the power of mediocrity

Vulture Asks: What ‘Meh’ TV Show Do You Find Yourself Watching Anyway?

Drop Dead Diva, Episode 501, May 3, 2013Drop Dead Diva, Episode 501, May 3, 2013 Photo: Darren Michaels/TNT

After I watched Breaking Bad on Sunday night, I ran through my mental TV Guide of what else was on. And to my great delight, I remembered that Lifetime’s body-swap lawyer dramedy Drop Dead Diva’s midseason finale was waiting for me, since that had also aired at 9 p.m. I can’t recommend DDD; it’s corny and predictable and its courtroom maneuverings are often embarrassingly stupid. But I like it anyway! It’s just mehgnetic — a mediocre show that just sucks me in.

Most of us have shows like this, shows we can’t exactly vouch for and would not recommend to others, yet we watch, gleefully, each week. They’re not bad enough to stop watching, nor are they audacious enough to qualify as guilty pleasures. They’re the shows you’re not embarrassed to watch, but you’d respect someone a little less if that was his or her favorite series. You watch Rizzolli & Isles? Sure. Your favorite show is Rizzolli & Isles? Come on, now.

Summertime is a goldmine for mehgnetism, but year-round there are plenty of shows that fit the bill. Shows you leave on while attending to domestic chores, or shows you put on while you wait for your TV-watching pals to show up. A USA procedural, a CW series you just never gave up on, workplace reality shows, anything with a wedding dress, maybe a low-budget cable drama — not everything is all prestige all the time! There’s room in our hearts and DVRs for just-okay TV, too. What’s your mehgnetic show, and why?

On the Allure of the Mehgnetic TV Show