Our Television-Watching Habits Are Questionable

My husband didn’t woo me in the traditional way. There were no fancy restaurants, flowers and candy, or moonlit walks on the beach. He left out the poetry, the love notes, and he never stood outside my window and held a boombox over his head. However, the first time we ever hung out, just the two of us, he wormed his way into my heart by revealing something about himself that I could totally relate to.

He loves “bad” TV.

As long as I can remember, one of my favorite things to do is turn on the TV, find something random/bizarre/colorful, and just enjoy. Now, I use the term “bad” loosely, because these shows aren’t awful, they’re just not necessarily what other people our age spend their time watching. They’re not the “hip” shows, the ones that win all the awards, the ones that people talk about over the water coolers. They’re the kinds of shows that you can find any day of the week, at just about any time, on more than one channel.

Here’s my Current Top Five List of the Best “Bad” TV shows:

#5: Trauma: Life in the ER
If you’ve never heard of this Discovery: Health phenomenon, you basically follow around a group of ER doctors and nurses for an hour, encountering all the same patients they do–gunshots, car accident victims, crazy homeless guys on PCP. And believe me when I say that they don’t leave anything to the imagination. This show is NOT for the faint-of-heart. This is reality TV at its finest. There’s blood, there’s swearing, there’s drunk people, there’s drama, there’s Laytex gloves….what else do you need?



This was the very first “bad” TV hubby and I ever snuggled up with. Romantic, right? When we first started dating, Brian came by my dorm room to hang out. He found me watching this show. His first reaction was, “Gross! Is that somebody’s eyeball???”

Ten minutes later, we were snuggled on my couch, engrossed (and slightly nauseous) as we watched a trauma doctor extract a piece of glass from a woman’s eye.

There was cringing. Shouts of “EWWW!” and “UGGGH!” There may have been gagging. But we were hopelessly hooked. Be forewarned, if you watch the clip below, that there may be stuff in there that you don’t want to see. But if you’re into “bad” TV…watch it. I dare you.

#4: America’s Funniest Home Videos
There isn’t a single person in this country who hasn’t seen this show. Seriously, it’s an American icon. And it is mindless, engaging, comical entertainment. Who doesn’t laugh out loud when a dude gets whacked in the head with a wiffleball bat? Who doesn’t find a music montage of groin hits hilarious? And don’t tell me you don’t guffaw when the guy gets pommeled by the avalanche of snow.

This show replaced cartoons for me. It was a staple in our house growing up, back in the days when Bob Saget abandoned his true calling and tried to take his “Danny Tanner” persona to prime time. (I can only imagine how hard it was for him not to curse while narrating the video clips. Seriously. Have you ever heard his stand-up???)

And now that AFV is back with the adorable Tom Bergeron, it has once again taken its time-honored time-slot on Sunday evenings. Our Sundays with my parents go like this: coffee, Dad’s famous breakfast, movie, Food Network, 2 hour discussion about what we’re having for dinner, grocery list, grocery shopping, I cook dinner, we eat dinner, we watch AFV.

After all, nothing is more entertaining than cats being funny.

#3 Any and all Countdowns
This one’s a little more vague. Because it doesn’t matter to us if it’s a countdown to the most notorious president on the History Channel, or a countdown of the top 50 one-hit-wonders on VH1. Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if we start watching it on number 11. We’re going to watch it to the end. Seriously, don’t tease me. If “Whoomp, There It Is” is number 11, what can possibly be #1???

#2 The VH1 “I Heart The” Series
PLEASE tell me you’ve seen these. “I Heart the 70s,” “I Heart the 80s,” I Heart the 90’s,”Black to the Future”—-this is “bad” TV royalty, people!!! We’ve seen these specials a hundred times, and if we ever catch it on again, we watch it again. The music videos, the news coverage, the comedic commentary…these shows are classic.

If you ever wondered how Mo Rocca felt about the infamous Pee-Wee Herman arrest of 2002, this is the show for you. If you ever wanted to see the lead singer of Maroon Five sing all the lyrics to “Do the Humpty Hump,” this is the show for you. If you enjoy reminiscing about rubix cubes, Hall and Oates, and Quantum Leap, this show is for you.

Seriously, if you enjoy laughing out loud while facing memories from your childhood that you thought you’d forgotten, you will love these shows. I recommend the episodes from 1987, 1989, 1994, and 1997, respectively. Just watch this clip, and see what I mean. And if you want more, and it’s not on cable today, you can find a TON of clips on YouTube.

You’re welcome.

#1 COPS
You totally saw that coming, didn’t you?

There is NO TV in the history of TV that is more entertaining than Cops. For reals, yo.

And the best part is that you can find this show on at just about any time of the day. On just about any channel. We’ve watched it on Fox, NBC, G4, TruTV, FX, Spike….we’ve even caught in on CMT. It’s on in the morning, it’s on in the afternoon, it’s on at night. It’s on a 3 in the morning.

Admit it. Cops is endless fun. You’ve got dope dealers wearing “Don’t Tase Me Bro” tshirts mumbling “I’m innocent” around their mouthful of recently-swallowed marijuana. You’ve got crazy drunk old guys who resemble Grizzly Adams peeing on a police car because he’s just THAT DRUNK. You’ve got a bottle-blonde on the warpath because her boyfriend, who had been pulled over for speeding, said the joint in the ashtray was HERS not HIS. And no episode of Cops is complete without some criminal telling the arresting officers that he wasn’t the person they were looking for, despite being caught on FILM and chased for 3 blocks. It seems to me that, in order to be a criminal, you need to have a PhD in back-pedaling.

I will say that, if there’s a small window when Cops isn’t on, we will settle for one of the shows featuring high-speed chases in a pinch.

But when it comes to “bad” TV, Cops always takes the cake.

*EDIT* It took me two hours to write this post. Not because I was having a bad writing day,  but because I watched at 30 minutes worth of video clips on YouTube. Particularly of the VH1 “I ♥ The” series. I’m serious, if you’re bored today, you have to go check them out. Mindless entertainment is the key to a blogger’s success.

3 thoughts on “Our Television-Watching Habits Are Questionable

  1. Jenna

    I was with you all the way with the GISG ribbon and blue sequined leotard, but I’m afraid you lost me on this one.

  2. Kathie

    I love mindless TV, I have a whole list I watch every week and tape while I sleep so I can watch the next day while taping the next batch! Great post Abby! But out of your list I only watch the Discovery health Life in the ER, Cops and America’s Funniest Videos, never heard of I Love but I don’t watch VH 1 unless it has Dr. Drew on and I’m not into countdowns, I want them to get right to what’s relevant now! LOL!

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