First viewed at avclub.com, I was thoroughly intrigued by a recent study done by Nielsen Corp. concerning the partisan divide of American (cable) television shows. Below are the most partisan shows listed with (a) their titles, and (b) why they appeal to the demographic. I will also note the (clearly partisan) GW ratings of these shows.
SHOWS WITH HIGHEST REPUBLICAN ENGAGEMENT:
1. South Park – Why? “They Took er Jobs!.” Also, Cartman may be the hero of the conservative youth movement. GW Rating: Usually pretty solid when viewed.
2. Cash Cab – Why? Appreciate a cab driver who speaks good English. GW Rating: Probably the best game show on TV since Barker left the Price is Right. Red Light Challenge!
3. Damages – Why? Tightly-wound, frigid, cut-throat bitches? The type of girl you want to bring home to mother’s dinner-party. GW Rating: Never viewed, but Glenn Close? She’s good.
4. Battle 360 – Why? I don’t know. Small phalluses? GW Rating: Never viewed, but if it’s on the History Channel I am pretty sure it has something to do with WWII and guns.
5. Doctor Who? – Why? Affirms their belief in the aliens they saw after drinking a handle of moonshine and getting lost in the woods while trying to take a piss. GW Rating: Never viewed. As a youth, I was a fan of MST 3000. Same ballpark?
Engvall: Making domestic violence funny one black-eye at a time.
6. Bill Engvall Show – Why? Can relate to the latent yet unexpressed sexual taboos the show uncomfortably alludes to, but doesn’t really address; such as pedophilia, incest, adultery, and probably pegging. GW Rating: From previews alone, have seen enough to want to scrub myself clean with S.O.S. pads.
7. Rock of Love with Brett Michaels - Why? Because in 2008, if there are still Poison fans out there, they’re voting Republican. May also give hope to those anxiously anticipating the Apocalypse. GW Rating: I’ve seen bits + pieces. *hangs head in shame*
SHOWS WITH HIGHEST DEMOCRATIC ENGAGEMENT:
1. The Colbert Report – Why? Snark and Sarcasm levels through the roof. GW Rating: Best talk-show on television. Nielsen knows so much about me!
2. Deadliest Catch – Why? Like to sit on the couch and say, “Holy shit! I would never do that. Pass the bong.” GW Rating: Fairly impressive, but all the episodes seem identical.
3. Ax Men – Why? Like to sit on the couch and say, “Holy shit! I could totally do that. Pass the hummus.” GW Rating: Never seen it, but pretty sure it’s like Deadliest Catch, but in a forest. With axes. And no women.
4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Why? Four assholes in a bar make them feel better about
It's always sophisticated humor for liberal elites!
being assholes who frequent bars. GW Rating: Crass and tasteless. So I love it. Most laugh-out-loud moments since Arrested Development (R.I.P.).
5. Tin Man – Why? While other kids were playing sports and feeling-up girls, they were trying on their mothers’ footwear and clicking their heels. GW Rating: Never viewed, but big fan of Oz-related media – from the classic originals, to the show with prison-rape.
6. My Boys – Why? Like the thought of hanging around with a cool girl with shared interests without having to get up the courage to make a move. GW Rating: Not frequently viewed. A little off, though quite fond of the “D-bag Intervention” episode. We also like the shots of Chicago via an LA studio.
7. I Love New York – Why? Went to the website, but couldn’t really figure out the point of show. Is this a Tyler Perry presentation? GW Rating: Never viewed, yet still vaguely horrified. Ultimately incomplete.
Somewhat interesting? I think so. Let’s check out the shows with the Highest Bipartisan Engagement:
1. The Cleaner 2. Real Housewives of Orange County 3. The Next Food Network Star 4. HGTV Design Star 5. Army Wives 6. The Hills 7. What not to Wear 8. Saving Grace 9. In Plain Sight
I don’t even know what most of these shows are, but one thing appears clear: Nothing seems able to unite the nation like bad, basic-cable reality television. Kudos to all of you: the housewives, wannabe Food Network stars, and privileged, vapid, SoCal teenagers. You are not just the Real Housewives, but the real patriots. You teach us that this nation consists of not just “blue” TV-shows and “red” TV-shows, but “awful” TV-shows, that enable the masses to be free from the burdens of quality entertainment, reading, and human interaction. Cheers to you all! The 21st century heroes.