You’re a busy media consumer. You don’t have time to watch 13 hours of a television show before declaring it awful. That’s TV critics’ jobs.
Instead, just look for a few signs before lunging for the remote:
- Uproarious studio audience laughter following silly euphemism for urination.
- Men dressed in women’s clothing in a show that’s neither British nor airing on Bravo.
- Characters using the word “amnesia”
- Animal reaction shots
- Actors clearly chosen at random from the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog
- More than three special guest stars
- Txt Spk or a numeral in the title
- In reality shows, the dedication of half the show to recapping what happened before the commercial breaks
- Dramatic scenes scored with bombastic music, comedic scenes scored with bouncy ain’t-this-quirky-music, and thoughtful closing montages scored with the latest indie hits
- “You’ll never in a million years get me doing that!” followed immediately with a smash cut of them doing that.
- A Monica Lewinsky joke, of all things, in this day and age
- Voice-over narration that tells you absolutely nothing you don’t see on screen
- The mole, predictably, revealed to be the person you’d least expect
- Dialogue mostly about how characters feel, instead of dialogue catalyzed by how characters feel
- “Created by Chuck Lorre”