Television is rarely perceived as a teaching tool, but given the fact that the average person spends an average of 4 hours a day watching TV, it can be. So sometimes clever TV shows manage to embed either instruction or social commentary messages in their show. For example, over the years, I learned the benefits of replacing your toothbrush frequently from BONES, the health benefits of yogurt from BURN NOTICE and how a hot cup of tea can disarm just about anyone from THE MENTALIST. So looking back over the 2012-2013 TV season, I began to wonder what exactly I learned from some of the TV shows I watched. While it is true that most did not truly seek to impart some real world advice or moral message, it was curious what I took away from each.
All fun intended, here’s what I remember:
ARROW – Never spare the villain just because he’s your best friend’s father.
AWKWARD. – It’s okay for your ex-boyfriend and best friend to date.
BANSHEE – Human beings can endure a lot of pain.
BATES MOTEL – Serial killers are people too.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (CW) – Men infected with animal DNA make great lovers.
BEING HUMAN (SYFY) – Being resurrected may make you crave human flesh.
BONES – Being a serial killer’s archenemy is bad for a marriage.
BUNHEADS – Ex-Vegas showgirls make great ballet instructors.
BURN NOTICE – CIA operatives never escape their past.
CASTLE – Everyone always knows when you’re dating your co-worker.
CONTINUUM – Timeloops suck.
COPPER – Maybe you don’t want your missing wife back after all.
COUGAR TOWN – Some friendships are destined in the stars.
COVERT AFFAIRS – Dating a spy is incredibly hazardous to your health.
CULT – If a family member gets mixed up with a cult, run for your life.
DEXTER – Dating amongst serial killers leads to all kinds of mixed signals.
DOCTOR WHO – A new friend may just save your life one day.
DON’T TRUST THE B- IN APT 23 – Being friends with James Van Der Beek makes life a whole lot better.
DOWNTON ABBEY – TV writers don’t have a clue that it is wrong to kill characters on Christmas Day.
DROP DEAD DIVA – Body hopping is not advisable as you cannot guarantee which gender you’ll get.
ELEMENTARY – Bees are cool.
EMILY OWENS, M.D. – Choosing the guy of your dreams may be the biggest mistake of your life.
FALLING SKIES – Not all aliens want to eat you and enslave you.
FRINGE – Waking up in the future is not a dream to be wished for.
GAME OF THRONES – TV viewers don’t read books.
GOSSIP GIRL – Men gossip too.
GRIMM – The curse of true love’s kiss is a bitch to get rid of.
HART OF DIXIE – Sometimes the right guy is Mr. Wrong.
HANNIBAL – Therapy can lead you right into the arms of a serial killer.
HAVEN – Skinwalkers just want you for your skin.
HELL ON WHEELS – Crazy religious nuts will ruin your life.
HEMLOCK GROVE – Werewolves and vampires can be friends.
HOMELAND – Mental illness can be sexy in spies and terrorists.
JUSTIFIED – Never trust a sheriff or a preacher.
LAST RESORT – Going down with the boat is not heroic.
LONGMIRE – Everyone kills given the chance.
LOST GIRL – Friends always have your back.
MERLIN – Sorcerers cannot fight against destiny.
NASHVILLE – Enemies can be friends when they sing together.
NECESSARY ROUGHNESS – Dating younger men may be fun, but it’s only temporary.
NEW GIRL – Sexual tension among roommates is good.
NIKITA – Never trust the government.
ONCE UPON A TIME – Magic and portals should never mix.
ORPHAN BLACK (BBC) – If you see someone who looks like you, run.
PERCEPTION – Your therapist should never look like your imaginary friend.
PERSON OF INTEREST – Machines having feelings too.
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS – If you start getting weird text messages, get rid of your phone.
PSYCH – Being a fake psychic is not as fun once your girlfriend finds out.
REVENGE – Even the best-laid plans can get your friends killed.
REVOLUTION – Maybe the world is a better place without power.
ROGUE – Working undercover is hazardous to your physical and mental health.
ROOKIE BLUE – If you leave your boyfriend for 6 months, he may not be waiting when you get back.
SCANDAL – Your stalker just might save your life one day.
SMASH – People will stab you in the back every chance they get.
SONS OF ANARCHY – A real friend will literally die for you.
SPARTACUS – Heroes don’t always live happily ever after.
SUBURGATORY – Trying to love someone is not as good as actually loving them.
SUITS – Once a crook, always a crook.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH – Deadbeat dads can still get rich through the court system.
TEEN WOLF – Lonely kids may just turn into supernatural beings one day.
THE AMERICANS – Falling in love with your fake husband can be heart-breaking.
THE FOLLOWING – There is such a thing of too much of something.
THE GOOD WIFE - You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
THE KILLING – Sometimes the killer you’re looking for lives with you.
THE LYING GAME – Finding your birth mom may be the biggest mistake of your life.
THE MENTALIST – Girlfriends of serial killers never live very long.
THE NEWSROOM – You’re never off-duty when you’re a public figure or a news anchor.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES – Wishing your girlfriend was a vampire may be the biggest mistake of your life.
THE WALKING DEAD – Loving crazy guys in power will get you thrown to the zombies.
TRUE BLOOD – Resurrecting a demi-god is not all it’s cracked up to be.
VIKINGS – It’s a kill or be killed world out there.
WAREHOUSE 13 – If you kill one of your friends, the rest will forgive you.
WEDDING BAND – Fame comes in the most unexpected ways.
WHITE COLLAR – Once a thief, always a thief.
Given all these TV lessons from the last TV season, it will be highly curious to see what pearls of wisdom are bestowed this next year. I can hardly wait!