How To Talk Knowledgably About A Show You Have Never Watched

Look, everyone’s got a million things to do. Hence, when your friends/family all encourage you to watch a TV show they’re into, you may really want to, but it’s not always possible to get to it immediately. Eventually, their incessant nagging and pseudo-threatening declarations such as “If you don’t watch XYZ, seriously, I may kill your cat” can get a bit tiring. So just lie. We’ve all done it, but some of us are better at BSing than others. With these tips, watch how you transform from group discussion pariah, to group discussion leader.

  1.  Do some cursory research. It’s foolish to go into these situations completely devoid of knowledge; that strategy will backfire quickly. So do the basic Wikipedia search, and familiarize yourself with easy factoids like the number of seasons to date, or names of major characters. An important section to study is the awards the show has been nominated for, but not won. Talking about how many times the program has been “snubbed” (keyword) is a great unifying point, and will lead to mass synchronized head nodding,
  2. Never talk in definitives. Don’t tie yourself down to a favorite character, or favorite episode, in case anyone wants to discuss them with you in more depth. Stay ambiguous, saying things like “Oh man, asking me to pick my favorite character is like asking to choose my favorite child!” (if childless, then your favorite Kanye West album). If someone suggests one, nod, pause, say “Yeah, true, he/she is good”, but with a tone suggesting that they may not be your favorite. Keep your group guessing. And your favorite episode is always going to be the Season One Finale. That’s your stock answer there.
  3. Be on top of television trends. There are always going to be certain rules that all shows live by which are useful to know. For example, if the show in question is a drama, always say the latter seasons are stronger than the earlier ones. Feel free to often remark that the show is great, “but it’s no Six Feet Under.” For a comedy, earlier seasons are the gems. Say it’s one of the better comedies you’ve seen since Arrested Development. And the big one is that if the show is on NBC, always state how fearful you are of it getting cancelled.
  4. SPOILER ALERT! Look, even with all these handy tips, the discussion may start to feel a bit technical and overwhelming. But this is where you have an advantage. Because you were late to the viewing party, feel free to use NO I HAVEN’T WATCHED THAT YET NO SPOILERS claim, and excuse yourself from the group. It’s easy to do, and shows your friends how committed you are to catching up.
Cow Tips!
*Do a little bit of research, and never talk in certainties. Let others pipe in with answers for you.
*Be smart about it, stay on your toes, and if you see yourself being backed into towards a corner, leave the situation by claiming that you aren’t “on that season yet.”
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