in Opinions

Television shows are like relationships

A lot of times I sit down to write a review of a movie or an episode of a television show, but I can’t bring myself to write a review because of my apathetic feelings toward it. Something has to motivate me to write a review. Horrible movies are easier to review because I want to encourage people not to make the same mistake as I did (watching it). Horrible episodes of a TV series are harder because I feel an obligation to review the every episode.

Entertainment is hard to review because people usually stick to their own opinions. This is especially true for TV. TV is a lot like a relationship. The first date might be great or it might start off awkward (the pilot). You spend time with someone, learn about them, share with them, and ultimately grow to love—or hate—them. Either way, opinions are generally pretty strong.

How many times have we known someone to be in an unhealthy relationship but they refuse to hear outside advice? Heck, how many times have we ourselves been in unhealthy relationships and refused to hear the advice of our friends and family? The excuses are generally the same. “You don’t understand.” “They’ll change.” “It’s just a phase, they’re not normally like this.”

And so goes opinions of TV shows. “You don’t understand.” “The show will change.” “It’s just setup, the payoff comes later.” And that makes sense to me. After all, we’ve spent years of our life with these characters, these locations, these moments—some of which have made us laugh, cry, angry, sad, happy, frustrated, and entertained.

Those who have the healthiest relationships, from my experience, are those that can admit when things aren’t working. Those that can identify the problems, the issues, the mistakes, and formulate solutions, create discussions, and learn lessons. The same can be said of those whose opinions are valuable when it comes to critical analysis and review regarding TV or film (or really any entertainment-based medium).

Often times when things don’t end well, people often write off everything. Divorce is a good example. Can you set aside your previous relationship with a TV show and really analyze what’s working and what’s not? If you can, you’ll be able to better formulate opinions that others will respect and appreciate.

Here are a few of my current TV relationships:

  • My first love: The X-Files
  • My true love: 24
  • My friend that’s way smarter than me, and I like being around them because of it: Damages
  • My relationship that everyone else thought was perfect for me, but I knew it wouldn’t work out: Fringe
  • My abusive relationship that I know I should get out of: Battlestar Galactica
  • My old relationship that keeps coming back: Ally McBeal
  • My friend that I know I can always count on: Dexter
  • My friend that I know I can always count on (but they’ve had some severe mental issues and might end up committing suicide): Lost
  • My relationship where I’m waiting to see if the sex is good: Dollhouse
Let me know what some of your relationships are in the comments. I’d love to hear them.