Watching TV Shows Makes Me Jealous Of The Characters

Call me shallow but I get jealous when I watch tv shows. Seriously. I get jealous of the characters that someone invented for a show. Pretty pathetic, right? I’ve been binge-watching a couple series lately, and I’m really jealous of some of the characters.

Well, not in Orange Is the New Black. But other series. Like Bones.

From the pilot episode on, Temperance Brennan’s life is pretty enviable. She’s super smart. She’s majorly successful in multiple careers. She’s highly respected. She’s got good friends. She’s got a great apartment, nice clothes, cool jewelry, and a sweet ride. She can kick ass (literally). Guys think she’s hot. And she has sex with hot guys. Later on, she’s also got a hot husband who adores her. And kids. Bad guys, danger, social awkwardness, and occasional appearances by a semi-crappy family aside, she’s got a pretty sweet life.

The closest I come is in the house, clothes, and jewelry departments. And that’s not very close. It’s kind of depressing.

I’m not saying I want all of it. That would be greedy. And while I can be greedy, my self-esteem is way too low to think that I can have all of that. I can’t even imagine having a life where I succeed so well in so many areas. Of course, I have a hard time picturing anyone blowing life out of the water that well. But it’s really hard to imagine when it’s me.

So I don’t want all of it. I only want a little slice. The sex with hot guys, for instance (I want a Ferrari). Or even 1 guy that I consider hot.

I mean, I like being single. Honestly. But sometimes I miss having someone to talk to or to hold on to. Especially when a tv show makes it look better than delicious, calorie-free ice cream and a million bucks. I’m also jealous of her success. I’ll never be the top of any career. I’m not sure I’d like to be. When I see how nice they make it seem on tv, however, it’s hard to believe that I really don’t want it.

And that’s the problem. They make all these things seem so awesome that it makes me want them. And a lot of the time I don’t actually want them. How confusing is that? And how psychologically trippy is it that watching tv shows can manipulate my emotions enough to make me feel like I do? That’s, well, that’s just plain terrifying.

I don’t want my television to tell me what to do. And the fact that I wrote that makes me feel both paranoid and crazy. But I don’t. I don’t like having my emotions manipulated so that I feel jealous of things I don’t even really want to have. Who are they to tell me what I want? And how much of my life has been shaped by that manipulation?

It’s like being suckered in by a sale. You get a coupon with a great deal in the mail. So you have to go to the store. When you get there, you find a few things that are ok. You kinda like them. And it’s a really good deal. So you spend $40 on something that’s worth $100 just to get $60 off.

That’s what watching tv shows is doing to me. They angle things so that they seem like they’re such a good deal or such a great situation that I feel jealous of the characters on the show. And half the time, it’s all show. I don’t really want that. And I don’t know whether to be annoyed or scared.

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Fight the Advertising!

I found this great video about spring fashion on college humor, and I have to share. They totally captured how advertising tries to suck you in by making you imagine how much more fun/awesome/exciting/classy/sexy your life will be if you buy this outfit.

different outfits spring fashion collegehumor video
Who do you want to be?

I’ve got to admit. The idea of trying out all those different lifestyles is kind of awesome. And terrifying (I have issues). Yeah, clothes don’t actually shape your life choices, but they definitely influence how you feel and how people react to you. The trick is to go with what you want rather than what they want you to want.

Fight the advertisers! Be yourself!

I Don’t Like Chick Flicks Because I Don’t Want To Believe People Are That Dumb

Ugh
Ugh

Ok. Let’s be specific. I don’t like most chick flicks. Most so-called “romantic comedies.” For most of them, the ending’s the best part of the movie – who doesn’t like a happy ending? Otherwise, they’re really badly written, and they make the main characters act like total idiots. Unbelievably so.

Are you telling me that a woman can’t have a happy ending or fall in love without acting like a complete moron? Are you serious? I know plenty of people who fell in love, married, and live happily (as much as is possible in reality) without making total idiots of themselves and completely ruining their lives first. Those movies totally perpetuate the idea that women are completely emotion-driven and illogical.

I get that strong emotions can make people act irrationally. Boy, do I get that. But does that have to be the major conflict of every single bloody chick flick? Could there be some actual conflicts like job issues or bad health? Could the conflict between the couple be caused by realistic stuff rather than over-the-top behavior?

Because it’s not just the women acting like jerks and idiots. The men in them are just as bad. It’s like anything with the word “comedy” in it must now be synonymous with “people doing stupid shit.”

They’re not all like that. The movies, not the men. Some of them have decent plots and characters with some depth. Characters who have entertainment value beyond doing stupid things and freaking out about the results. Lines that are actually well-written and witty.

I can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure there are a few.

Am I alone in this? The only person who isn’t entertained by watching people make absolute fools of themselves? The only person who likes well-written, well-acted movies? Or semi-realistic love stories?

Never mind. I just remembered how popular reality tv is. I withdraw the question. I’m gonna go sit in a corner and cry for humanity.

Likeability in TV Characters: Is It About Appearance Or Behavior?

I’m watching a tv show that I don’t really like. I know that’s a dumb thing to do, but I wanted something on in the background. I searched, and this show is the only thing on that I can tolerate. So I’ll live with it.

Right now, I’m actually more interested in a commercial that keeps playing during the break. It’s one of those commercials that has each of the characters from the main shows on the channel doing a little snippet. Some of those people are from shows I really like. Every time it plays, it’s making me wonder why I like those shows so much better.

Is the quality really that much higher? What actually makes me dislike this show?

Then, I realized. It’s the people on the show that I don’t like. That and their behavior. I don’t like the way they talk to each other – that whole disrespectful fighting thing that’s popular now is a big turnoff for me. I don’t like the decisions they make. I don’t even like the way they dress (though really, that’s not a big deal in comparison). On the whole, though, the premise of the show isn’t the problem. The people are.

With that in mind, I’m trying to just consider their work. And while I honestly don’t think the quality is as high as on some of the shows I like, they are good at what they’re doing.

That’s making me wonder how many other decisions we make based on likeability. I know all the talk about more attractive people having it easier, but really, how big of an effect is it? How much of the dislike is because of the behavior, and how much of it is because of the appearance?

My first instinct is to say that for me it’s mostly behavior. I can enjoy joking and razzing but only when it doesn’t cross the line into rude or disrespectful.

The more I think about that, though, isn’t that another kind of appearance? The way people choose to dress and groom themselves is a big part of their appearance, yes, but how they act is part of that, too. People act differently around different people and in different situations, so usually, it’s the behavior that’s consistent that most interests me – the parts of their behavior that stay the same no matter where they are and who they’re with.

The problem with a show is that you only see the people for a short period of time in the same circumstance. Even on cooking or home renovation shows where the people are supposedly acting like themselves, you don’t know how much is real and how much is how they behave for the camera. So if an actor or director could figure out the appearance and behavior that appeals to the most people, they’d have a really good chance for a hit.

Which explains why so many of the characters on shows are so similar. It also explain why there are a lot of shows I don’t like. So long as they think that behavior will sell, there will be shows that emphasize it. I guess I’m going to have limited viewing options until trends change.

Is the Hulk Depressed?

If anyone has any reason to be depressed, it’s Bruce Banner (turning into a big, green monster he can’t quite control… pretty depressing). Since he even admits to attempting suicide at one point – he says that he shot himself in the head, and the big guy spit the bullet out –  it seems pretty clear that he’s depressed.

Wait? Doesn’t that mean that he should be lying in bed, energy-less and hiding from the world?

That’s one of the big images associated with depression, but not everyone reacts that way. I do sometimes. Most of the time I get angry. I may not have turned into a huge green beast yet, but the emotion is pretty similar. Oh, I can go from zero to rage in an instant about something stupid and unimportant. It’s one of the warning signs I look out for. Usually, I am a very mellow person with an extremely long fuse (kind of like Bruce Banner…). When I start having hair trigger rage issues, something is wrong, and I need to stop and figure out what’s going on.

"That's my secret, Captain. I'm always angry." -- Bruce Banner
“That’s my secret, Captain. I’m always angry.” — Bruce Banner

What I’ve been wondering about is which is more common. I know people who hide, people who get angry, and people who do both (though I think most of them do one more than the other). Most of the people I know get angry.

Does that mean getting angry is more common? Do I just know angry people? Or is there a little Hulk in all of us?

Soundtrack Snafu

I work at a desk in a cubicle. We’re allowed to play music as long as we wear headphones. A lot of the time, it’s a good thing I’m wearing headphones. I don’t always listen to stuff that’s safe for work.

The other day, I felt like I needed a boost, so I put on a reggae playlist on Pandora (It’s bouncy and fun). Right as an argument started next to me, it switched to Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” Watching them fight and argue while mostly hearing that song? I gotta admit it was kind of hysterical. Like watching a movie with the wrong soundtrack.

I totally want to see some film student do that. I know horror films have used happy songs before to make a scene even sicker. But that’s not what I mean. No, I want to see a chick flick set to heavy metal. Or a Disney movie with a horror movie soundtrack – like creepy children’s choir. Something that totally doesn’t match what’s going on.

I think my mind would explode.