I spent a better part of this morning chatting with a coworker about our favorite TV shows. We shared theories on Game of Thrones, discussed the ups and downs of Breaking Bad, and dissected the ending of The Sopranos.
I’ve danced these steps a number of times with different partners and, as always, we eventually make our way around to The Wire. “You don’t like The Wire,” she said with wide eyes and a dropped jaw, as if I’d just hailed Satan amidst an Easter Sunday sermon.
It’s true. I don’t like The Wire. With a 9.4/10 rating on IMDB and a 96% score on Rotten Tomatoes, I am one in a small percentage that doesn’t jive with that series. To be fair, I haven’t seen all of The Wire. I haven’t even made it through the first episode. Not to say I haven’t tried.
“How do you know you don’t like something if you haven’t even seen it?” my coworker went on to say. A fair question. I made two separate attempts within a year to get into The Wire, but each time it failed my Rule of 30.
Rule of 30
There is too much good entertainment available for consumption to waste any of that precious time on a series that, “starts slow, but if you push through the first few episodes it gets really good.” PASS!
If a TV show or movie can’t keep me interested after 30 minutes and I keep watching, then I have only myself to blame. Maybe if we lived in the over-nostalgized, Don Draper era of three-channel television and one-and-done cinema I’d be a lot less picky. But alas, my biggest problem with entertainment is being overburdened with choice.
That’s not to say The Wire a bad show. It’s just not for me. However, if I have to “push through” a few bad or mediocre episodes to get to the good part, then there’s better ways to spend my time. If it’s a TV show or movie, it’s got 30 minutes to get me engaged. Books have 30 pages.
If you’re lukewarm about something, it’s okay to say pass or get up and walkout. Paying for something doesn’t obligate you to finish. Time is a precious commodity. Don’t be frivolous with yours.