Can you guess a person’s political leanings from a quick glance at the TV shows on their PVR? If it’s heavy on crime procedurals and Biggest-Loser-style reality competitions, you can make an educated guess that they’re not voting Green—or that’s what a recent survey by a U.S. research company seems to suggest.
Curious as to how a person’s political convictions may affect their TV preferences, Entertainment Weekly magazine asked the research company Experion-Simmons to see if there was a genuine difference between the TV-watching habits of “Liberal Democrats” and “Conservative Republicans.”
Far from shaking the tree when it comes to our cultural assumptions about each group, the results confirmed a few clichés that surround both political parties, namely that Democrats are perpetual adolescents and Conservatives are about as relaxed as a four-piece-suit.
According to Experion-Simmons, Democrats showed a preference for sarcastic insider-y comedy shows and dramas that featured morally ambiguous (read: godless) characters, while Conservatives preferred to tuck into the grisly murder-and-rape combo meal that defines the crime procedural (no moral ambiguity there!). Conservatives also enjoyed TV shows (both real and scripted) that focused on work.
While the survey only deals with American politics/programming that doesn’t mean the results can’t be applied to the divisions that exist with our multi-party system too. Have a look at some of the shows each political affiliation cited as their favourite and their least favourite to see if you fit in somewhere in the two-party approach to programming. (For the full list, go here.)
Liberal Democrats like: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Treme (no surprises here).
Liberal Democrats dislike: Swamp Loggers, Dog the Bounty Hunter, CSI Miami, The Price is Right, Kitchen Nightmares. (I must admit this list represents my PVR-from-hell list. Only the addition of Two and a Half Men could render it perfectly horrible.)
Conservative Republicans like: Swamp Loggers, Castle (I always wondered who watched that show!), The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, The Mentalist.
Conservative Republicans dislike: Weeds, The Daily Show, South Park, Dexter, Jersey Shore (I support this dislike times infinite).