What is Something You Love to Watch or Play, Even When it’s Difficult?

It doesn’t always succeed, but I love the way 'Orange is the New Black' continues to push at the boundaries of comedy and TV.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/what-is-something-you-love-to-watch-or-play-even-when-its-difficult
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Oh man, I like lots of things that are hard to watch.

With movies you’ve got Three Colors: Blue, Au Hasard Balthazar, Ordet, Diary of a Country Priest, The Passion of Joan of Arc, A Short Film About Love/Killing, Night and Fog, Safe, A Clockwork Orange, The House is Black, And those are just the film that would probably make my top 50. All are bleak and (to me) emotionally devastating in some way and yet I find myself returning to them all more frequently than more fun and happy films I love.

The Wire is one of my favorite shows and I know a lot of people have trouble getting into it and I totally get that. I even really like season 2 which a lot of people consider a slog. Not quite sure it’s hard to watch in the way OITNB is hard to watch, but it deals with similar realities of systemic problems of the American justice system that aren’t pleasant to watch.

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cleveland sports teams. even when they’re good, it’s hard to watch


For me this year, the answer to this has been The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu. It’s incredibly brutal, even to me, who could do just fine in Gilead (I am cis, straight, white, male, and middle-class). I’d read the book years ago, and wanted to follow the series not only to see how Hulu pulled it off, but because of the resonance I see in how the show could and is manifesting in popular culture (see the people cosplaying as Handmaids to protest legislation).

The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Whatever Else

My wife and I watch them like WWE matches. We understand that it is 100% fake but we just like the editing and production of it all. It’s hard to watch any time but I keep on with it. My favorite is when they introduce a contestant that is absolutely insane and made up. They are always my favorite and who I root for. This season of the bachelorette they had a “Aspiring Drummer”, “Tickle Monster”, and a guy who’s the brand manager of his created catchphrase “Whaboom”

It’s really sickening. I know that there are plenty of impressionable young people that watch and think that’s how love works and how it’s suppose to be. I feel bad that as far as “Reality Romance”, that show is seen as the pinnacle. It throws away every bit of hard work a real relationship takes and I think it tampers with teens and young adult’s perception. Sometimes they say stuff that makes me want to hide or punch the TV.

I shouldn’t like it but after all of the stress of work and life being a constant cycle of bad news it’s just nice to sit down and watch a little trash tv.

It’s a bit of a different type of difficult than OITNB like Danika described, but it jumped into my brain immediately after reading this.

I wouldn’t say I loved it, but recently I watched 13 Reasons Why, and that was incredibly difficult. Going past the controversies that have been talked about in other places, its depiction of toxic high school culture felt painfully similar to many of my experiences, and those of my partner. It brought back a lot of feelings that I had otherwise left behind and I spent the following weeks and a couple sleepless nights trying to process. I’m still not over it.

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