Staying In: Why We Can’t Resist Bad TV

Staying In - It's good to be bad
Posted on: April 24th, 2013

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TV is totally the new film. Budgets are through the roof, all the best characters actors are migrating there and it’s a writer’s medium. I’m currently watching Game of Thrones, Mad Men and Breaking Bad – all three are astonishingly good shows, leaving you reeling at their boldness and tonal gymnastics. We are spoilt for good TV right now.

So why do I keep checking the TV schedules to see when Supernatural and True Blood are returning to British TV? Why am I still watching Arrow? Why do The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf have such passionate fanbases?

I guess the answer to all of those questions could be ‘shirtless men’, but I have more faith in fans (and my own taste) than that. The real answer is obvious: Everyone loves a bad boy.

Breaking Bad Walt and Jesse

Good TV…


Excellent TV – basically anything made by HBO or AMC – is perfect. It’s the Ryan Gosling of the TV world. It looks good. It can act. It saves women from oncoming vehicles and breaks up street fights. Men and women alike admire it, in a distant ‘if only I could be that cool’ kind of way. It’s flawless, and therefore kind of alienating. You can’t bring anything to the table with this one. It’s already got everything it needs.


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Author Info

I'm a script writer and film maker who also writes for @starburst_mag and @badhaven. Occassionally I sleep, too.

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  • awnuce360

    Interesting theory… However, I seriously doubt this is why most people watch bad tv. To be honest, I think most people that watch bad tv lack the mental capacity to appreciate “good tv” or simply would rather relax when watching television than watch something complex that required them to think. Most people aren’t coming at this from a writer’s perspective, nor do they look at tv shows as “prospective lovers.”