11 Bad TV Habits I Hope to Kick in 2011
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
It's almost the New Year: The exciting time of change and new beginnings, yes. But in order to make that change happen, we also need to make it the time of honest self-assessment and (hopefully) absolution.

And so I must come clean: Among these TV-themed bad habits, I have been guilty of at least five. OK, more like seven. Fine, nine. Screw it, I've done ALL OF THEM. Nobody's perfect, and me, even less so. But I hope that laying them all out here will put us (talking at you, my fellow mistake-making TV fans out there) on the right track to a better relationship with our shows and screens going forward. It's important work, and that's why we do it.

So here I come, New Year. Here are the TV habits I hope to kick in 2011:

1. Reading and writing articles about potential Glee guest stars that will never happen.

Just because a famous actor or actress goes on a late night talk show or a red carpet and thinks out loud about guesting on Glee does not mean that it will or should ever happen. Let's stop making lists (and then whining about them!) based on off-the-cuff speculation and famous people's daydreams.

2. Whining about how much better The Office used to be.

Yes, seasons 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 were better than seasons 6 and 7. But seasons 6 and 7 are still better than 99% of everything else on TV. The Office writers don't owe us anything. In fact, we still owe them for the hours of quality comedy they've brought to our lives. So let's cut them some slack and just wait and see how they finish out their series. (Note: This item also applies to The Simpsons, though I am less certain that series will ever end.)

3. Using the Real Housewives as the cheap butt of every joke.

I have promised my dear friend and BuddyTV writer Carla Patton that I will stop doing this, because I don't even watch those shows, and she genuinely enjoys them. I promise to just let the 'wives be their own butt of their own jokes (AKA their lives) and find a new writing scapegoat in 2011. Any suggestions? (I do this a lot, but I'm worst with the 'wives. See #10.)

4. Getting unhealthily fixated on the identity of the mother on How I Met Your Mother.

Relax. It's not Jennifer Morrison. Relax. It's not Robin. RELAX. Just enjoy the laffs. They'll get to it.

5. Disliking Jay Leno for what happened to Conan O'Brien.

Conan is fine now. Dislike Jay for how unfunny he is. That never gets old.

6. Backlashing against the emergence of Betty White as the most ubiquitous person on television.

Just let a dear, sweet, funny old lady do her thing. She may be overused, but can you think of a person more deserving of ubiquity?

7. Replying with a disbelieving, pretentious, "WHAT?" when you meet someone who has never seen Community/The Wire/Arrested Development/Whatever other TV show you have unofficially elected yourself the King or Queen of Promulgating.

It makes them want to watch the show LESS. And it makes them like you less, too. Share your passion, but don't be a jerk about it, OK?

8. Relentlessly making fun of Cougar Town.

I'm sorry, Cougar Town. You are not what I would choose for myself, but I know enough people who like you that I promise to leave you alone from now on. (Again, see #10.)

9. Getting mad at TV award shows for nominating and then choosing winners whom you personally believe do not deserve to be nominated or win.

In the words of Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson, "Awards are stupid." Don't get so worked up about them. Instead, use that energy to write a letter or a comment or a tweet or whatever-the-heck-else you kids write to the people who make the shows that you think deserve an Awesomeness Award. It may not come with a trophy and a speech opportunity ... which is why they might appreciate the gesture even more.

10. Complaining about how terrible a TV show is without ever having seen it OR without being able to stop watching it.

As that guy Gandhi once said, "Be the change you want to see in the listings." If you want to talk about how bad a show is, at least watch one episode before you do so. And then, if the show's terribleness haunts your thoughts and dreams and makes your blood boil so much that you can't even watch a minute of it without involuntarily foaming at the mouth, STOP WATCHING IT. Your time is precious (clearly, since you're reading this), so use it watching TV shows that you love, and leave the masochism to us professionals.

11. Standing idly by and allowing Puff Daddy/P-Diddy/Diddy-Dirty Money to change his name as many times as he wants.

I know it has nothing to do with TV really, but this is not OK, America. Someone needs to put a stop to this man's ridiculous indecision and addiction to making his own made-up name slightly different and stupider every year or so. He should be on My Strange Addiction for pulling this crap. It's out of hand, and I intend to use all that energy I'm saving by not complaining about numbers 2, 6, 9 and 10 to complain about this until someone does something about it. Will it be YOU? (Please?)

Do you have any bad TV habits? Come clean in the comments. You'll feel better.

(Image courtesy of NBC)