Ever pondered what makes popular TV shows so popular? I have, especially when one everyone seems to love leaves me scratching my head.
Every now and then I will watch in amazement when buzz begins about some new television program that seems to be taking the television audience by storm. And I’ll look at the writeups of the show or maybe even tune in to watch a sample, and think to myself, “I just don’t get the appeal.”
Sometimes, the shows that don’t do it for me are really well done, creative programs. But if they just don’t do it for me, it doesn’t really matter how well done or creative they happen to be: I’m just not going to watch.
So here are 10 shows I might have liked to get into, but just couldn’t make it happen.
It was a show about nothing. Well, that wasn’t a big selling point, and I wasn’t curious enough to watch based on that. I like some of Seinfeld’s comedy, but some of it feels like he’s trying too hard for a laugh. I’ve seen some very funny scenes from the show over the years, of course, but I still haven’t mustered any desire to go back and watch actual shows.
This one was super-popular, and honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to include it. But while I’ve seen funny bits from the show, I’ve never felt a desire to sit and watch.
This is exactly the kind of show I wanted to get into: action, suspense, mystery, with a taste of psychological thriller mixed in for good measure. The problem arose quickly: it felt like they were trying to drag things out from the get-go. On top of that, it took seasons, not episodes to even begin piecing together what went on. It seemed like year after year, I’d ask a diehard fan if the mystery was over, only to have them respond, essentially, “Not yet.”
4. The Sopranos
I’ve never been into Mafia movies or shows. I can’t really explain why that’s the case, but it is. So a show like this just wasn’t going to be one I was going to pay a great deal of attention to.
5. The Simpsons
I don’t mind the concept of a prime time cartoon. I still love The Flintstones and that was written at least as much for adults as for kids. But I never found anything all that entertaining about this particular one.
6. Breaking Bad
I never tried watching this show because its premise seemed so outrageous. If you’ve been living under a rock — because even I know what the show was about despite not watching — the program was about a high school teacher whose wife is pregnant, whose son battles cerebral palsy and who has just learned he has terminal cancer. So what does he do? He decides to manufacture meth to make growing ends meet. It sounds just odd enough for a premise to make it to a series, but it seems so far-fetched and ridiculous that it wasn’t enough for me to tune in.
Yes, I’m a big game show fan and yes, this is one of the most popular game shows of all time. But it’s also — in my opinion — one of the most boring shows I’ve ever seen. I know some of the answers (or I should say, questions) as I watch. But for some of them, I think, “Why would anyone know the answer to that?
Maybe it’s the main star. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s a line at which a dysfunctional family just stops being funny. I just never could get into this show. And TV Land’s obsessive behavior involving the show, running it for hours at a time, certainly doesn’t make it appealing. Like many of the other shows, there are funny moments. This scene, in which Roseanne’s sister has to call a relative to inform them their father has died, is still one of the funny moments I remember:
9. Twin Peaks
My introduction to this show came at a college party thrown by a dear friend and packed with people who were all apparently diehard fans. They laughed at every reference to black coffee and doughnuts and even had boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts being passed around. I was more confused by the time I left than I had been when I arrived.
I’m still waiting for someone to explain this scene:
10. Game of Thrones
In listening to people who identify as fans describing this show, the appeal seems to be a high level of brutality and gory violence. I think I’ll pass on that.
Yes, I’m sure some of these shows were favorites of yours and you consider them well worth your time. I completely respect that and I’m sorry we didn’t fully agree on their merit. But here’s your chance to fight back: