Help! I’m Being Held Hostage By A TV Show…

I find it hard not to equate my feelings toward television shows in terms of relationships. Game of Thrones? That’s my steady. New Girl? My BFF. How I Met Your Mother? In the now infamous words of Taylor Swift, we are never, ever, ever, getting back together. Under the Dome? This is where things get complicated. Because Under the Dome, and a host of other shows are straight up Misery-ing me. They are Kathy Bates and I’m the poor sod strapped to the bed, only they don’t want me to write a fancy novel, they just want me to keep watching…forever. This is what I call a television hostage situation.

How does this phenomenon happen, you say? Why can’t I just stop watching the offending show? Because there’s always that one little thing the writers slip in there to ensure I never leave. Let’s start with Under the Dome, a hot mess of a TV show that I watched every episode of this summer because of a ridiculous love story, a group of teens that reminded me of puppies and a need to know what was in that stupid egg. Also, Barbie. Look the show has a character named Barbie, who is a man who looks like Mike Vogel, giving me the perfect excuse to shout, “Come on Barbie, let’s go party!” at the screen every single time he appeared. When life offers up an opportunity like that, you’ve got to grab it with both hands and never let go.

But that also means I have to go along with the idea that a bunch of aliens or bored celestial beings were sitting around one day staring down at Earth when they decided that, when they had their pick of all the towns, in all the world to drop a big dome on and give the people within a chance to live while supposedly the rest of the world is screwed, they chose Chester’s Mill: Town of a Thousand Idiots. Seriously, these are the most malleable people on television. The whole season took place over the course of a week–maybe two–I don’t know anything for sure anymore, and in that short span of time they went from straight-up looting to peaceably handing over their guns before joining a fight club, which they followed up by suddenly deciding it was the END TIMES. Then they built gallows in roughly 15 minutes and decided to hang a man sans trial cause Big Jim said that’s what God wanted. Cause he’s got a direct line and all.

Am I going to draw the line and say enough is enough? Move on with my life without looking back at Big Jim, Exposition Joe and my beloved Angie? Uh no, because then how will I ever know if Barbie survives? Or if he and Julia get the chance to make-out in the rain again and not talk about her dead husband that Barbie killed? I can’t not know these things…and I don’t know why. BAM. TV hostage situation.

I wish I could say that Under the Dome was my only captor, but it’s just the latest in a long line of offenders. There’s The Walking Dead which consistently kills the only characters I’m remotely interested in before thrusting a new one at me, plus a horde of zombies for good measure because AMC knows that I can’t resist those stupid, wonderful zombie attack scenes even if it means putting up with The Governor’s over-the-top mustache twisting and endless days of talking on the farm. I don’t want to hear those people talk! They don’t even have consistent personalities or character motivations. They just stumble around surviving on dumb luck alone. Remember how last season they made such a big deal about surviving the winter? Guys, they’re in Georgia. I live in Georgia in a house without central heat because it’s Georgia and it barely gets cold here…put on a sweater, you wusses.

Still I watch. I’m pumped for season four right now because I keep telling myself this will be the year they work out how to stage awesome zombie attacks and tell actual stories about people I don’t gleefuly watch get eaten by zombies. (I’m not a terrible person, I swear I’m not, but how can I have strong feelings about T-Dog when I don’t even know what the the “T” stood for?)

Then there’s 2 Broke Girls, playing on the fact that I love shows about female friendships, so that the part of my brain where the logic lives ignores the truth that 2 Broke Girls is dreadful. I could be reading a book instead of listening to the lovely Kat Dennings crack another joke about how short Han is, or talking to a friend instead of forcing myself to look at Oleg ever again. But I can’t because somehow, someway I have become invested in 2 Broke Girls. No one is invested in this show because most people got out after the pilot. Not me though, I stayed, and now CBS has me in the basement thinking about pink stars falling and cupcake businesses. This wasn’t always my life. I had dreams. I was going to read a David Foster Wallace book.

Don’t let this happen to you, dear readers. If you ever find yourself loathing the key components of a show get out. Get out immediately because the phone call is coming from inside the house and once you meet your Barbie or Michonne or improbably perky cupcake bakers you have passed the point of no return and it could be years before you get your life back. Especially if it’s a CBS show. Those never end.

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