02nd Oct2017

Culture Dump #11: What does a show need to become your next TV addiction?

by Simon Bland


Game of Thrones will soon be dead. Proper dead. Deader than one of its beardy warriors or scantily clad ladies or grubby looking extras that met the fiery end of a pissed off dragon and its obliviously incestuous Queen. Winter has come and will soon be gone, leaving a massive hole in our telly social lives that not even an ice giant can fill. In short: we’ll all soon be in need a new TV show to watch.

This isn’t the first time this has happened though. Remember how we all scrabbled around when Breaking Bad took a bow in 2013? Or what about when Mad Men smoked its last cigarette a couple of years back? The shows that become everyone’s new favourite shows never start off that way. They need precious time to attract the attention of a few telly-hipsters and build up a word-of-mouth rep. Considering that, it’s a very real possibility that the show you’ll soon be trying your hardest to avoid spoilers from is probably already on the air. How can you spot it? Well there are a few things to look out for….

First off, the shows everyone ends up obsessing over need a devilishly taboo hook. Whether it’s a high school teacher shooting people in the face to ensure the survival of his meth empire or a mystical realm full of dragons and tits, every hit TV show needs a rebellious streak. Then there’s the unnecessary obsession with sex, the more depraved the better. You know what we mean: You’re watching what on the surface is a perfectly harmless dialogue scene – but both parties are completely naked for some reason and an extra in the background is wanking into a flannel. Sex sells – even if it has absolutely nothing to do with plot, character development or taste.

Thirdly, any show worth its weight in sofa snacks needs someone for us to all hate. Some absolute shit-prick that allows us to all do what we do best: come together on Twitter and direct the entirety of our united venom at the poor actor that had to play that role. There’s a reason why Jack Gleeson said he probably wouldn’t act again after playing royal bell-end Joffrey in Game of Thrones. We armchair aficionados live vicariously through characters on screen and the need to drain ourselves from the pure hatred we feel on a weekly basis must be serviced. Watching someone with someone detestable in it? Hot dog! You may be onto a winner.

And finally, the next big show needs incredibly long waits between series. If you’re watching something right now that seems to know where it’s going, ditch it. All the best shows have absolutely zero direction or plans currently in the bag. This makes us cherish each new episode when it finally arrives and ensures we’re just as surprised as the writers are when watching its plot unfold. Because if there’s one thing a show lives or dies on, it’s that panicked feeling of realising it’s a sleeper success.

Have you found everyone’s new favourite show? Let me know in the comments below!


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