I used to watch a lot of TV — pretty much the only normal thing I did as a kid, probably. Though I don’t always like to admit it, I still love watching shows in their various forms. I’m in the process of catching up on all the shows I’ve missed out on over the years … and for some reason, I have become much more aware of how annoying most people’s reactions to shows actually are as a result.
Some complaints are completely justified — I’m talking to you, Iron Fist. Some … well, from my perspective, just aren’t.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a writer who maybe sort of still secretly fantasizes about producing her own TV series (A GIRL CAN DREAM …. hi Shonda I love you), or I just have an exceptionally low tolerance for complainers. Or both. But every time I see a Facebook comment or BuzzFeed article complaining about a show, I’m forced to fight the temptation to throw something at my computer screen.
Which TV-related complains are the worst? Here are my picks.
“This show is so unrealistic.”
Maybe … because … it’s … a TV show? If you’re watching TV for the realism, you really don’t understand what TV is. Dramas are overdramatic. Comedies draw things out just a little too long. If you don’t expect reality TV to be realistic, don’t expect any other genre to accurately portray reality.
“That character annoys me.”
Good. They’re probably supposed to. If every character in a TV show were fully likable 100 percent of the time, you’d get bored. No character — or person for that matter — is ever perfect.
“OMG I can’t believe the season finale ended on a cliffhanger! HOW DARE THEY!”
Do you honestly expect anything different from a TV show at this point? Really, I’d love to know. Because you are NOT going to bother coming back to a show after a long hiatus if its writers don’t give you a good reason to.
“Why haven’t all my questions been answered yet?”
Why would a show answer all your questions unless it’s the final episode? Why so impatient? You’re watching a show for entertainment, yet you expect everything to be resolved in a few episodes? Delayed gratification is how TV shows keep you watching. Deal with it, or don’t bother watching!
“Why aren’t Character A and Character B a couple yet?”
Because writers don’t give you what you want — on purpose. Even if this “annoys” you, 80 percent of the time, you’re going to keep watching just to witness the moment when Roos and Rachel finally kiss for the first time … or whatever the equivalent is in whatever show you’re complaining about.
And my favorite, as a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy junkie …
“This show isn’t what it used to be.”
Well, of course it’s not. If you’re talking about a show that’s been running for four years or longer, you can bet it’s not the same show it was when it premiered. Times change, writers change — everything changes. If a show’s formula never shifts, people lose interest. Sorry, Pretty Little Liars.
I get that some of these complains aren’t voiced in total seriousness. I appreciate a good satirical rant (have you met my evil twin, Greg?). But I appreciate my love-to-critically-analyze television friends. Because they’re willing to see things from a behind-the-scenes perspective.
People complain about shows because they need something to complain about. If I don’t like a show, I write a very long, in-depth critical analysis of its flaws. Then I stop watching.
RIP Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
What do you hate most about your favorite TV shows? Do you look at shows differently than your non-writer friends? I’m very interested to know if I’m more of an outlier in this universe than I originally perceived.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.