Too Much TV, Too Little Time: 4 Shows Worth Getting Into

| April 4, 2014
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Photo: FX

Photo: FX

Here’s the thing: there’s a ton of stuff on TV. If you have a job — which I assume some of you do — it’s hard to keep up on every single show spitting out of your TV or computer. Heck, even if you don’t have a job, it’s hard (I know this from experience –I don’t technically have a job and I have tried my hardest to watch every single thing and, 15 pounds later, even I can’t). Because I care about you and your health, here are some shows you should actually invest your time in. They’re worth it! You’re worth it! Just make sure to take a walk around the block or something.

The Americans

I’ve stopped watching Justified and Sons of Anarchy because they are just so completely unrelenting in their masculinity and danger. Also, they are set in the real world, but aren’t actually possible in the real world. But The Americans does not have this problem. It has drama and it has dudes doing dude things, but it’s set in the real world and even though its premise seems bananas — a couple of Russian spies go deep undercover as travel agents in the suburbs during the Cold War — it’s actually a real thing that happened. If you’re sick of the nonsense drama that Scandal is turning into, try this. It’s sexy without being exploitative; it’s about relationships and family without being boring or over the top; it’s about politics while maintaining some subtlety. Also, there are a ton of wigs.

The Walking Dead

If you want to get your heart racing a bit on a Sunday, but you’ve given up on Justified and Sons of Anarchy for the aforementioned reasons, try The Walking Dead. Yes, I get it: you aren’t “into” zombies. Neither am I! But I love the apocalypse and TV is currently overflowing with apocalypse-based shows. You don’t have time for all of them! So pick the ultimate, and watch as a band of unlikely companions smash zombie skulls everywhere they go. The story is well thought out and the details and continuity are perfect — like if Lost had lived up to the hype. Sure, the grass is sometimes a bit too mowed and the girls don’t appear to have hairy legs or armpits (no one would have time to shave in the apocalypse, guys), but we’ll overlook that. Get over the hump and watch this show so we can start talking about it!

Are You The One?

Yes, this a highly contrived relationship reality show on MTV. Yes, it is set in Hawaii and involves enough alcohol to get the college-aged participants kicked out of school, if they were the types to go to college, which they are not. But look, you aren’t going to watch every cheesy show MTV puts out. I mean, you aren’t going to watch most shows MTV puts out. So why not indulge in this one little morsel of TV Valium about 20 singles who have been matched up by professional matchmakers, but do not know with whom they’ve been matched! If they figure it out, they split one million dollars. The season just ended, so I recommend a binge-watch before the Internet spoils it for you. Let the premise pull you in and you’ll stay for the strangely charming and sweet romance between two contestants who aren’t a match. With so much antagonistic “real love” (ahem, The Bachelor) on TV these days, this little but solid love affair will make you smile.

Lindsay

If you’re looking for a higher class reality TV experience, you’ll probably want to immediately start watching Lindsay, the new Lindsay Lohan “documentary series” (I guess that’s what Oprah calls reality shows when they are on her network) about Lindsay trying to stay sober, while Oprah eggs her on. Lindsay is basically broke, has awful parents and, rightfully, trusts no one. She has a mysterious “sober coach” who is just a guy, following her around, and an assistant who always wears a tie and looks like he never sleeps. Her “celebrity trainer” just makes up exercise routines out of thin air and doesn’t mind that Lindsay smokes like a chimney and the paparazzi follow her around New York like ants at a picnic. It is intriguing and also pretty sad. Maybe Lindsay is trying to tell us something about ourselves? Also, maybe not.

 

What other TV shows do you think are worth the effort? Leave them in the comments!


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About the Author ()

Lizzy Acker’s work has been published in Nano Fiction, Fanzine, Joyland, Eleven Eleven and elsewhere. She has read with Bang Out, RADAR, Quiet Lightening and others. Her first book, Monster Party, was released in December of 2010 by Small Desk Press.

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