Friday, April 13, 2007

The Case of Sado-Masochistic TV

Before I start off, a big thanks to everyone who has commented on my blog thus far! Nice to know what really gets people going is Wellington weather (and that I am not alone in dissing it) and young Czech men.

And so, on to today's topic...

In the Dock: Sado-Masochistic TV, Part 1

First off, a definition: Sado-Masochistic TV is a television show that one has in the back ground, that one can read over, talk over, and almost not be terribly interested in, but is still, despite all evidence and reasons to the contrary, compulsory viewing. Sound stupid? It totally is, but there always tend to be a few TV shows at any one time that fall into this category with me. Honestly. Currently, there are a few of them.

First and foremost is Lost. Why does anyone watch this show? It goes nowhere. The characters’ back stories are almost always boring or related in some obscure way that is almost never followed up until the focus of the show shifts back to that character again. It makes next to no sense. Most of the characters are damned annoying. But still, I find myself tuning in the television to watch this show (much to SpecialK’s chagrin) whenever it happens to be on. I may completely ignore the show for the entire time, but it is still on. What is the Dharma initiative? Who are the Others? I need to know!! Thus, it has to be on.

Another example: Smallville. Now, I love superhero stories. I have bought myself the Wonder Woman TV series DVDs, even though the ones set in the 1970s are utter rubbish. I watch the mostly fantastic Heroes. And so, unsurprisingly, I was drawn to watching Smallville, being the story of the young Superman and all. But it is boring. It is dull. There are the odd flashes of inspiration when references are made to the Dukes of Hazzard (as John “Bo Duke” Schneider is on the show as Pa Kent) or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (when James “Spike” Marsters was a semi-regular) or some other show, but mostly the plots are pedestrian, predictable and sometimes painful. But still, I watch. I blame the fantastic character of Chloe, and I know there is assorted eye-candy that keeps others coming back as well (my sister-in-law finds Lex unbelievably sexy). But whatever the excuse, and whenever the hideous time slot, I am there. Up, up and away.

Finally on this list of shame, a comedy to add to the TV genre mix: How I Met Your Mother. A mainstream American sitcom which should almost automatically equal unfunny (and, on this show, it does with frightening regularity). But I keep punishing myself with telegraphed punchlines and preposterous premises. Why? Allyson “Willow” Hannigan and Neil Patrick “Doogie” Harris mainly. I know I shouldn’t. But I do.

On the bright side (there is a bright side to this, I keep telling myself) I am assuming my excess of Sado-Masochistic TV viewing is mainly due to the fact that the other stuff on the box is fairly dire. There are only one or two non-S&M TV shows I watch with anything approaching regularity at the moment. One News keeps putting me off by employing Simon Dallow, and One puts me off in general with those new horrendously awful “See the Light” One promos. So perhaps this is a televisual conspiracy to inspire me to go outside and exercise and other outdoorsy, non-televisiony things. Perhaps.

Does anyone else have some Sado-Masochistic TV shows? Or is this purely a “me” phenomenon?

Verdict: Sad b@st@rd

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

After 5 years of tele in another language, even Shortland Street seems appealing to me.