Welcome to ‘The Broken Remote!’

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Author: Mike Cosimano

As a college student, I am sure you are familiar with the magic of procrastination. When there’s a massive assignment looming, few things in the world are more enticing than just not doing said assignment. Why, that paper is only due tomorrow morning! There’s a whole 12 hours between now and then! And what better way to spend that 720 minutes than with some delightful television?

My friends, I have been there. It is just so easy to get engrossed in a new show, especially in the age of unfettered Internet access. There’s Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Streaming, DVD box sets (“haha, as if”), Crunchyroll, network-owned websites and more…unscrupulous methods, if that’s your bag. If you were to spontaneously decide now would be the best time to start watching that new Teen Wolf show, there is a way for you to do that on your laptop.

But there’s just so much content out there. Now that streaming providers like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix have started producing their own shows, the market is reaching a saturation point the likes of which television has never seen.

That’s where this blog comes in.

I am a man of many extracurriculars. These activities have opened doors I never thought I would be able to enter, but I often find myself sitting on my hands while I wait for videos to render, podcasts to upload or emails to arrive. So, I spend a lot of time in my room watching Aaron Sorkin’s classic political drama, “The West Wing” for the first time, or looking back on my favorite episodes of the dark sitcom, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

And when it is time for me to give a new show a look, there is nothing that crushes my spirits more than wasting my time on a waste of time. As a result, my list of “shows to watch” has gone through many a culling. This method has worked for the most part but every so often, something bad slips through the cracks. It may be compelling bad (good ideas executed poorly), so-bad-it’s-good (bad ideas executed well) or just awful (bad ideas executed poorly), but the result is the same.

I want to help protect the Occidental community and the Internet at large from bad television. There’s a lot of shows out there and only so much homework to ignore. This blog is so you know which TV is worth rotting your brain for. I also believe any critical work involves an implicit contract between the critic and the audience, so with that in mind, let me both introduce both the blog’s rules and myself.

“Community” is my favorite sitcom and “Breaking Bad” is my favorite drama, with the first four seasons of “The West Wing” in a very close second. I was raised on a diet of pop culture staples like “Monty Python,” “I Love Lucy” and the “Andy Griffith Show.” Right now, I’m way into “House of Cards” and “Kill la Kill,” both guilty pleasures for entirely different reasons. I know about “Sherlock,” “Doctor Who,” “Broadchurch,” “Orphan Black,” “Downton Abbey,” “Shameless,” “The Walking Dead,” “Hannibal,” “Teen Wolf” and “Game of Thrones.” My backlog is a little sizable; I’ll watch and finish them eventually. I can’t stand “Full House” and I fell off the “Doctor Who” wagon somewhere around season seven’s terrible mid-season finale.

As for the blog, I’ll be alternating between three different kinds of posts as I see fit: full seasons, seasons-in-progress and single episodes. I also might break up the formula here and there. For example, I’ve been meaning to pit President Bartlet from “The West Wing” and President Fitz from “Scandal” against each other for a while now, but haven’t quite found the outlet for such a bout.

I usually try and give shows about six episodes before I give up on them entirely: three episodes for setup, another one to stick the landing and two more episodes to get back on track. I’ve seen many a bad show come back around towards the end of a season or in their second outing but like I said earlier, there’s a lot to watch.

And I hope you enjoy watching it with me. We’re going to be spending a whole semester together and I look forward to helping you decide which show will be the one to finally crack your GPA.

Mike Cosimano is a first-year psychology major. He can be reached at cosimanowhite@oxy.edu or on Twitter @WklyMCosimano.

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