Crap TV

teen wolf

School is starting a a few short weeks, so I’ve reached the Impending Sense of Doom portionofmylibrary project. I’m at the libraryevery day and bringing work home when I leave. I sound all Super DedicatedLibrarian, but it’s been hard for me to work from home. Once I goback home tothe land of air conditioning, I don’t want to work (the library shares an a/c unit with another classroom andit can’t keep both rooms coolonce the temperature exceeds 95–it’s been 101-114). All I want to do is hydrate and lie downon my bed under the ceiling fan with a good book curling in the grip of my sweaty, sweaty hands.

But! Good news!I have new motivation in the form oftwo volunteers coming on Monday.I have to enter a fair number of books so they can turn around and label them with barcodes and spine labels. I debated having them enter books with me, but that requires a few hours of training. No one wants to do that, least of all me, the person whose epitaph will read,You know what? I’ll just do it myself. They have very young children and they want service hours they can do at night in front of the TV when the kids are in bed. Sticking labels on books is, like, dream service hours.

But to get those dream service hours, I have to enter a lot of books and be reasonably entertained while I do it.

Which is how on Tuesday I entered over 50 books while watching Teen Wolf. Not to brag, or anything.


I heard about Teen Wolf a few years ago from the 7th grade girls (now sophomores in high school). I watched the first 10 seconds of the trailer and decided to look for something else to talk to them about because Teen Wolf, or anything on MTV, for that matter, isnot a show for someone who pants over Lutherand other men of dubious moral integrity.

On MondayI was on Goodreads or Tumblr or somewhere teens recommend books, and a book popped up I’d never heard about. It was Teen Wolf fan fiction; obviously a dead end. But that reminded me of those sweet girls trying to get me to watch Teen Wolf, whichgot me thinking that I could never watch Teen Wolf unless I had it on as background while Idid something else, which made me sit up and say wait a minute

An hour later the Mister and I had the first episodestreaming on Amazon Prime. Thirty minutes later he shook his head and said, “What was…that was…that was awful! Really, really awful, Jules.”

“I know,” I said, already planning my Tuesday. “It’s freaking perfect.”

I told the Mister when he got home that I entered 50 books into the system while watching Teen Wolf. Once he managed to smooththe look of horror from his face he asked, “And how was that for you?”

“Fantastic,” I replied. “Teen Wolf is exactly what I was looking for because the show is muchbetter when you’re not actually watching it.”

“And there you go,” he said.

You guys, entering books while watching lousy TV is the best thing ever for my productivity. I need more Crap TV* recommendations just in case I can’t get past the first season or two of Teen Wolf. We don’t have cable, so the showhas to be available on Netflix, HULU, or Amazon Prime.

Here are some shows I’ve tried and just can’t do.

  • Vampire Diaries:I started watching for the kids a few years ago. I made it several seasons in before I just couldn’t anymore. The death-knell momentwas this awkward scene ofElena and Damian dancing at a fratparty under the thrall of bloodlust. To this day, I cringe in embarrassment when I hear that song.
  • Once Upon a Time: I tried.
  • Gilmore Girls: The mom seriously bugged me, which I think I’ve mentioned before in the comments of a TV post.
  • Real Housewives of ANYWHERE: I am looking for a show that will amuse me, not fill me with rage. Most reality TV shows are a no-go for me as they make me want to hurt people.

Here are twofun shows I enjoy, so they won’t work for entering books. I’ll start watching the show instead of entering the books. Two shows! That’s it! Looks like I need some more fun shows.

*Crap TV is a lazy way to label a show that doesn’t require a ton of attention to enjoy. I’m not saying it’s bad, nor am I judging you for watching said show. Hahaha! YES I AM.

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  1. I don’t know if this will work for entering books, because it’s in Spanish and so you’ll be looking up and down for the subtitles, but Grand Hotel is awesomely addicting and cheesy—and I just remembered you speak Spanish! Am I remembering that right? Either way, apologize to your family that you won’t be seeing them for a while before you start watching because it will suck you in–there clothes! The hair! The beautiful faces! The meaningful glances!!!

  2. How do you feel about crime dramas? Because that’s an area where many shows are interesting enough to sort of watch, but not good enough to pay a lot of attention to, IMO. Bones and Castle are particular favorites for me for only-half-paying-attention watching 🙂

    • Crime dramas are my absolutely favorite thing, ever. They’re my siren call. They might distract me too much, but I still can’t resist them. 🙂

      • I’m hooked on “Midsomer Murders” on Netflix. Extremely cheesy, some dark humor, but good fun. So I don’t know if that really qualifies as “Crap TV.” Also enjoy “Poirot,” but that one you’ll want to pay more attention to.

    • Ditto the Castle and Bones for half watching.

      Also, love Gossip Girls, Suits, White Collar, Private Practice (medical, not law), Drop Dead Diva, The Good Wife, Friends, Downton Abby for similar watching while doing things.

  3. How about Drop Dead Diva? I found the premise of the series interesting and yet didn’t feel the need to keep my eyes glued to the set. I managed quite a lot of knitting while watching this series 🙂 .

  4. My 12 year old just watched a whole season of The Shannara Chronicles on netflix. Think Teen Wolf but elves instead of werewolves. It is another MTV series.

    Supernatural might also fit the bill, but I actually like to watch that show. Or how about Buffy the Vampire Slayer? An oldie but a goodie.

  5. Would an audiobook possibly provide the same amount of stimulating/non-stimulating entertainment? If you choose a book that you’ve already read, you won’t need to focus as carefully on following the plot – I find this quite helpful when I’m driving. If you haven’t already tried the Harry Potter audiobooks, they might be just the ticket – hours and hours of content, too!

    • No, I don’t think so, but it’s funny you should mention HP. I was going to buy the audio books anyway for my husband!! He has a loooong commute and it’s a great way for him to spend the time on the road. 🙂

  6. I second Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Along the same line: Angel.

    I also watched Firefly and Pretty Little Liars while furiously knitting so that may fit the bill for you.

    • My friend in law school comfort-watched Buffy and Angel. They were total stress relievers for her! I love, love, love the term “furiously knitting” shows.

  7. The Fosters, Heartland, and Jane the Virgin (Jane the Virgin is absolutely FANTASTIC so not exactly in the same category, but I was able to watch it while doing crafts, etc. so I think it could still work – but warning you might get too caught up to work).

    • Well, I won’t pass up a good show, even if it doesn’t work for entering books. I’ll check them out, especially Jane since it’s been recommended at least 5 times. 🙂

  8. One Tree Hill?? Not sure if it’s on any of those platforms though. Reign is another that has been recommended to me, but I haven’t watched yet. I have to give my full attention to TV so I basically get nothing done when I start a new show. 😀

    • That’s how my husband and boys can be! They’re zombies in front of the TV, but there are certain shows they can watch when they fold laundry. Those are the ones I’m looking for. 🙂

  9. I just started Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Netflix and its my perfect laundry sorting and folding show. Is it a comedy? Musical? Strange Amy Schumer ripoff? Who knows? It’s just creative enough so that I don’t feel extra stupid watching it, but not engaging enough at this point to totally draw me in.

  10. Shadowhunters on Hulu – really cheesy, but I watched the whole season anyway. Hot Housewives of Orlando (and the new Las Vegas one) – a satire of the real housewives reality shows, but in no way an actual reality show, also on Hulu

  11. I flew throug Nurse Jackie like *I* was the junkie. Grace and Frankie is easy and you don’t have to actually watch it. Community is great junk TV, clever and funny. Longmire is way good, but not in the craptastic way you’re looking for. And have I mentioned Newsroom to you? Not craptastic, but pure awesome.

    P. S. Not sure if I can trust someone who doesn’t like Once Upon A Time.

    • I flew through Nurse Jackie like *I* was the junkie.

      This made me laugh out loud!

      I know, about Once Upon a Time. I’m always so disappointed when I don’t like what everything thinks is an awesome, fun show. Maybe I should keep at it, this time with a project. I like how Kate described it–furiously knitting shows.

  12. I have that same water bottle in teal. 🙂

    Some of these suggestions are some of my favorite shows! 😀

    My background-noise-show is Stargate SG-1. I didn’t watch it when it was originally on, but many of my friends love it, so I decided to give it a try since I love the original film. I find it totally corny at times, but I’m a Trekkie so I still get some enjoyment out of it.

    A slightly campy, steampunk-ish* procedural I love is Murdoch Mysteries [a Canadian show, sometimes called The Artful Detective in the U.S.]. [*I’ve come to despise the word steampunk, with its overuse, and misappropriation. :-/ ]

    A good thing about both of those shows is that there are a decade’s worth of episodes. If I ever get through all of the SG-1 episodes, there are spinoffs to turn to.

    I keep a Word file with a listing of the shows I watch, when they’re on, which episode I left off watching, etc. — there are 30 currently-airing shows, and over 100 that are on hiatus [And that’s not including the cancelled shows I’m re-watching/watching for the first time]. Since I watch *so* many shows, it can be difficult narrowing down suggestions, lol. [I feel I should mention, we weren’t blessed with children, I don’t work out of the house, and I’m the type that *has* to have something on, whether it’s the television, or music, at all times. 😉 ]

    • I had to look around to see if I wrote this – because I’m also guilty of watching way too many shows at one time. LOL.
      I second Murdoch Mysteries, especially now that it’s moved to CBC and they’re just full-on in camp mode. Murdoch invents the fax machine! Email! The electric car! A rocket ship!
      A few favourites that I’ll watch again and again are Veronica Mars and Chuck, neither of which I’d call crap tv, but still watchable while you’re doing other stuff.
      Also the Xenas and Herculeses (if you can find Young Hercules, a very young and adorable Ryan Gosling stars). I too never could get into Gilmore Girls – honestly, I found both mother and daughter just unbearable very quickly, even if the pilot episode was filmed in my neighbourhood..
      And if you skip the last half of the last season because it sucked, How I Met Your Mother.

      • Oh! If you liked Scrubs (I read more comments… 🙂 ), you may like Cougar Town, which took a few episodes to find its legs, but once they decided to go with what worked – the chemistry of the ‘Cul de Sac Crew’ instead of 40-ish lady dates 20-ish boys – it got a lot better.

      • Ha!

        I don’t think you can go wrong with late-night syndicated sci-fi/fantasy, really. Well, that’s my go-to.

        O.M.G. — Forever Knight just popped into my head — a vampire cop. I loved that in the mid-’90s.

  13. One show my boys and I have been watching (And I’m usually doing things) is Expedition Unknown, Its on the Travel channel so not sure if you can get it via the other 3 options. It is an amazing combination of educational/interesting with a really snarky, funny host. I really enjoy it, but it doesn’t require lots of attention.

  14. Rosemary and Thyme is on Netflix. It’s murder mysteries. But, think Murder She wrote, except with plants and gardens. I listen to it while sewing. Also enjoying Miss Fischer Mysteries. Neither show are particularly bloody or scary. They are light viewing, which I like when my youngest is around. I save the Luther for after bedtime or when he’s at school, and I happen to be home.

  15. Um…well…er….yeah. All my suggestions were under your “can’t do it” list.
    Now I wonder what that says about me…

    All the following are on Hulu (I don’t do Netflix streaming ever since they made you choose between DVD and streaming…)
    “DCI Banks” and “Vera” are queued in my lineup. I enjoyed “Endgame” (a one-season Canadian procedural) and all the seasons of “Scrubs”. Have you watched the new Rashida Jones show – “Angie Tribeca”?

    And my background noise go-to shows are “The Chew” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”

    • Your favorites list says you’re fun, and I’m not! I’m used to it by now. 🙂

      I’ll check out the ones you mentioned…that I don’t already hate. 😉 😉 😉

  16. Heart of Dixie? Scrubs was my go-to background show for a minute… Jane the Virgin managed to actually draw me in so I am not sure it qualifies. The Good Wife is one I can multi-task to though.

  17. I’m sorry. I have no shows to recommend because like you..
    ” who pants over Luther and other men of dubious moral integrity” YEP. that would be me. LOVED Luther.
    and I barely have any shows going right now- I’m catching up on the Americans (DVR’d in spring, just now having time). Fantastic show, but you have to watch carefully and that wont work here.
    What about.. American Ninja Warrior? LOL

    • I don’t have any shows going right now, either, hence the post…and Teen Wolf…and the fact that I’m actually looking forward to entering books tonight. [monkey covering eyes emoji]

  18. I was going to chime in here with Midsomer Mysteries. My poor husband misread the title do we call them the Misnomer Mysteries at our house.

  19. Looks like you already have a slew of suggestions, but I’ll throw mine in anyway!
    I asked my friend who regularly watches shows that don’t require ‘watching’ while she pours molds (food-grade molds used for cake decorating – business she owns and operates IN ADDITION TO her full-time day job.) She highly recommends any 80’s television series. Her favorites have been Highlander and The A-Team. Both are cheesy yet engaging to the ears. Neither are so great they tear you away from your work.

  20. Friends and That 70s Show are the ones I know so well I can listen without watching and know exactly what’s going on. Anything on TLC is bad enough to listen to and not watch…in fact, I often fine myself averting my eyes, especially during the plastic surgery scenes (and it seems to be a rule that every TLC show must have a plastic surgery scene).

  21. Pretty Little Liars! It’s cheesy and addicting, and the plot twists never really make that much sense in the end anyway, so it’s not a big deal if you aren’t paying full attention. It was my go-to show when up nursing my son in the middle of the night.

    I’m kind of adore teen TV shows. Watching so many of them is probably my version of a mid-life crisis. The new Degrassi streaming on Netflix is also good for a background show.

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