Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A List of Things I Haven't Actually Watched (And Should Have)

I feel like I haven't been totally honest with you, dear readers. Oh sure, I sometimes overshare, and I've been very clear about what I like and don't like. Sometimes probably a little too clear. But I don't always fess up about the gaps in my pop culture knowledge. And that ends now.

So. Here is a list of things that I probably should have watched or read by now, but haven’t. Either because I just didn’t get around to it, or because I don’t have four weeks of my life to spare, or I just don’t want to even though I know it’ll be good for me.

Also a stipulation? People ask me about the stuff on this list all the freaking time, and I avoid the topic like it’s a flesh eating virus.

1. Battlestar Galactica

Yeah, I know, I suck.

This one probably hurts the most, because I really do want to love BSG. I’ve seen the first few episodes, and I watched most of Caprica, but there hasn’t come a time in the past couple of years when I actually had the time and emotional capacity to get through the whole series. Tragically, because I pretty much live on the internet I know most of what happens over the course of the show, and now have to figure out how to unspoil myself and watch it in peace.

2. Transformers

I spend a lot of time crapping on this movie series and the cartoon, and really everything involved, and I do have to confess that aside from occasional confusing episodes of the original show, I haven’t actually seen it. By choice. Because I really don’t want to.

I like giant robots just fine, as evidenced by my slavering love for Pacific Rim and Neon Genesis Evangelion, but for some reason I have never been able to generate even the smallest spark of interest in Transformers. I mean, I get it. They’re giant robots fighting a space war that turn into cool cars. I just don’t care.

Like, at all.

Oh, and to that guy who I went on one date with and then subsequently never ever called again? Please put away the life-size statues of Optimus Prime before you invite a girl into your apartment next time. It’s weird, and you should probably make sure she actually likes Transformers first.

3. Most gritty hard-hitting dramas on HBO, AMC, or FX

It’s not that I don’t like them, as I very much do, it’s that I don’t have the time or inclination to sit down and actually watch them. There are rarely enough aliens for my tastes, and sitting through thirteen hours of character development every season, though invariably well written and beautifully shot, bores the hell out of me.

The Sopranos? It looks good, but I only got four episodes in. The Wire? I’m sure I’ll watch it someday. Mad Men? Kind of makes me want to fall asleep. Sons of Anarchy? Well, this one I love but it got so darn depressing in the later seasons that I stopped watching out of fear for my feelings. Breaking Bad? I just never really got around to it.

The Killing, Damages, Rescue Me, The Shield, Justified, all really great shows that I have watched barely or not at all. Because if it doesn’t have unicorns, aliens, or time travel, I’m kind of hard to get invested.

4. Pretty much anything by Stephen King

They’re soooooo loooooong. I did read IT once. But that’s all.

5. Xena: Warrior Princess

So this one sounds worse than it is. When Xena was actually on the air, I was a little kid. Specifically, I was a little kid growing up in a family that used its television as weirdly shaped credenza and maybe turned it on once every four years to watch some very snowy Olympics. Oh, and we had a couple VHS tapes we could pop in. But nothing even close to cable (or network – we live in the kind of place that only gets PBS). So Xena didn’t really exist to me.

When I got older and discovered that the nextdoor neighbors had cable and I had a spare key to their house, I started seeing some reruns of Xena episodes. But they ran without a whole lot of schedule, so I saw them really randomly. And then, like all of these, I grew up and suddenly had way less time to sit around catching up on pop culture.

Contrary to most of the others, though, this is one I plan on rectifying. Eventually.

6. The Sixth Sense, Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, most other critically acclaimed movies released between 1985 and 2000

My parents didn't really believe in popular culture when I was growing up. So as a kid, I wasn't super aware of, well, anything. I mean, don't get me wrong, I loved those classic Looney Toons, and Rocky and Bullwinkle, Little Rascals, Three Stooges, etc. But anything produced after 1985? Forget about it.

It wasn't until I reached teenagerdom that I was able to start branching out on my own and discovering culture at large. And teenagers don't really sit down and watch critically acclaimed recent movies. I mean I suppose some do. But I didn't. I watched a bunch of John Waters movies and all of Buffy like seventeen times.

But yeah. These movies. I'm sure I'll see them someday, I just haven't yet.

I feel kind of bad about it too. I went to film school. Don't shun be me please.


So now you know my deep shameful secrets. Please don’t judge me too hard for them. Better yet, why don’t you leave your pop culture holes in the comments, so I can feel better about myself!

No seriously. Comment. I need to not be the only one who does this.


  1. Ha, ha, ha, I don't have time to list all my pop culture holes...it would take all day!

    1. Yeah, I just stuck to the most commonly mentioned ones. :P

  2. I have not watched any movie with anything remotely scary...as in - Little Mermaid, Bambi - nope, never seen the endings.

    I was once tricked into watching Requiem for a Dream and Hotel Rwanda at college. It had to be countered with lashings of Veggie Tales. How about anti-pop-culture? I can sing all Top Ten Silly Songs with Larry :)

    1. I may or may not hum "Song of the Cebu" when I'm nervous. Maybe.

      I'm not entirely sure I've ever seen Bambi. I might have, but I don't remember it. I do, however, remember being grossly terrified by Dumbo, Pinocchio, and The Brave Little Toaster. Blech.

  3. " Because if it doesn’t have unicorns, aliens, or time travel, I’m kind of hard to get invested."

    Oh gods this is me. If it doesn't have magic, vampires or lasers I don't care. I need the fantastic to keep me amused. People tell me about these awesome series with character development and drama and at the end of the description I ask "so... when do the werewolves arrive?"

    1. I did the exact same thing to my sister. She loaned me a favorite book of hers, a period romance, and I thought it was good, but weirdly disappointing. And then I realized that I was waiting for the aliens to show up.

    2. I get obsessed over everything but sci-fi owns my heart. I seriously wrote "hearts" and had to backspace.

      Almost every book, movie, and tv show can be made better with a paranormal element. But then I think society has realized this what with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, Pride & Prejudice and zombies, etc. It's like, "What can make this better? Hmm. It needs ghosts/vampires/zombies/werewolves/demons/angels/fairies."

      A few times I've been pleasantly surprised and put in a movie not knowing it was sci-fi. So when it gets to the sci-fi I'm just like, "Aww. Bless you."

  4. Try Mary Robinette Kowal for your period romances with a little wild magic thrown in.

    Also, I knew there was a reason I liked your parents so much. Me, I've just gotten into the third season of Star Trek: TNG. It'll be a while before I catch up.

    1. Mary Robinette Kowal. Duly noted. I also quite enjoy Tamora Pierce for that. She does good period/fantasy with realistic relationships and really cool stories.

      Did you start with Star Trek: TOS? Because original series is the best. They kind of go down in value according to when they were released. TOS > TNG > DS9 > Voyager > Mud puddles > Enterprise > Star Trek: Into Darkness. I'm still bitter about that one.

  5. I am one of the original fans that watched Hercules the Legendary Journeys and Xena Warrior Princess in their original airings. They were my introduction to sci-fi television.

    The Sixth Sense is definitely worth watching. It is the only M. Night movie that doesn't get mocked. And Haley Joel Osment is amazing in it. He deserved an Oscar. I loved that the story actually would've still worked even if it wasn't a ghost movie, if it had turned out that Cole wasn't a medium and actually had a psychological condition because they played it all so respectfully.

    Well, at least you've seen enough of the BSG/Caprica world to say frak.

    Mad Men is one of those shows that you can't be doing something else while watching it. You have to really watch and pay attention because otherwise you won't get absorbed and you'll forget it's even still playing. Same with Downton Abbey.