We've all been there. A friend says, "Oh, you HAVE to start watching this show," and in the process of trying to convert you, he or she turns you off so thoroughly that you shudder when you hear the show mentioned. Or perhaps you've tried to get someone as enthusiastic as you are about a great series, only to discover that they just don't seem that into it, despite your best efforts.
The tips below provide a list of things you shouldn't do when you try to get someone into a television series; use them if you really want to get someone to hate a show, but avoid them otherwise!
Force people to watch "critical" episodes out of order. People don't need to know the back story or the context, they just need to see that amazing sixth season episode! It's ok, they'll figure out who the characters are and what's going on, or you can just narrate while they watch the episode. Make sure to show people several season finales, too, because everyone knows that those are the best part.
Don't loan them your DVDs. If you really want to get someone into a show, don't give them a chance to watch the show on their own time. You especially don't want them to watch the special features, listen to episode commentaries, or go back and watch episodes again. Keep your DVDs locked in a top-secret cupboard, and don't let anyone have the key.
Make people watch a bunch of episodes at once. The show is just so good that people will be hooked and drawn in, and before you know it, half of the first season will be over! Definitely don't take breaks between episodes, and insist on watching at least four episodes at every sitting. If someone gets up to get something, make a big production out of pausing and waiting for them to return, or leave the show running, and tell them everything they missed.
Insist that every episode in the show is equally great. Because everyone knows that when it comes to really good shows, there are no bad episodes. Make sure to stress this at every possibility, and don't allow dissent. Every episode is fantastic, and to suggest otherwise would be to insult the creators.
Give a running commentary with every episode you watch, preferably with spoilers. It's not enough to just sit back and watch people get enthralled, as we all know. It's crucial to offer running comments, especially if you can manage to spoil the plot of the episode or a whole season's story arc. You should also insert trivia from fan magazines, special features, and director's commentary, to make sure that your new convert knows as much as possible. Don't worry if you talk over important dialogue; you can just tell people what happened later.
Get esoteric. Make sure that you know every possible piece of trivia about the show, so that you can beat people over the head with it. Point out that continuity problem in episode seven! Make sure that people notice how much the show changes when a new showrunner is brought on board! Freeze-frame particularly notable green screen abuse and highlight it for your viewers. It's important that they be thoroughly steeped in every aspect of the show's lore and mythology.
If the above tips for getting someone to hate a television series don't work, it must be a pretty darn good series!
s.e. smith is a connoisseur of literature, adventures, and fine food who loves sharing knowledge with others and putting her otherwise marginally useful liberal arts degree to good use.