Steering Clear of the Bandwagon

It's no secret that I love all things pop culture related. I read blogs (all the blogs!), Entertainment Weekly (yes, the actual paper copy, my mother mails it to me from Texas) religiously, and pride myself on knowing the intricacies of celebs, movies, TV, etc.

Since getting Netflix, I've been so excited to catch up on lots of shows that I either missed out on entirely (Friday Night Lights, I'm sorry), and get up to speed on shows still on (Parks and Rec, Scandal, hello).

My likes and dislikes are pretty mainstream. While I haven't watched Mad Men or 30 Rock (save for occasional watching party), I usually like the big popular show that's taking over everyone's Facebook feed and Twitter account (hi there, Game of Thrones).

But in the past year, I've not only not gotten into two shows that are immensely popular, but actually really disliked them:

Breaking Bad: Oh, man, this show should have been catnip to me. Morally ambiguous characters, lots of Emmy wins, and twists and turns galore. I was so pumped to finally join the masses in loving/hating Walter White and learning so many ways to kill a person (an actual quote from my cousin, stay on her good side). But I just couldn't stomach it. Maybe it has to do with the state of my personal life when I first started watching it (ch-ch-changes), but I ended each episode reaaaallllyyy depressed. I didn't like or root for anyone on the show (pretty much a requirement for me in all entertainment) and felt a little sleazy for watching it (no judgement on people who do watch it--I can appreciate good story-telling regardless if the story itself is appealing to me). So part of the way through season two, I just couldn't go on, and I bumped it from my Netflix queue.

(As if to validate my decision, I turned on an episode from season 5 last night to find one of the actors from Friday Night Lights is now on Breaking Bad. No sooner had I thought "Landry! So good to see you!" when he shot a child point-blank. I said out loud "Oh my god." And then happily changed the channel. Perhaps I should watch a few happy FNL episodes to erase that memory  . . .)

Orange is the New Black: I got on the "Netflix original" programming on the ground floor with House of Cards. Loved every minute of it (of course, I was in the process of moving to DC, where the show is set, so there was some bias). So I was excited to check out Orange, especially since I've read part of the book the show is based on. Two and a half episodes in, it's not doing it for me. I get the whole "give it X number of episodes" but honestly, I really don't have any interest in resolution for any of the characters, and I'd rather finish out the remaining Arrested Development episodes I'm slogging through (this I feel I owe to the Bluths, but man, it's tough).

What wildly popular show could you not get on board with?


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