Charmless Television: Disliking Everything

[Blogged by Jeremy Grayson]

[A Very Special Day]

I don’t enjoy reducing my life to simple declarations. Many people I know have a motto, a line by which they live their life – but I’ve never been content with compressing the essence of my goals/views/emotions down to a single statement. (This may explain why I constantly find myself changing my signature over on the forums.) A large part of this can be attributed to my ever-increasing need to remain fresh and new: If I’m going to retain my position as the most talented writer on the Internet, I need to constantly keep my thoughts interesting and my critiques unpredictable.

However, there is one thought of mine that – so long as I remain a part of this earth – shall never change:

Purim is awesome.

That’s how it’s always been. That’s how it’ll always be. No matter how old I get or how crotchety I’ll feel, there’s no way my love for Purim can ever be sullied. It is the epitome of creation. It is the pinnacle of existence. It is –

Oh, wait. I think I’m getting ahead of myself.

For those of you unfamiliar with the awesomeness I’m gushing over, allow me to fill you in: Purim is a Jewish holiday that occurs every spring, usually in the month of March. It’s compared in many circles to Hanukkah, a holiday which tends to get a lot more recognition in the non-religious world. I attribute this to the fact that Hanukkah lasts eight days instead of one, and it typically occurs during Christmas season, which means it gets more promotional glory. But Purim deserves more attention than it gets – it’s essentially the underdog of the Jewish calendar.

Whenever I try describing Purim to my non-Jewish friends, their reaction is, “Huh, that sounds a lot like Halloween.” But this is an unfortunate misconception. Sure, Purim involves kids dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door asking people for candy, but it also involves a family gathering complete with a festive meal, and an overall air of good cheer that encourages us to give to the poor. In brief, Purim is like all the best aspects of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, all rolled into one and topped with a bit of Independence Day. (Some people set off firecrackers.) And most importantly, it’s a day that encourages people to engage in light, harmless fun.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Jeremy, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard, but what the heck does it have to do with the four hundred thumbs-downs at the top of the page?” Well, you see, in addition to being the greatest day of the year, this also happens to be the anniversary of the day I wrote a well-established article about HBO’s The Wire – an article which, as of this posting, remains the most-viewed piece of writing I have ever written for the Internet. Given the rather innately humorous nature of Purim, part of me felt the need to commemorate this anniversary in a light-hearted and playful manner. But how?

Well, as you may recall, my two-year-old article in question was pun-fully titled “Charmless City: Disliking The Wire”. (Get it? Of course you do, assuming you don’t have the limited intelligence and sense of humor of a Reddit commenter.) Given my love of puns, and the desire to be extra-playful on this happy Purim day, I found myself wondering: What if?

What if the negative article I was writing was not for The Wire, but for some other show? I mean, imagine I was writing a negative review of The West Wing. I wouldn’t, obviously, but picture a parallel universe featuring a Jeremy who would. What would the title be? After a moment’s thought, I had the answer: “Un-President-ed Failure: Disliking The West Wing.”

The more I thought, the more parallel-universe examples I thought of. Eventually, I decided that I had to commit them to writing. What follows, then, is a partial list of the examples I conjured up. So the next time you find yourself wondering, “If Jeremy was to write a negative review of Show X, what would the title be?” – well, you know where to find the answer.

Here, in no particular order…

“A Great Big Meth: Disliking Breaking Bad”

“Hamm and Cheese: Disliking Mad Men”

“Bada-B(or)ing: Disliking The Sopranos”

“Swearengen Trouble: Disliking Deadwood”

“A Wrong of Ice and Fire: Disliking Game of Thrones”

“Where No Man Should Go Again: Disliking Star Trek: The Original Series”

“All Bad Things: Disliking Star Trek: The Next Generation”

“Sisko? Oh, No! Disliking Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”

“Janeway? No Way! Disliking Star Trek: Voyager”

“You Want Another Trek Pun? Disliking Star Trek: Enterprise”

“Dr. McDreary: Disliking Grey’s Anatomy”

“Boo-urns! Boo-urns! Disliking The Simpsons”

“No-Brainer: Disliking The Walking Dead”

“Once More, with Failing: Disliking Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

“Please Fade Away: Disliking Angel”

“Definitely Out of Gas: Disliking Firefly”

“A Show About Something: Disliking Seinfeld”

“I Won’t Be There For You: Disliking Friends”

“Where Everybody Knows Your Shame: Disliking Cheers”

“Insert Bill Cosby Joke: Disliking The Cosby Show”

“What an Appropriate Title: Disliking Lost”

“What the Frak? Disliking Battlestar Galactica”

“What the Frell? Disliking Farscape”

“Life’s Short, Talk Less: Disliking Gilmore Girls”

“The Bad Wife: Disliking The Good Wife”

“A Different Kind of Flop: Disliking The Shield”

“Where’s the Wizard? Disliking Oz”

“Better Off Dead: Disliking Better Off Ted”

“Everyone’s Hating: Disliking Six Feet Under”

“Can Lose: Disliking Friday Night Lights”

“Bores and Snores: Disliking Freaks and Geeks”

“Piz Off: Disliking Veronica Mars”

“A Nutty-Nut Show Who’s Nuts: Disliking Sports Night”

“Studio 60 is a Bad TV Show: Disliking Studio 60”

“Hate is All Around: Disliking The Mary Tyler Moore Show”

“Let’s Be Awful Out There: Disliking Hill Street Blues”

“Thanks, Tommy: Disliking St. Elsewhere”

“That’s Not What She Said: Disliking The Office”

“A True Lemon: Disliking 30 Rock”

“Knope, Not Buying It: Disliking Parks and Recreation”

“Intro to Televised Mediocrity: Disliking Community”

“They’ve Made a Terrible Mistake: Disliking Arrested Development”

“You Don’t Set the Tone: Disliking ER”

“The Bad Show Paradigm: Disliking The Big Bang Theory”

“Fight the Bauer: Disliking 24”

“The Tripe Is Out There: Disliking The X-Files”

“Simone and Groan: Disliking NYPD Blue”

“Boring is the New Hack: Disliking Orange is the New Black”

“Wigging Out: Disliking Alias”

“Still Wigging Out: Disliking The Americans”

“The Gum You Hate: Disliking Twin Peaks”

And there you have it. I apologize if I didn’t include an example for your favorite show, but – actually, come to think of it, I don’t apologize. You should actually be glad that I spared your favorite show.

This marks my first Blog post in the last three months. I’m sure you’ll all agree that, given the incredible depth, breadth, and profound intelligence of the article in question, it was most definitely worth the wait.

Jeremy Grayson is a writer for Critically Touched. In his spare time, he enjoys thinking about what he’d like to do if he ever had any spare time.


20 thoughts on “Charmless Television: Disliking Everything”

  1. [Note: Other Scott posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    I don’t get the LOST one and it upsets me.

    Also, I hope the studio 60 one isn’t an inside joke, just a straightforward comment.


  2. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    The Studio 60 example is indeed a straightforward comment. Though technically, it works as an inside joke, too. That’s what I call “multi-faceted humor.”


  3. [Note: Other Scott posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    That original Wire articles brings back so many good memories.

    First off, in its current form (which was not the original form), it is one of the best things written on this site, which I think gets underplayed in the whole scrum of what happened afterwards. Secondly, to go selfish for a second, my rebuttal is one of the best things I’ve written for this site, though I was tremendously unfair to The West Wing in it, though my criticism does apply to The Newsroom.

    Secondly, the reddit thread was something to behold. One my my continual favourite complaints “You don’t get to criticize the Wire unless you watch all five seasons!” Yeah.

    Also, a commenter named Franco showed up in the comments and gave that ridiculously overbearing snarky comment, and then turned out to be a pretty cool guy.

    And finally, the original Troll Jeremy Day was when Mike changed to his current Captain Picard avatar.

    Basically, I love the original article, I love the Bertrand article the next year, I love that Jeremy is on this site. So yeah, I love Troll Jeremy Day. And I had no idea it fell on Purim this year, so that’s really really cool.


  4. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    Thanks for the good words, Scott. I also love Troll Jeremy Day, except for the part where I get trolled.

    That rebuttal is indeed very well-written, even though it technically missed the point of my article. And yes, I’m very glad to see you came around to The West Wing.


  5. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    My favorite thing about this article is that it goes from Buffy to Angel to Firefly, but then breaks the chain by talking about Seinfeld. The obvious implication being that Dollhouse is beyond reproach.

    (Especially since the obvious title for such an article would be “Did I Fall Asleep? You Bet I Did: Disliking Dollhouse.”)


  6. [Note: Other Scott posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    The comment wasn’t really intended to hit on the point of the article. My point was I see the point of the article and it matters less to me because the stuff that does matter to me about The Wire was the stuff I put in my comment. I wasn’t arguing against you, I was arguing beside you in an opposite direction.


  7. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on March 24, 2016.]

    Oh, I got the idea behind what you were saying. It’s just that you comment opened the argument with this line:

    – QUOTE –

    You see, I used to think The Wire was overrated, for all those reasons listed above. I never thought it was a bad show, or even a show that wasn’t for me. It just wasn’t as good as people say it was.

    This just threw me completely off your argument, because you were generating it from a basic thesis that was the exact opposite of mine. Because I wasn’t saying that the show wasn’t “as good as people said”, I was just saying it wasn’t a show for me.

    The fact that you were apparently viewing the reasoning behind my article in a way that was in direct contrast to the one I was actually making – well, it threw me for a loop, even if the body of your comment wasn’t actually related to my article.

    But hey, no big deal. Glad you enjoy the articles.


  8. [Note: Pathbeyondthedark posted this comment on March 27, 2016.]

    “Carry Off Your Putrid Son: Disliking Supernatural

    “The Comic is Better: Disliking Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

    Am I right? 😉


  9. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on March 27, 2016.]

    That Supernatural one is good, yo. Honestly, I hope this comment thread devolves into puns.

    Should finish off the Critically Touched pantheon:

    “I Am The Bored, My God: Disliking Dekalog
    “Nichol and Dimed: Disliking The Inside

    You could knock out a lot of cop shows with a well-placed N.W.A. joke, but I’ll respect your abstinence from profanity. ;0)


  10. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on March 27, 2016.]

    That Supernatural one is good, yo.

    The Batman v Superman one is not, yo.

    Honestly, there are probably hundreds of good examples for this list I didn’t think of. Use your imagination. Go wild.


  11. [Note: Boscalyn posted this comment on March 27, 2016.]

    I’m partial towards “Gall in the Family” myself, although I could see a good case for “Not-So-Funhouse” or “Tritecaps” if you want to get more to the point. “Barren Pining” is probably too literate. “Kennedy and Hideous” is just bad sounding.

    But we all know the best possible name for such an article is “Dismayed in America.”


  12. [Note: buffyholic posted this comment on March 28, 2016.]

    We didn´t Used to be Friends: Disliking Veronica Mars.

    Whenever I´m having a bad day, I´m coming here.


  13. [Note: Jay posted this comment on March 28, 2016.]

    I was delighted to find Twin Peaks on the list. The “gum” line, I don’t know if it would’ve occurred to me, but given that both Frost and Lynch themselves tweeted in sync using it when they announced the continuation seems to make it fit. Otherwise, I might’ve suggested “The Scowls ARE What They Seem: Disliking Twin Peaks


  14. [Note: Jeremy G. posted this comment on March 28, 2016.]

    In retrospect, I could probably also have used “Invitation to Hate: Disliking Twin Peaks.”

    Though I confess that by the time I got to the Twin Peaks example, I was beginning to run low on ammo.


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