Why Can’t I Stop Watching Bad TV?



The other night, my husband and I endured watched Rizzoli and Isles, as we do just about every week when it’s new. If you haven’t had the pleasure, it’s a “cop show” in which Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Dr. Maura Isles are BFF’s who “solve crimes” in between shopping trips, dating fiascos, and life lessons about love, responsibility, and sticking up for the little guy. I believe it’s the longest running after school special on TV.

I put “solve crimes” in quotes because the characters don’t so much investigate as stumble across the perfect clue after forty-five minutes of strengthening their relationships with cheeseburgers and corny jokes. Not that I’m complaining.

So you might wonder, “Hey Nicole, if you hate it so much, why not just switch it off?”

I’ve been asking myself that same question for years. Here are a few theories I have:

1.I enjoy the complaining.

Here’s what goes on in my living room during Rizzoli and Isles:


Isles: I won’t rule it a homicide until I’m able to examine the evidence. I can’t be certain of the cause of death until I get the victim back to the lab.

Rizzoli (rolls eyes): Maura, come on. The man’s got a bullet hole right between the eyes! Do you think maybe the bullet lodged itself in that one unnecessary corner of his brain that he doesn’t need for–I don’t know–living? Then he went walking around until he was hit by a bus?

(Korsak and Frankie chuckle and shake their heads)

Isles (laughing): Well it’s possible.

Me: Dear God, could this show get any cheesier?

Matt: Come on, honey. All cops rib each other with corny jokes containing absolutely no profanity or humor.

Rizzoli (reads her caller ID): Ugh, it’s Ma. Frankie, you gotta take this one!

Frankie: Hey, it was your idea to sign her up for speed dating. 

Rizzoli: Yeah, but now she wants to give me all the details on every single guy she meets. Maura, you talk to her.

Isles (laughing): I have talked to her. I’m encouraging her to be more adventurous with her romantic escapades. It’s important for menopausal women to–

Rizzoli: Uh, never mind! My mother doesn’t need you acting as her–I don’t know–menopause madam.

(All 4 characters chuckle together and shake their heads)

Me: How is her phone still ringing?

Rizzoli (answering the phone): Yeah, Ma…sorry, I can’t hear you. Bad connection.

(Rizzoli makes faces at Isles, Frankie, and Korsak, who all chuckle silently.)

Rizzoli: What’s that? No, I can’t…But Ma I’m…Alright. Yeah, I’ll be there. Fifteen minutes. (Hangs up the phone.) Now I gotta go meet her at Korsak’s bar. O000h, this is going to be so painful! 

Korsak (laughing): Don’t worry. I was just on my way to check on the inventory anyway. I’ll try to cushion your conversation.

Isles: We’ll all go. I could use a burger.

Frankie: Even me?

Rizzoli: Yes, you! She’s your mother too!

Frankie: Aw, man! Why did you have to drag me into this?

Rizzoli (gives Frankie a noogie): Because you’re my brother, now scoot!

Me: So I guess they just forgot about the dead body?

Matt: Don’t worry. Just before the end of the episode, the solution to the crime will fall into their laps.

2.It’s kind of a tradition

What would my Monday nights be like with no Rizzoli and Isles? Margaritas on the deck? Conversations with my husband? Getting an extra hour of sleep? Wait, maybe I need to re-think this tradition.

3. Do I actually like the show?

Are any of the above really good enough reasons to stick with a show for 6 seasons? I mean, do I really like complaining that much? Don’t Matt and I enjoy chatting over drinks on our back deck?

Maybe I like corny jokes. I do find the brightness and cleanness of the show a little refreshing. At least I’m not watching a story about depraved human beings doing awful things to each other.

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll never know! Join us next time as we over-analyze and complain about Major Crimes! (Subtitle: It’s like The Closer, but we’ve taken out the clever plot twists, and added in a creepy romantic relationship between the two least sexy characters on TV.)


Are there any shows you love to hate? Send them my way in the comments!



3 thoughts on “Why Can’t I Stop Watching Bad TV?

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