Okay, so I’m going to write about TV. I’ve been putting this off because this always sound like I sit in front of the TV all day and do nothing else. But that’s not true. At work, I sit in front of a computer all day..

I’ve always enjoyed TV shows – from when I was 10 and had a small black & white portable in my bedroom – to nowadays with my 47” LCD screen in the living room. (I have a plan with my LCD screen. I’m going to hang it on a wall, and record a picture of me standing perfectly still. But every fifteen to twenty minutes I’m going to move slightly, so that visitors aren’t quite sure if the portrait is coming to life, or if they’re losing their minds…)

…This is actually version 2 of the plan. The first version involved me peering through eyeholes in a real picture, and then dressing up as a monster and scaring my guests… But then these 4 meddling kids and their dog turned up and… Ah well, that’s another story.

Note – If the above comment made sense, then you are with me. There are several rules that seem to hold true throughout the world of TV. As part of my ‘Mike Switzer Tells You How To Live’ series, I’ll outline the top 20 below;

1.    EVERYBODY watched Scooby Doo. No matter how old you are, everybody has watched Scooby Doo at some point in their life. Consequently, Scooby Doo has influenced our society overall. Witness how many vertically challenged girls who wear glasses are now in fields of investigation. Witness how many guys with those little stubbly goatee beards cannot hold down a job. Witness how often I go out wearing a cravat, and think I look great.
2.    As a general rule, a show has ‘jumped the shark’ (or is ready for cancellation) the second they introduce a previously unknown family member. (This can either be a new actor, or a previously unknown Brother/Daughter/Son/Father/Mother that is unexpectedly announced). Either way – stop watching the show. It’s not worth it. First and Final example – Scrappy Doo. Scrappy has now gone down in history as the worst example of this trend, so I won’t go on about it here. Oddly, The Bible seemed to pick up a bit when they had the unexpected birth of God’s new son. (Although even that seemed hastily written-in… Where were the two seasons of on-again off-again romance? …They were obviously struggling for ratings).
3.    If someone is introduced as ‘singing live’ that may mean that they are appearing live while miming to a backing track, or were live when it was recorded last week, or one of the words in the prerecorded single is ‘live’. Never will it mean that person is singing in real-time and you are hearing it without enhancement.
4.    If a sniper is a character on any TV show they will glare at the person through the sights for around 90 seconds until they actually get around to pulling the damn trigger.
5.    When they pull the trigger it will always be just after the person they’re aiming at has moved out of the sights..
6.    If they say there is no cure on a medical procedural TV show, that person will die.
7.    If they say there is no cure on any other TV show, you have anywhere between twenty minutes and three episodes before they find the cure.
8.    If someone introduces a dog on a TV show – before the end of that show, it will die saving someone or something. (Unfortunately, in all these cases – there is no cure).
9.    If everything seems great five minutes before the end of your show – something really bad is going to happen before it actually ends.
10.    This is slightly different, but similar to, the American Idol (X-Factor for the English among you) effect – when the judge starts with ‘first of all, you look amazing tonight’… That’s never going to end well. It’s like saying to Picasso ‘Yes – It’s a new camera. The old one just wasn’t photorealistic enough for me. And as we both know – the level of photorealism is directly proportionate to how good a picture is. Which reminds me, where are those paintings you wanted to show me?’
11.    By the same token – if anyone on any reality TV show talks about how they are certain they’ve done really well – They’ve failed.
12.    If they talk about how badly it’s gone – They’ve won.
13.    Anyone appearing on a show with the word ‘celebrity’ in the title, by and large – isn’t a celebrity.
14.    If someone is English on an American TV show, they are either evil, or rich. Or both. (See American Idol).
15.    If someone is American on an English TV show, they are either sex-crazed or John Barrowman. Or both.
16.    If the show finishes a season and is advertised as ‘returning soon’ with no specific date – it’s never returning.
17.    The more people that watch a show, the less people will admit to liking it.
18.    ‘Reality TV’ is a sub-genre of Television in which people are asked to do things they would never normally do in reality.
19.    If you require more Reality in your Reality TV, turn off the TV. What’s left is what we call ‘Reality’.
20.    And finally – If you are American, and really must compare my accent to someone English on TV – make it Patrick Stewart, or Hugh Grant. Not the gecko from the Geico ads…

(Note to English people who may not know the Geico gecko.. It’s a charming, intelligent, witty, sexy character in an ad campaign over here. …That’s why people mistake us. Of course, now I’ve told you that, you don’t need to check this with your American friends.


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