Personality and Sitcom Compatibility

(The look I get when people discover I don’t like Arrested Development)

Being a viewer of a particular television series is not an isolated event, even if you watch the show alone. Loyal viewership makes a statement – generally one could read repeated viewings as an endorsement of the show as a meaningful time investment. Even if you “hate watch” a show, something in the content of the stories warrant a commitment (I hate How to Get Away with Murder – I think the depiction of the legality on the show is just so so bad, the characters are all terrible people, and the displacement of reality is poorly done. I keep watching because somehow, deep down I need to know how it turns out, so it has to be compelling even if it is bad. Damn you Shonda!). Your television viewing habits reflect your personality and provoke conversations with fellow viewers.

I have noticed a trend over the years when discussing television preferences – people tend to recommend the same shows to me and act surprised when they find out I don’t like them. Archer, Arrested Development, and The Simpsons are my most common suggestions and shock-inducers. Yes, I’ve tried watching them. Something about the humor doesn’t click with me and I find them all to be totally grating. I like other shows that would seem to predict I would be a fan – I’m not a cartoon snob, I love Bob’s Burgers, I like awkward shows with repeated motifs like The Office and Parks and Recreation, but there’s something about these shows I just can’t put my finger on, and I can’t compel myself to watch more than once. I don’t doubt these are quality shows (well, real talk: I think Archer is garbage), but people get OFFENDED when they find out I’ve never watched more than three episodes of Arrested Development.

Does this ever happen to you? Are there any shows you think you should like, but something is missing?

Elyse Conklin

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