In Defence of Shitty Television

In Defence of Shitty Television

I have a confession to make, dear readers. Once upon a time I was an entertainment snob.

Now what I mean by that is that once upon a time, I lorded reading literature above watching Geordie Shore. I thought that those who would rather spend 7 hours watching cartoons were lesser than those who chose to watch historical documentaries. I was, in short, a total and utter bitch.

See, I had absorbed and internalized the idea that everything we do should be for some higher purpose – that the media we consume should always be for some higher purpose. I couldn’t see the point of Geordie Shore because there was literally nothing to be gained from it in my opinion.

But the point I was missing was in reality a very simple one: entertainment simply for entertainment’s sake is not only good and valid, it’s also a complete necessity.

We spend so much of our lives being switched on – at work, with our families, with our friends, with our hobbies – that sometimes, you need something that will switch your brain off. You don’t always want to read something, because reading requires a lot of concentration. You don’t always want to watch something intellectually stimulating, because processing new information requires a lot of brain power. You don’t even always want to immerse yourself in something creatively inspiring, because quite frankly you spend enough time trying to capture the creative thoughts in your brain.

Sometimes, all you want to do is lie on the sofa and watch a really terrible TV shows about ridiculous characters who live ridiculous lives. Sometimes, you want the most complex thought in your brain to be ‘WHO THE FUCK IS A’. Sometimes, you want to immersed in a world where the most exciting thing that happens is somebody gets a bad spray tan.

Sure, it’s important to consume media that challenges us, that makes us think, and that that inspires us. But it’s equally important to just enjoy yourself without any end goal. Not every day has to be productive. Not every thought has to be revolutionary. Not every TV show has to teach you something new.

Sometimes, you have to stop being an entertainment snob, and start enjoying The Only Way is Essex.

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