Beyond the Golden Zone of Good

Shows that are too good to watch

Like the depression that follows finishing a really good book, receiving technically faultless oral sex, or meeting someone with visible abdominal muscles, true excellence makes my heart sink.

As a rule, I will only watch shows which fall into the Golden Zone of “good enough that most people don’t like them (reinforcing my belief that I’m better than they are), but not so good that they make me feel bad about myself”.

Of course there are shows that are unwatchably bad: so bad they mysteriously become watchable again. Though shows in this category should only be approached with extreme prejudice and a pharmaceutical exit-strategy.

Breaking Bad

I watched the first episode and turned it off after the scene in the car wash. It marshals the incredible skills of many talented people for the sole purpose of making me miserable. Every character is wretched right from the start and it was clearly going to get a lot worse. The poo I did after watching it made a frowny face in the toilet.


I made it through four seasons before they introduced dogs. I will happily watch murders, beatings, rapes and the psychological annihilation of new inmates but I can’t handle anything bad happening to dogs. Yes, I am a ridiculous and awful human being.


So universally recommended, I somehow feel it’s pointless to actually watch it.

Freaks and Geeks

Ok, this isn’t my one. But my boyfriend refuses to watch the last episode of this show so that it’ll never really be over. He prefers to live in a universe where there’s always one more Freaks and Geeks episode out there. It makes him happy.

Eastbound and Down

I don’t like the main actor because he is this generation’s Rob Schneider – devoid of talent and only gets acting work because he has influential friends. Apparently it’s quite good. But I enjoy disliking this actor and refuse to give him a chance to redeem himself.

Doctor Who

Ha! Got you. This is actually a shit show made for children and the senile. Liking Doctor Who is this year’s Reading Comics On The Train so you can stop being so proud of yourself. The only exemption is for people who never stopped liking and watching this show since childhood. I can’t fault your endurance. Regardless, it’s not a valid conversational gambit in mixed company.

The Gritty European Crime Drama Glenn Peters Keeps Recommending*

I don’t have the time to allow Scandinavian greatness into my life. It would be opening the floodgates. Then I would get even less done than I do now. Just in case, I have forbidden myself from remembering its name.

(* It’s called Spiral – Ed.)

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