One Question Quiz

FeaturesOctober 17, 2014

Missed the TV Boat? Catch Up Club is Here to Help


Two key Spinoff writers share a dirty little secret: they’ve never seen The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad or any of the other defining ‘important’ TV shows of our time. Catch Up Club is here to save them, and possibly you too. //

Alex: Hello Joseph, you have not seen a lot of fancy TV and neither have I. At what moment did you realise you had “missed the boat” and what big big boats did you miss?

The Vikings Ship, hopefully
The Vikings Ship, hopefully

Joseph: Hello Alex. Hey I am in the same boat as you, in saying that I have missed the boat. We are both not in the boat. We are standing pathetically on the jetty, watching the Interislander of good television sail into the sunset, much like the boats do in the TV show Vikings. Probably. Who knows?

I think I realised I had missed the boat when I realised I had become better at pretending to know about television than actually knowing about it. I have literally spent longer reading Wikipedia synopses and thinkpieces about shows I haven’t seen than it would take to actually watch them. Sometimes it’s just so I can keep up with the conversation at parties, and say “you’re a regular Don Draper” to everyone in a suit.

Alex: The moment I realised I was 20,000 leagues under the sea of television was probably witnessing the Breaking Bad finale reaction on Twitter as an outsider. It was worse than trying to eavesdrop on foreigners talking on public transport, on the off-chance they might say a word you recognise like “fromage”. There was absolutely no fromage for me that day. I couldn’t even pretend to know what anyone was talking about.

Oh me? I love the wire
Oh me? I love the wire

Joseph: Sometimes I have taken it further and just completely lied about seeing shows. I was actually in a relationship for about two years where I kept up the lie I had seen The Wire. She had a picture of a The Wire character as her facebook picture when we first met, and rather than go “I’d like to see The Wire, let’s watch it some time”, I just said that I had and kept that up.

Alex: Holy shit The Wire is such a main offender, nothing sends chills down my spine than someone asking me “hey, isn’t that Omar from The Wire?” Especially if you are in a cinema and you can’t whisper back “I’m really sorry, but I haven’t watched The Wire” because your date will stab you violently and repetitively in the stomach like that bit at the start of Scream 2. I just gaze deep into the distance to the point where I look blind and roll the dice on a “yeah, it sort of looks like him.”

Joseph: So yeah, maybe this is becoming a problem?

Alex: It’s a huge problem.

Joseph: What do we do Alex????

Alex: I reckon we should try and catch up. Even if it kills us. Let’s start now. Seize the day. Carpe Diem. Carpe The Wire. Carpe Mad Men. Carpe Vikings.


We will be working hard from now on to expand their hearts and minds through catching up on all of the fancy television that we missed whilst we were busy pretending to know about fancy television. In order to stick to some sort of regimen, we will be running Catch Up Club, a weekly segment where we check in and see how our respective progress is going, and how many cultural references we now understand at parties without having to leave to Google them in the toilet. We hope to unite an online community of boat-missers, and work hard to plug the holes on the sinking ship that is our collective TV knowledge.

Catch Up Club will begin with Mad Men S01E01, we will be back to discuss it on Wednesday. Ha! Look at us all professional, what a right pair of Dan Drapers!

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Keep going!