We all have a list. You know the one. It’s your list of TV shows friends or family have recommended with every ounce of their being. More than likely, this is a very long list. And now, during a global pandemic when many of us are self-quarantined, one would think it’s the perfect time to start crossing shows off that list. I’ve been doing that, but...I’ve also been cheating.
Here’s where I take a quick detour to say I’m grateful for my colleagues. If in some weird, hypothetical scenario, I was the only writer on io9, this place would be very, very boring. Case in point? What I’m about to reveal with this article. It’s not pretty, you need to be aware, and thank god for Jill, James, Cheryl, Beth, Charles, Julie, and Autumn.
You see, I’ve been cheating because I’ve been purposefully skipping shows that I know for a fact are great (because my colleagues say so) simply because I’m too lazy. So, below, we have 10 shows/franchises that I know are amazing without even watching them. That’s not in dispute. But for some reason or another, whether they’re too long or too dense or another bad reason, I just can’t get myself to start them.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
I’ve seen the M. Night Shyamalan movie. That’s a good representation, right? No, of course, it isn’t. I know because I’ve heard people say this animated show, and its sequel series The Legend of Korra, are some of the best TV series ever. Not just animated. Television, period. And it’s not even that long of a series with about 60 episodes for Avatar. But still, I just haven’t mustered up the desire.
DC Shows: All of them
The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning, now Batwoman, Stargirl and more (plus let’s not forget the DC Universe shows too). These DC shows have legions of enthusiastic fans, many of whom work on this very website. The shows just feel like, if you weren’t locked in from the beginning, it would be a herculean task to catch up on. (Note: this isn’t DC bias. I never really got into any of the previous Marvel shows either.)
Here’s one I actually tried. When Jodie Whittaker took over as the Doctor a few years back, I decided it was my time. I was getting into the TARDIS, the sonic screwdriver, all of it. But my lack of overall knowledge and maybe a slight unfamiliarity with the show’s tone made it hard to stick with it. About halfway through the season, I dropped off. I know! Everyone loves it, especially recent seasons—but it just feels like a club I’m not a part of.
A few years back, I was at San Diego Comic-Con and a gentleman came up to me to thank me. He saw my io9 badge and wanted to say how much he, a producer of The Expanse, appreciated all the nice things the site wrote about the show. I told him we wouldn’t have said those things if the show wasn’t good, so we should be thanking him—but also, I was not the one writing those things. In fact, I had not seen the show...and even that awkward, yet flattering, encounter still hasn’t gotten me to watch what I’m sure is an excellent show.
Rick and Morty
Of all the shows on this list, Rick and Morty is the one I would probably get into first. The episodes are short, there aren’t many seasons, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a single negative thing about it. In fact, everything I have read about the show—smart humor, high pop culture IQ—makes me think I’d love it. And yet, it’s got this passionate, young fan base that makes me feel like an old poser for watching it after the fact.
I remember seeing the original Stargate movie in theaters. I thought, “Holy crap, that idea has so much potential and this movie completely squandered it.” I even remember thinking, a few years later, “Oh, a TV show is a good idea.” Fast-forward 20 years and multiple different shows later, I figure it’s probably cool, but I’ll never get around to it.
“Ouch!” “Eek!” “Stop!” Those are the sounds of me defending myself from the attacks I’m sure to get from not just my colleagues, but lots of you too. (And it’s only going to get worse.) The fact is, I grew up a Star Wars fan. That doesn’t preclude me from enjoying Star Trek of course—I like all the movies I’ve seen quite a bit—but having not grown up with the series, multiple seasons of multiples shows from multiple eras and multiple casts...I don’t know. To dive in, it feels like it should be either all or nothing and, for now, I’ll go with nothing.
For this one I’m sorry! Truly! Much like The Expanse, io9 has been a vocal champion of this animated show and I’ve enjoyed seeing the passion everyone brings to it. I have no doubt that it’s absolutely incredible. But even all that intense adoration somehow still hasn’t made me curious enough to press play on season one, episode one. Could that change? Yes. Do I see it happening soon? No.
By this point, I am sure you are ready to throw your phone or computer at a wall. “Is he really going to talk shit about Twin Motherfuckin Peaks now?” No. I am not. I love a good mystery. I love weird characters, settings, and coffee just as much as the next person. But everyone who loves Twin Peaks is so divisive about it all. Which episodes they love, which they hate, if they like the movie, if they hate the movie, if it should have come back or not, etc. Forming my opinion on all of that on top of digesting an already super-dense show just seems exhausting.
Growing up as a sci-fi fan in the ‘90s, I truly don’t have a good reason why I never got into The X-Files. Maybe it was airing opposite something else? Maybe I was a tiny bit too young for it and revisiting shows at that time was very difficult/expensive? I really don’t know. Either way, I totally missed it and knowing how much everyone hates every time it comes back now, I figure it’ a good one to just forget about.
In conclusion, those shows don’t suck. I suck for not watching them. But hey, I’m sure you understand and have a few shows you feel the same way about. Or, at least I hope so. Otherwise, these comments aren’t going to be pretty...
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