Jen Krueger: Perils of the Group Watch

Jen Krueger

Jen Krueger is a writer and improviser living in Los Angeles. Ask her and she'll proudly tell you she hails from Chicago. Don't ask her, and she'll probably tell you anyway. Jen is the Associate Director of the LA Indie Improv Festival, and runs Friday night indie improv show The Manifesto Show with her team Penguins on the Playground. Jen also hosts, a podcast about pop culture before it pops. She owns one Calvinball, two sonic screwdrivers, and has degrees in Curiosity and Advanced Curiosity.

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11 Responses

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    Welcome, cutie! Group watching is fine if it’s something you have already seen — Casablanca, for example. Otherwise, I hear you.

    • Jen Krueger says:

      Thanks! And this is a great point. The more times I’ve seen something, the easier it is to group watch. As long as no one’s talking through my favorite part, that is…

  2. ProbablyJames says:

    I have a similar reaction to group-watch events, but in my case it’s most often a problem with me disliking otherwise well-loved characters. An example: I can’t stand Rose Tyler as a Doctor Who companion, so The Day of The Doctor was pretty much shot for me as a social activity. I’d have been grousing while my friends all cheered, and that’s no fun for anybody.

    Give me some solitary nerding-out any day!

    • Jen Krueger says:

      A kindred spirit! I feel the same about Rose, though I have to say I was quite pleased with how The Day of The Doctor handled her. But I was more than happy to experience that pleasant surprise by myself.

  3. After an APA collation party (ask a grownup) we all watched the new episode of Star Trek :TNG (which should give you a clue as to how long ago this was). We were all having a nice time watching, but one person was VERY watching, and made a habit of shushing us repeatedly. This was in my home, I hasten to add. We don’t invite that person to things any more.

    As a rule, if we will be seeing something in a group, I assume I won’t get much watching done. I saw Say of the Doctor in the theater, and the audience, while packed to the rafters, were deathly silent, not even squeeing at the right points. Clearly it was a group of people determined not to miss anything.

    • Jen Krueger says:

      The theater screenings of “The Day of the Doctor” intrigued me a bit as I suspected it might turn out to be what you experienced, but I thought the chances were still at least 50/50 that there would be a lot of (or even excessive amounts!) of squeeing. Since I already don’t want to fall into the trap of being the un-fun guest that isn’t invited back due to shushing my host, I figured best to hedge my bets about the theater experience so as not to be the incredibly un-fun moviegoer shushing strangers in a public venue!

  4. Rene Narciso says:

    I hear you,

    I don’t like group-watching. I am one of those people who are VERY intent and immersed and OCD while watching something and I am easily distracted by other people, and I am also not tolerant of more cynical fans watching with me. Some people watch stuff to mock it or to show off how wisecracking they are. That takes me out of the experience completely.

    I make an exception to people who I am very used to. My wife, for instance. I watch DOCTOR WHO with her, so she is already an integral part of the experience for me, and we can trade remarks and jokes without my losing the flow of the drama.

    Interestingly, my wife dislikes Rose Tyler far more than I do. I think she prefers Martha Jones, while I like Donna Noble. I prefer the Tenth Doctor, my wife likes Eleventh more. But it’s all good, because it’s my wife and me. Not sure if I’d have fun bickering with other people.

    • Jen Krueger says:

      Ugh, the wisecrackers are the worst! Definitely another very valid reason to shun the group watch.

      I totally understand the exception for people you’re very close to, though. I can watch most things with my roommate for similar reasons, especially the things about which our level of fandom is mutual, and even things where one of us knows a lot more about the property than the other. For instance, he’s read the Game of Thrones books and I haven’t, but it’s easy to enjoy the show with him since we’re equally invested in the characters.

  5. Welcome to the site Jen! Love the article and thoughts here. Couldn’t agree more. When it’s something I really want to … ingest…? I do so in my quiet, blacker than night basement, devoid of human contact. :)

    • Jen Krueger says:

      Thanks, Marc! An entire basement in which to watch things in quiet solitude? I’m jealous! :)

  1. January 28, 2014

    […] I’m joining the ComicMix family as a weekly columnist, and introducing myself to readers by explaining why I hate watching event TV in groups. Check it out here! […]