Hi, my name is Sara, and I’m a TV addict. Here is a brief sampling of the shows that I enjoy: Pretty Little Liars, Supernatural, the entire Real Housewives franchise, Teen Wolf, Blue Mountain State (RIP), True Detective, How I Met Your Mother (EXTRA RIP), Graceland, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, House of Cards, The 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.
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.
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.