In the past year or so I've become a lot more active on Twitter. In that time I've met some fantastic TV friends - people that write about Twitter on pop culture websites, have blogs, just love TV, etc. They are all lovely people and they are passionate about their TV. But here's the more important thing, every last one of these new friends are almost always responsible with their TV passion. They are smart, understand how the industry works, and they don't hate on people for not having the same opinions as them. It's lovely. BUT, while this group has been the upside to Twitter, I've also encountered a downside. The haters. The people who endlessly complain about the show they hate and yet continue to watch for some unexplained reason. The people who take precious moments out their day to write vile comments on articles, especially involving "shippers" of certain shows. It is awful to see, and makes me long for the days when we were all allowed to just enjoy our TV without worrying we may bring on the wrath of the haters. So I've decided to come up with five simple rules for watching TV and then choosing to interact with others on the interwebs. Take it or leave it. But I prefer you take it.
Rule 1: Don't Judge a Show by It's Pilot
Listen, all shows are winners right out of the gate. If you think a show may have potential, don't just dump it after one viewing. If you go back and check out your favorite shows, I'll bet you'll find those pilot episodes aren't as good as you remember. They can't all be the first two hours of LOST. Feel free to hate the show after 3 unfortunate eps. Unless the first one is really bad... then chances are it's a goner. Or it's Outsourced and will inexplicably last all season.
Rule 2: One bad storyline does not ruin the whole series
Writers are not magicians - they can't just endlessly roll out perfect storylines. Just because a show falters, does not mean the show is ruined. They can't all be winners. Because you don't like where one storyline is going - or even worse, where you assume it is going - that doesn't mean you have to stop watching the show or spend endless hours complaining about it. Just keep watching and see if it evens out. Or if you don't think it will, please check out my next rule....
Rule 3: If you don't like it, for goodness sake, don't watch it!
This is the worst. I can't tell you how many posts I've read in the last month alone about how people are watching some show they hate and spending their time complaining about how the show is awful and a waste of their time. The show isn't wasting your time, you are by watching it!!! If a show has gone so far off the rails you don't want to deal with it anymore, don't watch! If you think a show is dumb, don't watch! If you hate the person on the show, don't watch! Really, it is not a difficult concept. And if you are suffering from a severe case of FOMO, don't worry, because every single show out there is inevitable being live-tweeted by someone. Plus every show has a recap almost immediately available on at least 5 different websites. I promise, you'll still be in the know if you want to be. And this particular rule does not just apply to scripted series. Please use it for reality shows, singing competitions, talk shows, whatever.... TV is supposed to be fun!!! Don't hurt yourself. Or us by complaining about it.
Rule 4: The TV blogger is not your enemy
Why do people think that every blogger/writer needs to have the exact same opinion as them? And why do people always read non-biased articles as if they are biased? (For example, with Vampire Diaries articles: All Stelena fans think every article is biased in favor of Delena, and all Delena fans think every article is biased in favor of Stelena. Why??) And frankly, even if an article is completely biased, it shouldn't really matter, should it? So what if the writer is hard-core shipping the couple you hate. He/She does not write the show. And, now stick with me here because I know what I'm about to say is pretty insane, but the writer is entitled to their own opinion!! I KNOW! Crazy, right? Take a breath, think about what you want to say and try to phrase it in a way that doesn't sound vaguely like a death threat, mmmkay? Remember Thumper's mom....
Rule 5: Enjoy it
This may seem simple, but it's sort of where all of my annoyance is coming from. If you don't like watching TV anymore, maybe it is time to stop. You are ruining it for the rest of us.
All this being said, this doesn't mean I don't enjoy the snark and sarcasm. It is my first language, after all. But I also don't believe that snark and sarcasm equals hate and vitriol. And if you MUST be nasty in your TV viewing and commenting, be warned. We will mock you openly. Not just for your attitude and incomprehensible comments. We will also mock you for what is inevitably horrendous grammar.