Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When You're Right, You're Right...

All too often in life do I find myself falling prey to the mindset that "if everyone loves it, then it must be bad." A sure fire excuse which allows me to avoid shows, no matter their appeal, that I'm not 100% convinced I want to get invested in. After all, once I get invested in a show I'm a rather dedicated soul unless the writers and producers manage to frustrate me to the point I simply can't stand to continue (case in point: this past season of True Blood). Though at this point you might be asking yourself, 'why continue maintaining that mindset at all?' Simply, sometimes it works.

You see, I find it much easier to judge whether or not I want to stick around with a show when I can watch a good bulk of the episodes in a row, rather than week by week. Something about those weekly breaks, it blinds me from the obvious flaws of the show and pulls me in to stick around clearly beyond the point of return. Not to mention a weekly viewing of the show puts me into a rhythm. It becomes commonplace for me to just watch that show at that time no matter how the actual quality on hand.

So I like to ere on the side of caution before getting invested in a show. Often times that involves gauging the public interest, and unfortunately determining how that interest affects me. That's not to say lots of people loving a show is more likely to engage me than not, but how people react to it does. For example, the show Mad Men. I spent a long time ignoring it because people spent so much time endlessly praising it. That might seem counter-intuitive to many of you - and I admit it is a bit - but it is my instinctual reaction, to buck the trend. Now one might argue that is built off a childhood of bullying and a predisposed hatred towards anything that is described consistently as being 'cool.'

And in some cases I happen to be right, at least for my own viewing preference. A couple years back when I finally did ante up and kick in to Mad Men overdrive, I got as far as the end of the first season before passing on the opportunity to view a second. A few years on now, and I still haven't felt the desire to go back and give it another whirl. Unfortunately I feel my initial reaction towards Mad Men - regardless of later being proven right - inadvertently veered me away from another AMC show that I ought to have given a second peak. Breaking Bad.

Now I won't say Breaking Bad is just my kind of show, but perhaps that's what makes it so appealing? I'm now at the half way point of the second season, and I honestly can't wait to view the next episode. In fact, I find myself at work a bit annoyed at times that I can't just bring up Netflix, pop on some headphones, and escape for a little while. It's an exciting, intense, at points hilarious, oddity of a show that I keep coming back to over and over again. Admittedly I wouldn't be too sorrowful if they dropped Walter Jr. because at this stage his only purpose is to provide emotional context for Walt, and any scene he's not doing that he's incredibly uninteresting.

Breaking Bad is a simply a refreshing viewing experience all around. Much in the same way that The Wire hooked me in despite the slow, calculated pace with which it approached its subject matter, Breaking Bad draws me in because of the carefully timed blend of frantic and calm scene transitions. The way the show goes to the edge of sanity and then in a flick snaps back to reality as if nothing happened at all is exhilarating and exciting. The kind of show I'm glad to have had my mindset proven wrong about.

2 better thoughts:

Robert said...

Phew, I thought this post was leading up to your distaste for Breaking Bad. Love that show.

You make a good point about watching a show on demand or on DVD rather than week to week when it airs.

I couldn't get into Mad Men either - but I'm trying to get into The Wire right now. Both of those shows were on a podcast episode I was on about "hype" recently.

Nice post!

Castor said...

Breaking Bad is one of the best TV show ever, no doubt about that. Oddly, I started with this past season and I haven't checked out the previous ones yet.

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