The Shows I’ll Never Watch: 2023 Edition

By Anne T. Donahue

I was once a person who prided herself on watching everything. I loved TV! I loved losing myself in it, consuming it in a way that was likely alarming, and talking about it to anybody who would listen. Television, as I see it, is a wonderful thing. But now thanks to streaming, I’ve been given too many options and I don’t have it in me to pour my energy into anything but the Bravo universe. (Most of the time. There are always exceptions, and there’s a high chance I’ll eventually break my own rules, so when that happens: shut up, you.)

Which is why it’s time to write this manifesto. I want so badly to watch so many TV shows, but clearly not nearly enough to actually do it instead of settling on another marathon of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. So I dedicate this to lazy and overly emotional souls like me: we’ve all tried our best, it obviously wasn’t good enough, and now we’ve perfected enthusiastic smiles and nods to anyone who asks us, “Have you seen House of the Dragon?” This is for everyone who, like me, are ready to say “no more.”

House of the Dragon
Why would I watch this? I didn’t watch Game of Thrones. I don’t understand how dragons work. I don’t understand how royal lineages function outside of the Royal Family (and even they confuse me more and more every day). I think it’s great that this show exists. To me, it is the fantasy equivalent of a Mad Men/Peggy Olson spin-off that I would absolutely watch if it were ever written, and since I don’t care for fantasy, capes, over-the-top haircuts, or Matt Smith, I have made peace knowing that this is a world not built for me. Good day.

The Last of Us

Oh, I know this show is amazing. I know it because I’ve watched the trailer multiple times, thought “I should watch that” and then didn’t because I also know it’s too emotionally shattering. A few weeks ago, I was treated to reading the recap of the Nick Offerman/Murray Bartlett episode and I started to cry at my desk despite not knowing who any of these characters even were. It was beautiful! They loved each other so much! And that’s enough for me to know. I know this, I know Pedro Pascal is daddy, and I know that I would fall apart within even the first notes of the theme song. It’s too good. I can’t do it. I can break my own heart once a year only, and it’s upon appointment viewing of Succession.

The Mandalorian

The Star Wars universe is bigger than anything I can even fathom, and despite the presence of Pedro (I swear I have nothing against him, I promise you this), I had to close up shop after the Star Wars movie starring Diego Luna. (Because, again, it was just too sad.) I reserve the right to keep my Baby Yoda doll and slippers, but I will never take the time to learn what his real name is because it’s none of my business.


I don’t trust Penn Badgley after Gossip Girl. And I certainly don’t trust him as the creepiest man in the world. Stay away from me, Penn!

Ted Lasso

It’s not TV’s fault that I don’t what it takes to spend time with a mustachioed Jason Sudeikis being an optimistic and enthusiastic soccer coach. I know people love this show. I know Ted’s a beacon of hope in our cynical world. But I also know that if I’m looking for optimism, it’ll be in the form of rolling down the car windows when it’s three degrees because it’s finally “spring.” I don’t care about soccer. I don’t care that it’s not even really a TV show about soccer. I just . . . don’t care. And I know I’m not alone in this because Harper in White Lotus feels exactly the same.


Unless Matthew McFadden makes a cameo as Mr. Darcy, I will not be doing the homework required to catch up on two seasons of a period romance I’ve seen every screencap of since the start of the decade. I’m glad this show exists! I love love! But the older I get, the more un-invested in romance dramas I’ve become. My favourite television love story is the slow burn between Gregory and Janine on Abbott Elementary because it’s perfect and I’d die for them. I’m proud of everyone involved in Bridgerton, but I prefer bouquets of flowers made of LEGO and frankly, demand them.

That documentary on Netflix about golf

I won’t do it! You can’t make me! The last time I watched golf, I had a wicked-bad stomach flu and settled on golf because it required absolutely nothing from me at all. So, for several hours, I watched men walk around a nice lawn and people clap for them politely. I dosed and I sipped ginger ale, and I thought, “Maybe I like golf now.” Then I got better and realized that I could not care for a sport less. Bless the golfers of the world, I’m willing to bet that we care about each other the same. 

Need a little more Anne? Read more from Anne T. Donahue right here!

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