How to stop watching a show

There are a lot of shows on TV. A lot. Not all of them are good.

Well, let’s face it; most of them aren’t good. But, like me, you might find yourself getting into a passive cycle of watching said bad show every week because you 1) were waiting for another show you like to come back on 2) are desperate for entertainment/ a distraction from something you should be doing or 3) like the premise of the show. Let’s rationalize these irrational thoughts. Maybe after this you’ll stop watching right away, or have these thoughts in mind for the next time a bad show comes on.

1) You were waiting for another show you like to come back on
Don’t beat yourself up. While waiting for Game of Thrones and Mad Men to come back you started watching The Following. It happens to the best of us. Instead of wasting your time on bad shows, spend that hour rewatching an episode of a good show. You get your fix without developing further commitment to a subpar show. Whatever you do, do not resume the second season (if there is one) of a bad show, under any circumstances.


2) You’re desperate for entertainment/ a distraction
Monday night and you really want some good TV time? Need to clean/do homework/ write and want a lame excuse not to? It’s easy to turn to a TV show you find yourself criticizing every two minutes and constantly complain about. But is watching whatever drudge the Sci-Fi–oh, excuse me, SyFy–channel is pumping out worth it? You’ll probably feel a hell of a lot better if you just do whatever you need to do rather than waste your breath and brainpower watching something you ultimately derive no pleasure from. The more episodes you skip (try not to break down and binge) the easier it will be to stop watching all together.

3) Like the premise of the show
Yep, we all loved Psycho. Does that mean Bates Motel is a good show? It doesn’t, you think, but are you still watching it? You’re not? Why are you still reading this? Anyway…Face it; you’re more attached to idea of a show about Norman Bates than the reality. We wanted it to be good, but due to the teen drama, forced use of technology, and unsuccessful harkening to 60s aesthetics while still existing in 2013, this show absolutely sucks. Sticking with a show you aren’t sure about and want to change is exactly like a fizzling relationship; better to cut ties now because the longer you watch, the more disappointed you’ll be.


An episode of Bates Motel.

There you have it. Three problems and solutions to help you recognize and stop watching bad TV shows. It’s really a matter of commitment and rational thought. Look into your heart when browsing your DVR, ask yourself: is this really what I want?


About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp is an author and designer living in the Pacific Northwest.
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2 Responses to How to stop watching a show

  1. Jacquie Kitchen says:

    You’re absolutely right! Truth is, I gave up watching new shows at the end of last season’s finales. I decided to not watch something and have it be good and Bam! Gone. I really hate those reality shows with a passion. I like to be entertained, but not that mindless drivel that passes for reality. No wonder Americans are so dumb.

    I’m mostly watching reruns of cancelled shows on Amazon and Netflix. I am thinking about cancelling my Satellite service because I only watch a couple of shows now anyway. I can save lots of money and watch a really good show that I know will entertain me and not insult my intelligence.

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