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SLATE: ‘HURRR, DVD BOX SETS OF TV SHOWS ARE BAD BECAUSE TV IS GOOD’

By 12.03.09

I know better than to read Slate Magazine. Really, I do. I’m well aware that most of the articles are infuriatingly contrarian arguments that some wannabe intellectuals give credence to solely because the pretentious writer knows his or her way around some SAT words. Nevertheless, Warming Glow readers occasionally send me a link to something particularly annoying, and that’s the case with this treatise on why box sets of TV shows are bad.

There is a lot — a LOT — to hate in this essay, from little things like the writer’s name (Grady Hendrix) to larger faults like painfully hyperbolic metaphors. Twice (three times if you count the headline) he compares watching box sets of TV series to a prison sentence, another time, a “gulag.” But I don’t have the time to deconstruct the whole thing, so here’s the only sentence you need to read:

As a gateway drug to initiate virgin viewers, all box sets do is proclaim that the emperor has no clothes.

This is my promise to you, readers: if anyone ever catches a sentence I’ve written on Warming Glow that combines Hendrix’s use of mixed metaphors and pretentiousness without any irony, I will film myself punching myself in the balls and post it on this website.

Box sets kick ass. It’s how I watched “The Wire” over two months one winter, it’s how I caught Season 1 of “Mad Men’ before Season 2 started, it’s a great way to watch my favorite “Simpsons” episodes, it allows me to experience the visual delight of Discovery’s “Planet Earth” whenever I want… do I need to go on?

The notion that box sets are a “prison” because other people expect you to watch their favorite TV shows could only be held by someone too mentally weak to say, “No thanks.”


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