Lately it feels like all anyone does is talk about what television they’re watching, and increasingly your fandom of this show or that has become a sort of status symbol. So maybe there’s something to the idea that to like a particular TV show is to associate yourself with a certain class of people! Anyway, here follow the knee-jerk conclusions I’ll come to if you confess to slavish devotion to any of the following shows:
You are a Brooklyn-dwelling person who considers herself “with it.” Or else, a man over 50 who for some reason dominates the ratings demographic, possibly because your children steal your HBOGo subscription and masquerade as you.
You have a Twitter account with 300 followers, but the thing is, participating in the weekly #Scandal twitter blowout is the only way you can hope to grow your Twitter audience. So on you go, and one day someone with a job at BuzzFeed follows you, and you suddenly have a glimpse of the glamorous career path that commenting on pop culture is for the internet these days. That said, when called upon to explain the latest developments onscreen, you are at a loss. Something about Olivia’s mom, and red wine, you think.
You are a man. A man in a declining world. A man who is trying to find his place at age 45. Perhaps a tattoo will anchor you. Perhaps a fantasy life as a meth lord will. You are the one who knocks on the bathroom door, to see if there’s enough toilet paper.
Game of Thrones
You majored in cultural studies at Amherst and really you watch for the interesting treatment of sex and power in a primitive world, not at all the gratuitous nudity and violence — only Michael Bay fans would watch for such a thing. You are considering applying for a PhD and proposing as your dissertation topic “Anamnesis and Abjection in Game of Thrones.”
You have given up on any likelihood that the universe will make sense because your favorite goddamn show got canceled.
You don’t pay a lot of attention to television, really, but then you saw a talk by Joyce Carol Oates at the NYPL and she liked this show, years ago, so you figured you’d better get on it. You’re a loyal, traditional soul, and you doggedly insist this is “the best show on television” even though you cannot be bothered to watch any other shows on television.
The Good Wife
You are my parents.
American Horror Story: Coven
You will go to Paranormal Activity 20 if and when it is made and released. In truth you feel starved for horror in today’s culture, and so you don’t ask many questions when Jessica Lange’s unearthing of Kathy Bates ends up being kind of pointless. You have an addiction to divas and to what a certain deputy editor at Flavorwire would call the “gay fantasy football” aesthetic. In high school, you were a pagan for at least two weeks.
Orange Is the New Black
You write for The Nation, and you believe in economic and cultural justice for all, and this is a show about the vagaries of the American penal system, come on.
You were a big fan of “Dick in a Box” and haven’t gotten over that yet.
Listen, if a show gets its poster on a subway wall or the back of a bus, you believe that has to be because it has merit.
You thought you would be a spy, but then you took that freshman-year class in international relations theory and it turned out that shit is deadly boring and so divorced from reality — “realism” turns out to mean “action movie storylines are real when played out in international politics” — that you never engaged politics again. You consider yourself an “expert” on the “Soviet era” because you read a lot of Robert Ludlum novels.
Look, it’s British, and British stuff is always better because those Brits are smarter. Also: none of your friends have seen this, and it’s nice to be able to recommend things none of your friends have seen, because it signals that you have your ear to the pavement, as it were. Though that sounds painful and you would never actually literally put your ear on some pavement, you want to clarify.
You still think Hillary should be President.
Parks and Recreation
You are the kind of person who obsessively follows every little bit of production news on your favorite shows. This leads to freakouts over delayed episodes and any mild signal that the network might be being cruel to your absolute favorite show. You also wish that Megan Mullally would get out of the way so that you and Ron Swanson could consummate your love.
If you could choose to live anywhere, anywhere at all, it would be in a craftsman bungalow in Berkeley. You like reading design blogs and believe that there’s nothing more satisfying than pops of clashing color throughout your house. It makes it look lived-in, comfortable, you know?
You’re the kind of person who says, “I just no longer see any reason to leave Bushwick on weekends.” Which means that you spend all day in your loft watching reruns.
House of Cards
You are a former White House intern who has a real axe to grind about the BuzzFeedification of political reporting. That said, you are intensely jealous of the people still breaking those sex scandals. You also went out and bought Robin Wright’s entire running ensemble and yeah you never wore it, but it looks damned cool, okay?
Top of the Lake
In college you dreamed of living in shipping containers in a crone colony and thus most of this show was your misandrist dream come true. You have minor Internet fame as a Hairpin commenter.
You have, twice, proposed marriage to Mandy Patinkin, and he’s the only reason left to keep watching this holy mess.