Talking About Television

Honey August 22, 2008 2

tv date

Television is easily one of the things that I love the most.

However, I’m not just one of those people who blindly turns on the “boob tube” just for background noise—I get really involved in the shows that I watch and love to discuss them with friends.

This is kind of a generalization, but just like women have different conversational styles generally, they also have different ways of talking about television.  This means that if you can adapt your conversational style, then talking about television can become a great addition to your pickup material.

This adaptation involves the types of shows you watch and the ways you talk about them.  I know there are guys out there who will say that it is kind of beta to cater to her interests and conversational style in this way.

However, I would like to argue that if you’re familiar with some of the shows that I list here, then you can bring them up first and dominate/lead the conversation, both of which make for perfect opportunities to demonstrate your alpha status.

Here, I’ll cover three types of shows commonly watched by women:

Drama,

Reality TV,

and Talent TV.

Type of Show:

Drama
Although the drama genre has recently widened to include the dramady (drama + comedy, think Desperate Housewives and Boston Legal), drama is one of the most popular genres of television women watch. The key feature of dramas is that they usually feature long story arcs over multiple episodes or even a whole season.

Some of the more popular dramas (at least among women) that are currently making new episodes include the following:

• Grey’s Anatomy—Traditional drama following the lives of doctors.

• Lost—A supernatural suspense about people trapped on a mysterious island.

• House, M.D.—Another traditional drama following the lives of doctors.

• Desperate Housewives—Dramady and mystery/suspense show following “typical” suburban families.

In order to incorporate discussion of dramas into your pickup, then you need to have a sense of the overall arc of a season and who the various characters are (typically you can refer to either the character’s name or the actor’s name, whichever you remember). Be prepared to speculate on character motives for taking/not taking particular actions as well as what may/should happen in future episodes.

Type of Show: Reality TV
Most reality TV can be defined as an ensemble cast of “real people” cut off from the outside world and placed in various unlikely scenarios. Most of these shows are elimination competitions where the creators of the show take TONS of footage of these scenarios which they then edit heavily to create a traditional-type story arc that highlight conflicts and create a sense of suspense. Other models of reality TV feature celebrity hosts, usually providing charity or other forms of help for “real people.”

Some of the more popular reality series (again, among women specifically) include:

• Beauty and the Geek—An elimination competition that seeks to explore/shatter/exploit gender stereotypes.

• The Bachelor/The Bachelorette—An elimination competition featuring a single bachelor/bachelorette who narrows the field over the course of the season from twenty-five hopefuls to that special someone (well, that’s the idea, anyway).

• Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares—Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who swears more than any other human being alive (except perhaps Robin Williams standup), helps semi-retarded restauranteurs pull their shit together so they don’t go belly-up.

• Extreme Makeover: Home Edition—Host Ty Pennington (previously a carpenter on Trading Spaces) hosts a charity home renovation show for deserving Samaritans.

In order to incorporate discussion of reality TV into your pickup, you need to have a sense of the purpose of the show as well as at least a passing interest in game theory. Be prepared to make speculations regarding contestants’ motives, identify and bash the “bad guy” (there’s one every season), discuss why someone should have been voted off or why someone who was voted off should have stayed. For the charity-style model, you can talk about the appeal of the celebrity host, the stupidity of the recipient (or their deserving-ness for kinder shows like Extreme Makeover), or what you would make of such an opportunity.

Type of Show:

Talent TV
The main difference between Reality TV and Talent TV is that talent shows do not attempt to create a traditional-style story arc about the participants’ lives outside the show, but rather focus on the “talent” the competition centers around. The big talent competitions are:

• American Idol—Amateur singing elimination competition hosted by Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Ryan Seacrest.

• So You Think You Can Dance?—Amateur dancing elimination competition hosted by Nigel Lithgoe, Mary Murphy, and Cat Deeley.

• Dancing With the Stars—Professionals and celebrities team up for a dancing elimination competition hosted by Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris.

In order to incorporate discussion of talent TV into your pickup, you need to know who the current contestants are as well as have a sense of who’s made it big from past seasons. Be prepared to discuss the merit of particular performances, overall judgments about contestants’ talent, hijacks and commentary of the hosts, and any sex scandals involving the contestants.

Final Thoughts

Most women I know watch most, if not all, shows from each category listed here. However, if you pick just one from each category then odds are the woman in question will either a) watch it herself, or b) be familiar with the show. Additionally, whether she watches it or not, she will be very impressed that you do, especially if you are willing to engage with these shows in a manner she can relate to. This is the perfect time to add one or more of these to your repertoire because the fall season will soon be upon us (thank goodness).

Happy watching,

Honey

photo by skooal

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2 Comments »

  1. avatar
    Tenmagnet August 24, 2008 at 1:08 am -

    Any advice on how to pick up women who are into Battlestar Galactica? :)

  2. avatar
    Honey August 24, 2008 at 5:08 am -

    Tenmagnet, if they are *really* into Battlestar Galactica, you could compare the blatant sexism of the original series to the attempts to make the remake female-friendly by changing the gender of some of the characters. I think all the relationships in that show are interesting because it’s such a closed society…and what are the Cylons really a metaphor for, anyway?

    I’m at least a season behind on that show and can’t wait to watch it all from the beginning.

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