. They would come back for another season and the writers would do something to re-energize the series, whether it be a time-jump or introducing new characters. As of late, I feel as though everybody’s happy now and they’re just grasping for new storylines each episode. The last thing I want is for OTH to end on a bad note. Let’s not drag anything out and just finalize the show. Speaking of grasping for new storylines, The Office is sort of the same way. It’s just not the same anymore. Writing’s not that sharp anymore; there’s little things in every episode that’s funny but it’s not the same. And knowing that Steve Carell is leaving near the end of the season, it just feels like it’s time.
So what’s the gist of all this? For me personally, TV acts as a distraction for me from my dismal/boring life. Because of that, I like TV that, well, keeps my interest. The writing doesn’t always have to be great, but the show has to be entertaining on some level (a la Hawaii Five-0). A show can be incredibly well-written, but if its depictions of real life are almost too real, it doesn’t serve as great distraction (unfortunately like Parenthood). Sometimes despite being a fan of a show, you kinda hope it’ll end on a good note and not drag things out just for the sake keeping the show on the air.