2014 in Review: TV Resolutions for 2015
Ah, the New Year: a time for us to take stock, reflect on all the things we don’t like about ourselves, and set goals that we will inevitably discard in less than a month. In general, we register 2014 as a successful year for our television viewing, but even we can do better. Here are some of our TV resolutions for 2015; hold us to them.
I resolve to watch a great show I’ve missed along the way.
Breaking Bad, The Wire, Parks & Recreation, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black. What do these all have in common? I haven’t seen a single minute of a single one of them. I know they’re great. I’ve been told they’re great by very smart people (Kirsten Leigh among them). But oftentimes, my TV dance card is full. This year, though, I resolve to watch at least one of them all the way through.
I resolve to give up on at least one show I don’t actually like.
I’ve watched every episode of Hawaii Five-0. Yes, I know it’s terrible and I know I just said I have too much on my plate to watch awesome shows like House of Cards. But H50 just shows up on my DVR every week without my effort. And once I’ve gone through everything else, during weeks when there’s nothing else on (Hi, January), I’ll blow through three or four episodes while I’m doing other work. It’s mindless, I don’t have to pay attention, and the scenery is pretty. Yeah, I know, I’ll get around to deleting the series recording… I swear…
I resolve to not hold AMC’s decisions against Mad Men.
I have spent the past year mildly bitter about AMC’s decision to break Mad Men’s last season into two parts so that it wouldn’t have to compete with Breaking Bad at awards time (and you know, scheduling…). It’s time I got over it. I resolve to not think about that anymore – just as soon as the show comes back already.
I resolve to remember the names of at least eight characters on Game of Thrones.
I’ve watched every episode. I should know some of their names. Tywin, Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, Sansa, Arya, Peter, Paul, Mary… see, I feel like I’m already falling off the rails. [Ed. note: Fittingly, I had to change the spelling on no less than three of these. -KL]
I resolve to stop wishing David Tennant would come back on Doctor Who.
Or at least forgive him for the travesty that was Gracepoint. The man is human and fallible. And he has kids to send to college.
I resolve to seek out more diversity on my television screen.
Because networks and casting directors are more actively embracing color-blind casting, there’s a lot of incidental diversity on my television screen, but not as much that speaks to a different cultural experience (either within the United States or outside it). I want to make an active effort to add well-received shows with a wider range of ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural perspectives, such as ABC’s black-ish, Starz’s Power, SundanceTV’s Rectify, and FOX’s upcoming Empire to my slate. After all, there’s a lot more out there than the bland upper-middle classness of sitcom suburbia.
I resolve to give late-night television one more chance.
About two years ago, I fell out of love with late night. My favorite Saturday Night Live performers – some of the best since the “Not Ready For Primetime Players” – all departed in what seemed to be one mass exodus, and the talk show circuit simply felt stale and done. But in the fall, I recommitted to watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report on a regular basis, and if there’s anyone who can bring me back to the late-night fold, it’s Colbert when he takes over The Late Show later this year. Kristin Marie wrote about her affection for Jimmy Fallon, and even my cynical self has to admit that any show that delivers Harry Potter singing “Alphabet Aerobics” is okay by me. So, late night, you get another shot – don’t muck it up.
I resolve to watch fewer cooking competition shows.
My name is Kirsten Leigh and I am an addict. Chopped, Top Chef, Top Chef: Duels, Hell’s Kitchen, The Next Food Network Star, Masterchef, Masterchef: Junior, Cutthroat Kitchen… the list goes on and I’m sure I’ve missed a few. My Gordon Ramsey intake is well above FDA recommended levels. In 2015, I resolve to spend less time watching people on TV fumble with their KitchenAids and spend more time fumbling with mine.
I resolve to stop letting my opinions on showrunners overly influence my appreciation of shows, for better or worse.
I don’t actually like How to Get Away with Murder, but I do like Shonda Rhimes, and although she’s only a executive producer and not the showrunner I still watch out of some misplaced sense of loyalty to her products. Aaron Sorkin has proven himself somewhat of an insufferable ass lately, but that should not retroactively diminish my long-standing appreciation of The West Wing and Sports Night. And I need to stop calling Steven Moffat a troll every time I don’t like something about Sherlock or Doctor Who, and just accept that (shockingly) not all television is tailored specifically to me.
I resolve to watch Breaking Bad.
Why is this hard for me to do? Why is it so hard? It makes NO SENSE.