There are times, when involved in research, that your results shock you. You felt as though, going into your research, that you had a pretty good handle on your subject area, and that you could accurately predict the results before the data mining began. Sometimes, you are absolutely surprised. Like I was, when I discovered an Econ Nerd dressed up as a completely saucy Skin Cheerleader, whose favorite book was "Freakonomics" followed closely by "Wealth of Nations".
There are times that you are suprised.
Of course, the opposite happens as well; your data mining announces that your biases, your presuppositions were right on the mark. This, dear reader, is one of those times.
I ask you, before you look at the results of the Cheerleader study, to take a moment. Imagine whatever stereotype you'd like for a cheerleader, and then imagine you had to pick your favorite 3 TV shows of the last 10 years.
Give yourself a moment to absorb that persona. Keep in mind that not all cheerleaders are hot 20 year olds looking to get some TV time on their days off from Hooter's. Some are in their late 30's, or even (gasp, gasp) early 40's. What TV show would you watch if you were that woman? Think on it. If you guess 3 TV shows, I'll wager two of your guesses will be in the top 3. That's how sadly predictable this is.
But I'll press on, and follow the format I did for my Cheerleaders Movies post.
Grey's Anatomy-- 9 votes. That's 22% of all Redskin Cheerleaders.
I'm not surprised, but I can't fathom it. I find this show almost completely unwatchable. And I'm in the male, age 18-35 demo, which is still King Key Demographic, dammit!
No votes for: Scrubs, 3 votes total for ER & House
What this says: If you rip off enough different shows at once, no one will notice. Especially if you manage to bring back Patrick Dempsey and make him hot again! The saddest things at hospitals are the personal travails of the incredibly hot doctors who just can't decide who to fuck next. Being a doctor isn't much different than being a cheerleader, really. We all have to decide whether to fuck the hot rich successful married asshole, or the nerdy guy who digs us and is always there for us. Life is hard!
Why I dislike this show: Like I said, I dislike this show enough to have never made it through a full episode--and I've called late into work because of a particularly good "Price is Right" so I know I'm not being snobby here. I disliked ER because of all the craziness they felt the need to pack into it, particularly as the show evolved. What had been a pretty serious portrait of an Emergency Room and the personal difficulties of those who worked there turned into a "What Can We Do Next?" Show. Grey's Anatomy feels like it started in the 8th season. Young hot doctor accidently sleeps with her boss, falls in love with her dog's vet, fucks her nerdy roommate. That's in what? One season? One character in one season does all of that? Her fellow hot Asian doctor fucks her boss and gets knocked up? Her hot blonde friend falls in love with a dying guy in the hospital? Was this show designed by Republicans looking to cut claims on Medicare? I know I don't want to go the hospital if these are the basketcases who are going to be looking after me. I'll grudgingly accept a spongebath from Ellen Pompeo, though.
Why no Scrubs? I'll be the first to admit, sometimes Scrubs' wild change of pace from slapstick comedy to heartfelt drama is a bit vertigo inducing. But I don't think that's why there is no Scrubs here. I think either one is enough to doom it--it's too quirkily funny, and it also actually deals with real life circumstances, as opposed to, "Oh no, I fucked my boss!" "You did, too? Which boss did you fuck? I hope we fucked different bosses!" On Scrubs, Zach Braff as Dr. Dorian got to utter, "I love Grey's Anatomy!--it's like someone saw our lives and put it on TV."
Desperate Housewives--7 votes. That's 17.8% of all Redskin Cheerleaders.
No votes for: Designing Women, Alice, Twin Peaks, Animal Planet's Shark Week.
What This Says: Fucked if I know. 4 cheerleaders voted for Sex and the City, and interestingly, none of them voted for Desperate Housewives. So perhaps we are seeing votes from married cheerleaders who wish they were living as exciting and stylized lives as the ones they are watching. Or maybe, they find the seemy, fake bucolia of Wisteria Lane to be a comforting. I don't know what this says, because like Grey's Anatomy, I have no idea why anybody watches this show.
Why I Dislike This Show: In its first season, Desperate Housewives got a lot of praise, for reasons I can not fathom. It was supposed to be this really off-kilter, clever piece of "dramedy", but all I saw was a go-nowhere over-arching mythology (who killed the Housewife?) and a bunch of easy stereotypes. The hot Latina wife is frustrated sexually, and beds the houseboy; the uptight Republican doesn't know how to enjoy sex (ask Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Norm Coleman or Katherine Harris if Republicans have a hard time getting their kinky freak on, behind closed doors); the super slutty transvestite; the divorcee who's just not that sure of herself; and the formerly hardworking career woman who can't cope with her kids, and her husband WHO JUST DOESN'T LISTEN.
My goodness, how could that possibly get stale? When they did decide to have a black family on the show, they had poor Alfre Woodward, who just needed a fucking job, play a psycho who keeps some dude locked up in her basement.
Why Not Twin Peaks? Look, if you want a quirky murder mystery with hot, desperate women that goes nowhere that involves Kyle MacLachlan, then go for the one that is actually quirky, and has really hot women. Of course, people who love Desperate Housewives aren't actually looking for anything weird or quirky at all. They are looking for Soap Opera fare that dresses itself up as weird. Oh, look! Terri Hatcher got nervous and fell over something in front of that guy she likes! AGAIN. (Quick appeal to Felicity Huffman: You're now an Oscar nominated actress. Your husband is a brilliant actor--you can pick and choose your projects. Get out. Get out now!)
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Friends--7 votes. That's 17.8% of All Redskin Cheerleaders.
No Votes For: How I Met Your Mother; 1 Vote for: The Office
What This Says: That Cheerleaders may not stick to favorite movies for very long, but they stick to favorite shows, long after they stopped being particularly funny; in fact, even longer after they stopped airing new episodes. Nothing new here--people in general like the familiar. They enjoy laughing at the same jokes they have time and time before. I own Simpson's Seasons 1, 3, 5 on DVD, so I'm not judging when I say that. It is interesting though, that the Cheerleader's favorite movies were overwhelmingly recent, while a relative Old TV artifact like "Friends" made it into the top 3. It is almost the exact opposite of what I'd expect--I'd expect new TV shows to supplant old TV shows much quicker than new movies would supplant old movies.
Why I Dislike this Show: I don't dislike "Friends" too much, aside from it resulting in me being called "Chandler" all through college. Towards the end, it wasted the talents of Paul Rudd and Aisha Tyler. By the last couple of seasons, the characteristics of the characters had been so inflated that I, along with many viewers, was wondering when "The One When Everyone Goes into Much Needed Therapy" would air. It never did. It was never fully explained to me why Rachel would ever like Ross. It's greatest sin is that it lasted a couple of seasons too long, and I suppose I know why, seeing as it made it onto 7 Cheerleaders favorite shows list.
Why not The Office, or How I Met Your Mother: Don't get me wrong--I'm not conflating the two. The Office has a romance, that's actually being dealt with in a rather brilliant way, and is attracting viewers by the bushel-load. I'm shocked it only got 1 vote. We'll see where we are in a year or two. I'm equally shocked that How I Met Your Mother garnered no votes. It's the new Friends--safe, whitebread comedy, full of the tribulations of white people in New York. I check in on it every once in a while to see what NPH is up to, and to see if Allyson Hannigan is somehow getting dorkily hotter. She is. You'd think between women losing Friends and Nerdboys losing Buffy, that this show would be crazy hot.
Other Shows Getting 5 or More Votes:
CSI (I hate all the franchises of this, but none more than CSI: Miami with their Horatio Kane bullshit. Horatio Kane! Motherfucker please! Like anyone named that would have lived past middle school)
Lost (Hey a good Show)
Will & Grace (Stop living in the past, queerbait)
Best Washington Redskin Cheerleader TV Watcher
For the first time ever, we have a two-time winner. Rebecca, who completely kicked ass on the movie front, proves herself to be an all-around 2-d visual jockey of the highest order. When I read off her selected shows to barnyard (nee chato) his reaction was "Buh?" I concur. All the stereotypes I listed previously? Prepare to get them busted. Rebecca's favorite shows, which are, like her movies, a fine mixture of crap and seriousness, are listed below: (It would be unlike us, and untoward as well, to point out that she's awfully easy on the eyes, too. But she is)
Rebecca's Shows: 60 Minutes, American Idol, BookTV (Yeah, that's right--CSpan), CSI, Friends, Nightline, Sex and the City, So You Think You Can Dance?, Washington Journal (CSpan, again!) , Will & Grace
Previous Redskin Cheerleader favorites: