Some days, I'm a little old school. Image from WikiMedia from Zaphod.

Some days, I’m a little old school.
Image from WikiMedia from Zaphod.

This is a conversation I have with people fairly frequently, and I’m always surprised at how it never fails to surprise my friends and acquaintances.

“You’ve never seen (insert name of popular tv show/movie here)?” They cry. “How?”

For example, when a friend made a reference to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I missed it. And mentioning which show the reference came from didn’t help. I had to admit that though I knew generally what the show was about, I’d never seen it. I know this show was a bit of a touchstone for my generation, but I offered my bemused friend the same excuse I give people when I say I’ve never seen E.T. or It’s a Wonderful Life.

“I didn’t watch a lot of tv as a child.” (Usually accompanied by a shrug, so no one feels sorry for me.)

When I explain that I’ve never seen Friends, Saved by the Bell, The Godfather, The Simpsons, Back to the Future, The Office, The Sopranos, or Seinfeld, etc., I have less of an excuse.

These media gaps earn me the truly odd looks, and I have to settle for a not entirely true response–“I don’t watch a lot of tv/movies.”

I do watch some–more in recent years than I did as a child, a teen, or a college student. I adore the works of Hyao Miazaki, can quote entirely too much of The Princess Bride, and watch the heck out of Mythbusters.

The ones ‘everyone’ has seen aren’t usually on my list, even now.

What do you think? Did I miss out? What movies or tv shows, if any, do you think everyone should see?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

4 responses »

  1. Harliqueen says:

    Hm, I think there are some shows and things that are so popular that it’s odd when people haven’t seen them. For example, Harry Potter books are so popular, but quite a few people haven’t read them (myself included), and it’s always a shock to others when they haven’t 😀 Great post.

    • caitlinstern says:

      It seems like no one (other than the tribe of book lovers) considers you odd if you haven’t read many popular books, though. Or at least not as odd as if you haven’t seen many popular shows or movies.

  2. Marcia says:

    Well, whether or not you missed out depends on what’s important to you. Maybe they are the ones missing things? For me, I’ve never seen Fresh Prince, either. But…I’ve never seen The Princess Bride, I have to admit, so I don’t count. 🙂 However, some of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard came from Friends, Seinfeld, and my all time favorite sitcom, Frasier. There is not a single sitcom on tv today that comes close. And not many from the past, either. But what do I know? My biggest frame of reference is from a much earlier era. I know why Lucy was shoving chocolates in her face on the assembly line and dancing barefoot in the wine vat, and I’m still worried about Lassie finding help to get Timmy out of the well. And that’s the FIRST Timmy. But I’ve had a lot longer to collect these tidbits than you. By the way, E. T. might not have held up so well over the years. I haven’t seen it since it came out. But you really should make time to watch It’s A Wonderful Life some Christmas season. It’s a lovely movie, though I suspect it has grown more so to most of us, through repeated watchings.

    Just tell me you HAVE seen A Christmas Story. Because THAT would be a really sad gap in your life. 😦


    • caitlinstern says:

      I could *tell* you that I’ve seen A Christmas Story…

      Many shows and movies don’t weather the time well. Like when I finally saw Jaws in a high school film class, and it amused more than it terrified.

      The Princess Bride, I think, despite some old-style special effects, has held up. You should see if you can rent it in your copious mounds of free time! 😉

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