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Three strikes: good for baseball and TV shows

In the past five years, I’ve come up with a rule. You have to give a TV show three chances before giving up on it entirely. All too often, I’ve watched a pilot or another early episode, gotten a so-so vibe off of it, and just left it alone – only to come back to it after the first season and get caught up when it goes to DVD.

This point was hammered home this summer when I caught up with all 13 episodes of AMC’s Mad Men. Sure, we’re all hearing about the Emmy nominations and the Golden Globe wins. In fact, this was a weird one. I actually saw some of the debut episode, but because it was on AMC, I thought it was some movie and just kept going. The next night, I saw it again and REALLY liked it. But, since I wasn’t all that accustomed to looking for new programming on AMC, I never got into the groove of watching it.

Flash forward to a couple of months ago. I started catching the reruns in order on AMC, and I was hooked. Extremely hooked. I guess because I’m in marketing/advertising, I appreciate it on a different level. The creative fights… the inability to see what the client wants… it’s all intriguing. Plus, it shows a very cool time in the business world, when guys were jerks, women were women and booze was a standard part of any businessman’s diet.

Here are a few other shows I missed early on because I couldn’t pull my head out of my ass until midway through the first season – or even until after the first season was over.

  • 30 Rock – On paper, this should have been a no-brainer. I’m a huge Saturday Night Live fan, so a show based on Tina Fey’s experience at SNL should be crack for me. For some reason, though, I went for the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip route that year. It was the worst TV decision I’ve ever made. Only if I was responsible for Cop Rock could I make a worse decision.
  • Six Feet Under – To my credit, I gave this one several shots. And I maintain that it wasn’t all that good until the end of the first season. But, this was one of my favorites of recent memory, and I didn’t get into it until season 2.
  • Scrubs – This one is in my top five favorite sitcoms ever. Never watched it the first season. It’s unbelievable. It was on Thursday nights on NBC, and I didn’t watch it. I guess it stems from my aversion to medical dramas. Who knew that I could like a medical comedy?

So now, I’m trusting my instincts. That’s why I’m coming up with a three strikes rule. I’m going to watch three complete episodes of shows in that I think I will like before giving up on them. That should come in handy this fall when dozens of new shows hit the airwaves.

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Categories: TV
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