Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed Of Your Taste In TV Shows



Hi, my name is Sara, and I’m a TV addict. Here is a brief sampling of the shows that I enjoy: Pretty Little LiarsSupernatural, the entire Real Housewives franchise, Teen Wolf, Blue Mountain State (RIP), True DetectiveHow I Met Your Mother (EXTRA RIP), GracelandThe Bachelor/BacheloretteHouse of CardsThe Mindy Project, and Game of Thrones

Despite what my taste in TV shows might make you believe, I am not some funky hybrid between a preteen boy with a taste for ‘that’s what she said’ jokes, borderline uncomfortable-to-talk-about occult fiction, and laugh tracks, and a boy-crazy teenage girl who doodles “Mrs. Insert-Name-Here” in her hot pink notebook and plans her edgy-yet-still-on-trend school ensembles out a week in advance. No, sir, I am a LADY, one who is frequently mocked for the shows she chooses to indulge in.

I concede that as a college-educated woman in the workforce and overall real world, maybe I shouldn’t be watching half the shows that I watch. Like, when I’m on a date and the guy asks me what I like to watch, I can’t rightly say, “Well, I’m really into a TV show where boys my age play high school juniors and rip off their shirts at varying and sometimes unnecessary moments,” because I don’t think there would be a second date. Unless he’s into shows like that too, in which case, I don’t think I could see that relationship lasting too long, if ya know what I mean.

i just can't kim rhobh


But this isn’t about me. I want to know where the whole idea of TV-shaming started in the first place. Sure, it’s not as prevalent a concept as fat-shaming or slut-shaming (both of which, btw, are HUGE no-nos in my book), but it still exists and it’s irritating. Since when should we be embarrassed about the things we do to relax, or the things we immerse ourselves in when everything around us gets to be just a little too much?

For me, at least, TV (and books) always serve as a kind of escape from reality. Something that takes me somewhere else for a little while, to a place where the things that were bothering me don’t exist. The brief respite from my real-world stress is what allows me to successfully cope with everyday life. It sounds silly, but my – ahem – diverse taste in shows helps me to be a better person.

I mean, the shows we grew up with and were forced to grow out of had an impact on us in the long run for better or worse, didn’t they? We shouldn’t be ashamed of the things that we connect with for one reason or another, even if they might be considered a little out of our age range. If we were, then such cultural phenomena as Harry Potter wouldn’t have the legions of loyal followers it has today, thus unleashing thousands upon thousands more unhappy people onto this planet. So, in effect, if you shame me for watching reality TV, you’re contributing to the world’s sadness.

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Let me put it this way: you wouldn’t want someone to judge you for your good-luck charms, your pre-test or pre-game rituals, or the closely held traditions you share with friends and family, would you? I thought not. So kindly shut your face hole and leave me to marathon America’s Next Top Model reruns in peace.

You can reach this post's author, Sara Steinfeld, on twitter.
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    • Elizabeth Aspen

      Haven’t owned a tv since 2001. Last thing I watched was the ‘Third Rock From The Sun’ finale, because without that on the air, nothing on tv matters. Doesn’t sound like I missed much in the past 13 years.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        You’d be surprised! There are some pretty good shows out there buried in all the sillier ones, some just take more patience than others!

    • Nbl

      Yay, another Supernatural fan! I too have a varied taste in television. Usually my tv is on the History channel but as we speak (type) I am watching Spongebob Squarepants. I used to feel ashamed by some of my television choices but I’ve come to the conclusion that if something makes me happy, I’m not going to let others make me feel ashamed. For the longest time I never told my friends about my Star Wars obsession or the fact that I would weep every year I didn’t get to go to Comic Con. Now they just accept it as one more aspect of Natalie to love. I think as you get older, you realize that if someone judges you based on what you watch, you don’t need those assbutts in your life. Now, do tell me where this Americas Next Top Model marathon is, I love me some crazy Tyra!

      • Holly

        I was way into X-files and comic books and all sorts of other nerdy things in high school but I rarely let it be known because none of my friends were into it and I felt ashamed by it. Now I’m perfectly fine telling people that I have more action figures than my son and that my husband and I have watched every single episode of Degrassi even though we’re in our early 30′s. Life is too short to be other people.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        I’m actually pretty impressed that you’ve watched every single episode of Degrassi…

      • Sara Steinfeld

        Oxygen runs America’s Next Top Model reruns like it’s all they have (and it kinda is all they have)! Also YES SUPERNATURAL except I’m so behind…

    • rockmonster

      You’ll watch your shows, I’ll watch my anime, Portlandia, and @midnight, and the guy down the street might be watching Ginger Snaps on Chiller.
      The only TV that should have an exclusive audience is the porn PPV and premiums.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        Agreed. Also I’ve heard really good things about Portlandia, so do you.

    • Mockingjay

      I will admit that if someone told me they watched absolutely terrible shows, especially multiple ones I might momentarily cringe inside. But I would move on and forget about it. I doubt people really care or judge.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        Seems like a perfectly valid reaction to me!

    • Britt

      Made in Chelsea is my ultimate reality tv binge watch. I can’t help it, they’re posh British people who only have to deal with relationship dramas.

      • Sara Steinfeld

        Oooh, sounds like something I would thoroughly enjoy…

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