If within five minutes of meeting me you reveal that you love “Friday Night Lights,” chances are I will pronounce you my newly christened BFF. The same goes for “30 Rock,” “Breaking Bad” and “Lost,” to name a few others. But if you even mention “Two and a Half Men” around me, you can get out of my face.

I tend to judge people based on their taste in television. I don’t even feel catty about doing it — it’s my chosen window into one’s soul. Television is a growing medium that continuously churns out some of the best visual content. So, if you’re watching shitty television, that’s your own fault. You will be scrutinized.

It was a cold winter day last January when I was hanging out with my friend in his apartment. Bundled beneath blankets, he turned the TV on and his eyes lit up when they landed on the words “The Big Bang Theory” in the guide.

My eyes rolled deeply within their sockets.

What followed was the most boring 30 minutes of television I have ever had to endure, and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. As that dull half hour dragged on, I found myself not laughing. That’s fine — the show isn’t for everyone. But I realized that every time he laughed, I scoffed and prayed for the show to end, both right now and permanently. “How does he like this crap?” I wondered. And as his laughs piled up, my annoyance did, too.

I left his apartment that day with uneasiness about the future of our friendship. If he could laugh at a Chuck Lorre creation, could I really continue to respect him? If he didn’t find Jim Parsons to be the most irritating actor on television, how in God’s name were we supposed to agree on anything?

His idea of “hilarious” turns out to be a poorly written and acted nerdy comedy. Mine happens to be the complete opposite. I throw around the phrase “losing respect” for people based on their tastes, and I wish it weren’t true. But something inside of me cringes when I disagree: My eyes will get as big as tennis balls, and I will kindly show you the door. So, when my friend claimed that “The Big Bang Theory” was one of his favorite shows, I couldn’t help but lose a tiny bit of respect for him.

Now, that’s not to say that I’m always right. Two summers ago, I tried watching the critical darling “Mad Men.” I mean, I really tried. But damn, season one is about as dry as they come. So I gave up and badmouthed the show to everyone who loved it, totally and completely judging them for loving this snoozefest.

But then I got to season two. And then season three. Shit, I was hooked. Quickly my feelings toward those who had sung its praises changed — I was now one of them. Soon I began judging those who didn’t watch it, even though I knew exactly where they were coming from. Right or wrong, in crowd or out crowd, I was still judging people.

A person’s television choices reflect their personality. The shows that I deem my favorites reflect my ideas of humor, crisp characters and storytelling, and overall quality production. I know that no one is right or wrong, but that doesn’t mean I’m not judging you.

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