An abbreviated list of entertainment failures and embarrassments

We live in a world with a plethora of entertainment options and far too little time to enjoy all of them. Between movies, video games, TV shows, books, comic books, and whatever else I’m forgetting, there’s more entertainment in the world than any one person can ever hope to get through.

Whether it’s due to the time investment required for video games and TV shows or the vast number of movies released in the past century plus, there’s a lot that’s slipped through the cracks for me. What follows is a selection of my list of shame—those things which, for one reason another, I have not experienced or have experienced too little of—which is too long to calculate:

Video Games

Despite falling in love with gaming in the 1990s and seeing that love expand in the years since, I’ve never played anything in the Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake, or Duke Nukem franchises. I’ve played under 30 minutes each of Mass Effect and Gears of War.

Platformers consistently rank among my favorite genres, but I’ve played a single level of Ratchet & Clank and only the first entry in the Jak & Daxter series (which I didn’t even play until a couple years after the PS3 re-release). I’ve played some percentage of the PS3 Prince of Persia, but none of its lauded PS2 era trilogy.

I have played the following The Legend of Zelda games to completion:

  • Link’s Awakening
  • Twilight Princess

I’ve never even touched A Link to the PastMajora’s Mask, or Wind Waker. Or pretty much anything that came out on Gamecube, for that matter. Super Mario Sunshine? Metroid Prime? No and no.

I’ve never played Half-Life, either. But I did buy The Orange Box and play Portal probably a dozen times, so at least there’s something.


I’ve seen a lot of movies. That list does not include (assume entire series unless stated otherwise):

  • Apocalypse Now
  • Schindler’s List
  • Fargo
  • Requiem for a Dream
  • Lethal Weapon
  • No Country for Old Men
  • The King’s Speech

Or any Best Picture winner from 2004-2011, for that matter. Or 1978-1987. Or many other years throughout Academy Award history. Back to the list:

  • The Big Lebowski
  • Brick
  • Hellboy
  • pre-2011 Planet of the Apes
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Fast & Furious
  • Predator
  • Halloween

There are plenty of other movies—award-worthy, brainless blockbuster, and everything in between—I haven’t seen. And the list keeps growing…

One more notable failure: I’ve seen Rocky Balboa, but just highlights from earlier entries in the series.


I’ve watched one season of Breaking Bad. And one season of Game of Thrones. Zero seconds of Mad Men. I’ve seen only the first episode of Twin Peaks and brief clips of The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve watched the first couple episodes of Fringe at least three times and gotten sidetracked.

I fell in love with the wackiness of Doctor Who a few years ago, but I’ve still only seen three seasons of the current incarnation. The only redeeming element there is that I have seen the brilliant “Blink” and don’t feel like I’m missing out too much since there’s no way an episode of Doctor Who can top it.

“Peak TV” is an intimidating thing, and I have no doubts there are excellent shows I don’t even know about. Here are a few more shows I’ve failed to watch for one reason or another:

  • The Wire
  • Silicon Valley
  • Orphan Black
  • House of Cards
  • Orange is the New Black
  • The West Wing
  • The Man in the High Castle
  • True Detective
  • Firefly

But of course I have seen every episode of Entourage.



I don’t even want to get into the fact that I own many of the things mentioned above in one form or another. Any gamer knows the familiar sinking feeling of a backlog growing on a shelf and silently judging you. I own more movies than anyone probably should (and my collection pales in comparison to some people I know). Digital libraries don’t help, either.

My Netflix list continues to grow every time I find something and (foolishly) tell myself I’m going to watch it. I’m sure more titles have been removed from it due to library changes than due to my removing them after actually watching the things I added who knows how long ago.

This is just a sampling of all the things I’ve managed to miss so far. What’s on your list of shame? Let me know in the comments while I go continue to not watch or play anything mentioned above.



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