Like all of my confessions, this isn’t a brag. Just a fact. I’ve never watched Seinfeld. Not during it’s heyday, not in reruns. I’ve never sat and watched an entire episode. Not even passively. Never even thought to give it a try. Not then and not now.
I know that’s hard to believe. The show was huge in the ’90s. It was in syndication before it went off the air. Even now, over twenty years later, I’d have no problem finding a local station airing it. You’d think that there was no way that I’d be able to avoid it.
I can say the same for Friends. I’ve never seen an entire episode of that show either. And my dad went through a period in which he binge-watched it. It was always on his TV. I could probably find it on any channel right now if I was so inclined.
Lest you think I actually did occupy space in a remote cave or under a rock, I didn’t escape the pop culture saturation of the shows. I know quite a bit about them because of their popularity. I know the shows from other people talking about them, by the way the jokes and funny bits make it into conversations and become part of the fabric of culture. I know them from memes and gifs.
But I’ve never watched them.
Part of it, obviously, is because they’re sitcoms and I’ve already confessed that I’m not predisposed to liking sitcoms. Nor am I big on watching shows that are current. Hence the Rerun Junkie title.
The other part is that I seem to have a natural aversion to hugely popular shows. I don’t think it’s necessarily a conscious thing. It’s just a switch that gets flipped in my head. Everybody is hyping about a show. Mmm. Not for me.
Of course this doesn’t apply for every big show. I watched The Simpsons and Lost and the CSIs first run when they were looming on the landscape. But for every hyped show I ended up watching, there are several more from whose orbit I managed to escape, either because they weren’t my bag or because the massive popularity dissuaded me. Everybody else is watching. Why should I? Nowadays I can absorb enough from social media to keep up on all the references without watching a single minute. Time saving, really.
I know it sounds very snobbish, but I don’t mean to be. I don’t think these shows are automatically bad or anything because of their popularity. Nor do I look down on anyone who enjoys them. Do you. Get your kicks where you can. Laws knows I do. It’s just a weird quirk of my viewing habits to either be reluctant to try those shows or to not watch them at all.
And it makes me wonder how many of my beloved reruns I would have passed over if I had been around when they were first run. Obviously, not the cop shows because we all know those my favorite. But would I have still watch The Monkees when they were huge? (I’m going to say yes because of my love of music). Would I have ever watched M*A*S*H? Now there’s a question I can’t answer. An incredibly popular sitcom? But it’s set in a hospital during a war? Honestly, it’s 50/50.
But in junior high, ten years after it had gone off the air, it was a definite yes for me. So, who’s to say?
Maybe one day I’ll give Seinfeld a shot.
Maybe it just needs a few more years off the air.