Kyle Anderson (@FunctionalNerd on twitter) posed an interesting question: At what point does your displeasure at a TV show’s present regime outweigh your loyalty to it? Can you ever just stop watching?
This caught my attention because of the nature of Verity! In case you haven’t noticed, we disagree. We critique, we discuss and we don’t always like everything we see. And that’s okay because not every minute of every episode is going to everyone’s hearts’ sing. Well, except for maybe Katrina but she is in Clara’s thrall and Kat + Series 7B = OTP* so that’s okay. 😉 But the rest of us typically turn a critical eye to Doctor Who – not out of some malicious desire to tear down the show or to make it lesser, but because we absolutely love it.
I spend more time thinking about Doctor Who than any other television show. Wrapped up in a neat and tidy “family entertainment” package is show that explores time, history, morality, sin, joy, depression, family, good, evil, all the “-isms” and nearly anything else you can come up with. I cannot view this show dispassionately and it is only because of this great affection and respect that I give it the brain time necessary to critically think about what is happening on my screen. This show fascinates me in ways that other “good” television doesn’t. Justified? An amazing show with fantastic actors. I watch it every week but when the television turns off I simply don’t think about it any more. I’m sure there are people out there who do think of Justified in a critical way. There are probably forums where the Shakespearean elements of the show are examined and the loose morality of the characters debated but for me it’s simply an entertaining hour of television. I’m sure there are some people who feel the same way about Doctor Who, but I’m not one of them.
If you are one of those people for whom Doctor Who is just a fun 46 minutes of television you’re not doing it wrong by any stretch! We all take different things from media and each experience is just as valid. But for me, and I suspect for my co-horts as well, we look at this show deeply. We enjoy peeling back the layers and looking at the good and the bad and filtering that information through our individual lenses.
This week we talked about silly things as well as more serious racial and gender issues. We didn’t agree while talking and we certainly don’t expect all of our listeners to agree either, but at least some of our thoughts resulted in conversations that made people think about these issues as well. And whether you watch Doctor Who for 46 minutes of fun or with a more critical eye, it’s these conversations that absolutely fill me with delight. (Deb + interesting Doctor Who conversations = OTP!)
But to get back to Kyle’s original question – is there ever a point where your displeasure overides your desire to watch? My answer was “when the bad far outweighs the good”. Yet, despite the occasionally negative critique in our conversations (and I love that the negative critiques rotates among us. Well, except for maybe Kat. See Also: Paragraph Two), there has not been an episode of this show EVER in which I have not found something good, something interesting and something worthwhile to take in. Every week I am surprised. Every week something new comes across my desk that is tangentially related to the show – whether it is a book release, a Big Finish audio, a podcast or a fan creation. Every week I look forward to what this show will reveal and how I will react to that. And if one episode, one actor, one writer, etc. doesn’t make my heart sing – another one is right around the corner. Like an addict, it’s the next hit that keeps me going and I can’t ever imagine walking away.
*OTP: One True Pairing