McSWEENEY'S INTERNET TENDENCY'S PATREON
My time is very important, and therefore when I am choosing a TV show to watch, I need to know that it will make me feel more depressed than I have ever been. In fact, I want it to make me feel so bad that I see hell itself.
Prestige TV shows are my unique way of momentarily escaping from the harsh realities of this world, and when I escape, well, frankly, I like to feel worse. I want to be very, very upset, to the point where not only am I watching a sudden and very jarring scene of a television show involving something horrific happening to a character I have grown fond of, but also I can clearly see hell, the actual place, with my eyes.
Listen to me: I want to feel terrible—and not just regular terrible—but more terrible than I have ever felt before, even though this is a “fictional situation” that “has nothing to do with me.” Because if a show is any good, it’ll make me feel like it’s happening to me, inside my body. Just how I like it.
Look, I don’t want to be just a little depressed after I spend fifty-two minutes of my precious time at the end of the day watching a television show. I want to be the maximum amount of depressed, and then go straight to bed. Eating stress with my eyes, then closing them and going to sleep—allowing the stress to chaotically seep into my brain and take over my dreams—is how I consume media. Yum, yum, yum. Let the nightmares begin, please. Best-case scenario, I’ll wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed because my brain has been soaked overnight in a misery soup. This is what I want.
Also, every TV show I watch must make me feel worse than the last one. This is not an easy feat. For example, remember that scene in Game of Thrones where that guy pulled that other guy’s eyes out or… something? What happened? Whatever, who cares, I can’t remember, all I know is that it made me feel horrible. I thought I’d never find a show capable of making me more upset than that, but, my god, I persevered, because, wouldn’t you know it, they keep making really depressing shows that make me very upset but also I deeply love them. God, what a rush. I feel like pure shit. And I love it.
Also, by the way, not only do I want to see hell—I want to feel it too. I want to get to know a character, begin to admire them, and feel a warmth within my heart, because they, somehow, reaffirmed my faith in a particular aspect of life. I want to relate to them in a way that helps me realize something about myself and have an incredible epiphany immediately before they die horrifically, preferably for several minutes in a way that causes me to feel so fucking bad that I see right through my TV and into hell itself and also feel it.
What do I mean by “feeling” hell? Thank you for asking. What I’m saying is that, as I watch a likable fictional character perish onscreen in a super disturbing way, I want it to make me feel as though the flames of hell are overtaking my limbs. I want to feel as if I just walked off an elevator into hell where everything is on fire, and I am greeted by a little demon who appears cute at first but then opens its mouth, shows me its fangs, and slaps me in the face with one of its many, MANY hands. And it hurts. Badly.
What can I say? This is my favorite way to watch television. I like to feel so bad it’s as if I took an elevator to hell, stepped out of it, realized I’m in hell, am greeted by a cute-but-mean demon punching me in the head, and then turn around to see that the elevator has disappeared. And I’m stuck there. I’m stuck in hell. This is what I like. I feel so bad. I’m going to sleep now, and I hope I dream of plants growing out of a zombie’s face, just like in my favorite show. Sweet dreams!
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