Sick Day Pop Culture

After two days of feeling absolutely dreadful, I think that I’m on the mend.  I’m still not 100% yet, but I no longer sound like I am on my death bed and I can take a deep breath without triggering a five minute coughing fit. I never appreciated breathing as much as I do now after it was such a struggle. Because I am stubborn, I went into the office both Tuesday and Wednesday, only to be sent home by my boss. I didn’t want to miss some meetings that I had scheduled and after a long holiday weekend I wanted to make sure that the agenda for the week was clear and that everyone knew what had to be done this week. I probably would have felt better faster if I had just stayed home, but I know myself well enough that I would have just worried about what was going on at the office so I wouldn’t have gotten any actual rest. I’m a person who was answering work emails while on a ride at EPCOT, so the idea of me just relaxing and taking the day off is unlikely – especially when I knew that there was stuff that needed to be done.

But by noon each day my boss had tired of indulging me and made me go home so that I could get some rest and finally get better. So I spent the last two afternoons sacked out on the couch, watching daytime TV. I’d forgotten what a vast wasteland afternoon programming is; at least in the mornings you have game shows and talk shows to keep you occupied. In the afternoon, there is just a lot of junk on that I wouldn’t normally find at all appealing. Desperate times call for desperate measures, however, so I wound up consuming a lot of programming that wouldn’t normally be on my pop culture plate. Some of it was actually not that terrible, though I don’t see me watching it on a regular basis.

Roseanne re-runs

I love the sitcom Roseanne; in a lot of ways I think it was one of the most honest shows on television and in a lot of ways it was way ahead of its time. I normally quite enjoy catching an episode when it’s on, but unfortunately for me, the episodes that were airing this week were from the dreadful final seasons – the Connors have won the lottery and Dan and Roseanne’s marriage is in crisis. I like to pretend those seasons never happened, because they were ill-conceived and really were not true to the show’s blue collar roots. These episodes don’t tonally match the earlier seasons and I haven’t really revisited them since they originally aired. After re-watching them this week, I still think they are the weakest part of the series, but not as completely dreadful as I remembered. The episode where Darlene gives birth to baby Harris was actually quite enjoyable. I’m skeptical that I would specifically seek these episodes out, but I may be less hasty to change the channel when they are on. Still don’t like the this overall story arc, but there a few good episodes in the bunch.

Bridezillas

I couldn’t find the remote after the Roseanne episodes ended, so I was forced to watch whatever came on the channel next. Unfortunately for me, that was Bridezillas – a very unpleasant program about women who are insufferable and become monsters while planning their wedding (though I am guessing that these women are pretty terrible all the time).  I’d never seen this program before, but its reputation proceeded itself and it was just as awful as I expected. I tried to sleep through it, but there was so much screaming and yelling that it made that impossible. I have no idea why anyone would want to marry these women; they were nasty, entitled and just not at all pleasant to be around. One bride from Staten Island was particularly awful as nothing met her expectations and she thought that anyone who wasn’t rich was beneath her. She spent $150,000 for the tackiest wedding that I’ve ever seen which takes some real skill. I can’t imagine that she’s still married to the poor bastard that was dumb enough to propose to her. She was the worst. This show reinforced my general indifference to weddings as these women were dwelling way too much on the details of the wedding and not enough on the marriage that follows. How anyone can get so worked up over some of this stuff is beyond me, but I’m not someone who dreamed of their wedding as a little girl.

My Fair Wedding with David Tutera

You could get whiplash from the switch from Bridezillas to My Fair Wedding; while both shows deal with wedding planning, they strike a very different tone.  While Bridezillas was nothing but unpleasant, I kind of enjoyed My Fair Wedding. David Tutera wanted to give the brides the weddings of their dreams and wanted to work with the bride to accomplish this. The brides on My Fair Wedding were appreciative of the assistance and were far more pleasant than any of the she-beasts on Bridezillas. Tutera seemed like a generally nice guy and while some of his weddings were a little over the top for my taste, his primary goal was to make other people happy and give them a special day. I really liked the episode where he did a Mad Men inspired wedding – I wonder if he would do a Breaking Bad themed wedding for me. 🙂 I still think that too much emphasis is placed on the wedding, but the couples on this show appeared to be much happier and to actually like each other. Not a show that I would make an effort to watch, but I would watch it again if I stumbled upon it.

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony

I have a weird fascination with the “Brony” subculture, mostly because I just don’t get it. A Brony is a male fan of the series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Most Bronies are older teens and adults, not the group that you would typically associate with being a fan of anything pony related, especially a cartoon for young girls. They have conventions to celebrate their love of the show and often dress in costume. They also have message boards and forums where they can discuss their love of the show. In some ways, they are like any die-hard fans of any TV show or film, though their age and gender make their fandom a bit unusual.

I had DVRed this documentary about Bronies earlier in the week and being home gave me a chance to finally watch it. I’m pretty open-minded and don’t judge their fandom – you like what you like – but I just can’t wrap my head around what they find so appealing about this particular cartoon. I have trouble relating to the hard-core fans of anything; while there are things that I love (the Yankees, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, The Wire), I couldn’t imagine dressing up like any of these things for anything other than Halloween. I’ve never even participated on a message board for any of my favorite things. It’s just not how I’m wired. So I was hoping that Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony would shed some light on this particular subculture.

While the doc was interesting, I don’t really have any better idea of what makes these men love My Little Pony so much. The film focused more on their struggles – unsurprisingly, these guys catch a lot of flak for their enthusiasm for the show  – and how the conventions provide them a safe space to meet up with like-minded people. It dispelled some misconceptions about Bronies as well, but I still don’t get it. More power to them if it makes them happy, but this is a phenomena that I don’t know that I’ll ever really understand. Maybe I need to watch the actual show to get the appeal, though I don’t see that happening.

 

Now that I’m feeling better, I’m sure I’ll return to my regularly scheduled programming. Since I’ve been falling asleep by 8 pm most nights, my DVR is backed up with a lot of shows that I’ve missed while I was out of commission.  These programs were fine diversions while I was home, but I’m ready for my TV habits to go back to normal. This was fine for a few days, but I couldn’t watch this stuff for a prolonged period of time. I’m now healthy enough that I could get off the couch and find the remote, so my viewing options have increased dramatically.

What do you like to watch when you are home sick? Sound off in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Sick Day Pop Culture

  1. AD Farrell says:

    When I am home sick I like to pop in some of my favorite movie series trilogies like the Matrix movies, Lord of the Rings, the Bourne movies, Marvel superhero movies and watch them through the fog from the sickness/medication.

  2. Frances says:

    I have very lowbrow daytime TV tastes. Could not do this every day, but I love Judge Judy – I just enjoy her common sense approach to figuring out who owes who for moving out early from an apartment when there is a lease in place signed by one of their parents; and anytime someone sues over a 6 year old laptop that may or may not have been stolen I am all in. I have to be in the right mood for Bridezillas – (i.e.amenable to shrieking by harpies) and along those lines went through a regrettable Toddlers and Tiaras phase while unemployed.

    I am always in for The Price is Right – I went through a phase where I didn’t like the new host (Drew Carey) but then realized Bob Barker was the proverbial creepy old guy with a hangup on keeping stray animals from procreating ( a noble and worthy cause – just one you don’t see that often.)

  3. Jen Jen says:

    My teen girl and her friends are all fans of My Little Pony. It was actually the boys in her group who got her interested. I think it appeals to the geek culture because the dialog is so clever. Also, it references other fandoms. For example, the character Discord is a direct carry-over from the character Q in Star Trek the Next Generation (it’s even played by the same actor). The music is catchy and fun and original. Looking forward to season 4.

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