By Dushyant Shekhawat
With an influx of shows, a new breed of mutants has arrived – the serial fakers. These are people who rely on listicles and AV Club recaps to force themselves into water-cooler conversations at work
People can be terrible in a dazzling variety of ways. They could rob you, cheat on you, or tell all your friends that you’re secretly harboring an STD, but some of the worst types of people are the ones who blatantly lie to about watching all the popular TV shows and web series to force themselves into water-cooler conversations at work.
Following Altered Carbon, Rick and Morty, or any other series as if your life depends on it, requires a rare commitment. It takes up hours, days, and weeks of your eating, waking, and dating hours. At one end of the spectrum, is the committed binge watcher, and at the other end is his nemesis, the serial faker, who puts in none of this effort, but wants to be part of the woke clique. The serial fakers are the ones who rely on Buzzfeed listicles and AV Club recaps and quote dialogues from classic shows and movies without ever having seen them. It’s almost as bad as the people who wear spectacles to “complete their look”. These people will deceive you into believing that they share your love for a piece of legendary fiction only to ditch you at your Game of Thrones premiere party and leave you eating three boxes of pizza by yourself.
In order to spare you the misfortune of being cheated in this vilest way, I’ve come up with a four-step foolproof method of detecting who is lying about watching a show, and who you can show your Khaleesitattoo to without fear.
Fake an Episode
Just like vampires give themselves away by not showing up in mirrors, the monsters who lie about TV can be identified with this fake-episode strategy. Since the only goal of a serial faker is to fool you into thinking that he watches more TV than you do, this liar will never acknowledge not having seen an episode. And this can be his undoing. Bait him with a fake storyline or a piece of false trivia. For example, ask them if they’ve seen the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode where Ross becomes an accountant, or if they knew Mel Gibson was originally going to play Bryan Cranston’s role in Breaking Bad. His answer will reveal him as the serial faking sham that he is.
The Bait-and-Switch Move
Since the serial faker does not care to put in the effort to watch good TV, he generally gets his entertainment from more puerile streams of crap, like Baba Sehgal’s YouTube channel or Bigg Boss. It might come at great risk to yourself, but try getting through at one episode of Bigg Boss. The enthusiasm with which the proposed Black Mirror fan jumps to the defense of Shilpa Shinde’s shenanigans will be a dead giveaway from who is a serial faker.
The Sing-Song Strategy
The only thing worse than having a song you don’t know stuck in your head is having an Anu Malik song stuck in your head. You can use this piece of wisdom to aid you in your search for the duplicitous and shameless TV miscreants. I’ve personally had great success with humming the unmistakable intro from GoT around people I suspected of being bullshit artists until they snapped and asked me what I was doing. The trick is to remain inconspicuously within earshot and keep humming. If they join you, then you know you’ve found a binge watcher instead of a cringe watcher and made a friend for life. Or at least until the season finale.
The Season Finale Test
So you’ve spent many months trying to drain the TV swamp and root out the lying serial fakers that live in it, but have come up short. As the season finale of your show approaches, you have one last chance to catch the two-faced trolls. Channel your inner stalker and keep an obsessive eye on your perp’s Instagram and Snapchat feeds. While a true fan would be on their sofa in front of their screen come finale time, a serial faker will probably be at the neighborhood gastropub, uploading a #nofilter selfie of them sipping on a cocktail. This photographic evidence of their disloyalty should be enough for you to close the case.
Happy hunting, my friends.
Featured image: Akshita Monga via Arre
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