With no particular effort on my part I’ve managed never to see a single second of any Dr. Who. I believe it’s me and a girl from West Papua.
What?!? You’ve NEVER seen Doctor Who? Not even as a kid, the Tom Baker episodes when they aired on PBS stations? Not the current fez-and-bowtie edition? NEVER? What is WRONG with…
…Okay, confession time. No, I’m not with Mike on the Who deprivation train — I did and do watch Doctor Who, and while I’m no Kyle Anderson, I can claim to have seen plenty of it, old and new. But I, too, have missed out on several things that I KNOW I should have watched, or should be watching, or that everybody BUT me has watched. That guy nodding along with the conversation about that hit movie or must-see TV show and saying nothing because he didn’t actually see it? Sometimes — not all the time, but sometimes — that’s me.
Examples? Okay, I’ve never seen Titanic. I may be the ONLY person who never saw it, and I have no inclination to change that. Avatar? Nope. The last four (or five, or… you know, I lost track) Harry Potter films? Er, maybe someday when I get time. Gone With the Wind? Yeah, well, that one just slipped through the cracks, as have a lot of Best Picture winners. And that doesn’t count movies and TV shows that I saw well after the fact — it took about ten years before I saw Jaws, for example, and I might have been among the last to see The Avengers this summer (“let’s wait until the lines are shorter…”). Still haven’t seen Prometheus, and I was pretty stoked to see it. I want to see Louie, but I get busy and just haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s not willful, and I’ve seen my share of stuff on Day One — I saw both Star Wars and the first Star Trek movie on opening day; does that buy me any Old School nerd cred? — but some stuff just gets past me.
Reasons? Two: Time and inertia. Especially as my career morphed into requiring me to work ridiculous hours seven days a week, I don’t have time to devote to sitting in front of a movie, or catching up with TV shows I couldn’t watch when they first aired. (That’s also why I’m officially the World’s Worst Gamer — I don’t have hours to play Mass Effect, so I’m bound to be lousy at it.) And, let’s face it, when I do get time, I don’t want to get up from the couch. If a hot movie or TV show just happens to be on at that moment, I’ll watch it. If not, oh, well. Pass the remote. Don’t make me reach for it.
(And there’s also the issue of spoilers. Some things I have yet to see, I’ve practically seen anyway, because between friends’ chatter and the Internet, I know everything about the plots and the characters and the catchphrases and everything. Seeing the actual movie or show would probably be a disappointment.)
So, there’s my confession. I HAVEN’T SEEN EVERYTHING. There, I feel better. (No, I don’t, but at least I’m being honest here.) Now, I know you haven’t seen or read or played everything. I bet you’ve missed out on some huge nerd cultural touchstones. Let’s try this: ‘Fess up to your nerd deficiencies here in the comments. What universally popular, or at least nerd-essential, movies, TV shows, games, or books have you never seen, played, or read? Confession, they say, is good for the soul. We can get through this together.
And Mike, there’s always DVD or Instant Watch.