Whatever you do, don’t take this blog post seriously. Or you can, if you want. I’ve found a groundbreaking way to fight depression. I call it MADATL, short for MacGyver, Arrested Development, and The League. When I’m depressed, I can’t move. I literally want to sleep all day and pout. After the past month of fighting this horrible disease, I’ve become really, really good at pouting—so good, in fact, that I fear my face might permanently stick that way, like Mom always warned.
Although I am in no way healed (yet), I have found a solution to my pouting. Believe me, I’m not a big watcher of television. I would usually rather read books, but because of my depression, I’m always tired, and reading books just makes me even more tired. Therefore, I recently turned to TV, namely Netflix, and I’ve discovered the joys of three shows to which I owe a great deal of gratitude.
MacGyver is all Jake’s fault. He was the original proponent of this horrendous eighties program, insisting I just watch an episode to see what I thought. Although admittedly, the show is dumb, I fell in love. MacGyver is basically the best human being on earth. Not only is he best friends with everyone, but women love him, he’s charitable, and he can create a bomb from, like, rust and nail clippings.
The show is, of course, totally unrealistic. (For instance, here’s the Best MacGyver Escape Ever.) I mean, how often can one guy come across terrorists randomly, right? But MacGyver always has a happy ending (a freeze frame ending, even; you know, where the final shot is of MacGyver laughing, and they linger on that freeze frame until the credits start?). Also, it’s insinuated that MacGyver probably gets laid just about every time there’s a woman involved. Highly uplifting, even in the pits of despair.
Arrested Development was a show Jake and I heard about but never saw. We decided to watch a couple episodes. It’s about a rich family who loses everything, because Daddy goes to jail for fraud … or tax evasion … or something. I can’t remember. Anyway, he’s in prison, so his son (played by Jason Bateman) has to keep the company and the family together.
Although the first couple episodes were almost too ridiculous to swallow (including a magician brother who rides a Segway and a young Michael Cera in love with his cousin), I am now obsessed with watching every episode. The absurdity that at first annoyed me has now convinced me of the show’s utter genius. (For your viewing pleasure, an Arrested Development Chicken Dance compilation.) I laugh at least a dozen times per episode, and the episodes are only 21 minutes long. Talk about easy escape from sadness!
Then, finally, The League. The League is about a group of buddies in a fantasy football league, and it features one of my favorite comedians, Nick Kroll. I watched the first season before realizing the program is only partially scripted. The writers lay out a basic plotline, but most of the put-downs and general crap-talking is all ad-libbed, which makes me love the show even more.
Some highlights: Ghost Monkey, the one where Pete takes Andre to a spa, and the one where Taco gets obsessed with his coke-infused toilet seat. The character of Ruxin (Kroll) will always be my favorite character, because he’s the most evil and in my opinion the funniest dude on the show. (Here’s a full smattering of “Best of Ruxin” on YouTube.) No matter how deep in the dark I am, The League can pull me out. In fact, I wish I could live on the show.
Cures for depression? Not exactly. I told you not to take me seriously here, but I am serious when I say that laughter has been helping a lot lately. Although I’m not a proponent of mindless TV watching, sometimes I must admit, it helps, especially when you’re scared to leave the house or when you have trouble getting dressed without breaking down into tears. The new mantra: MADATL. Say it with me: “MA-DA-TL.”