Ask Dalton: How to stop watching 'Big Brother,' and other queries
Are DVR battles hurting your marriage? What are the ethics of sneaking food into theaters—or watching lowbrow reality TV? Our resident pop culture omnivore Dalton Ross offers his sage advice.
Should I feel bad about smuggling soda and snacks into the movie theater? —LUCAS
Ask yourself this question, Lucas: Do movie theaters feel bad about charging you $12.75 for cold popcorn and a Fanta filled with 63 percent ice? Not only should you not feel bad, you should revel in your culinary craftiness. I encourage your anarchic cheapskate ways, but with a few simple caveats. Don’t be that dude cracking open cans and rummaging through loud plastic bags during the film. Pop the top during one of the approximately 11,274 previews before the movie (during an explosion, if at all possible), and house all prearranged snacks in whisper-quiet packaging. Stealth mode is a must when acting as the world’s foremost concession-stand ninja. (Also, nothing too pungent, please. That’s just common courtesy.)
I have a DVR etiquette question for you. My digital video recorder is currently at 92 percent capacity, but I noticed that my husband has seven episodes of Growing Up Fisher saved on it. At what point can I start secretly deleting those so that I can record my own shows without fear of running out of space? —CATHERINE
I’m glad you’ve come to me with this, Catherine, as this marital issue is not to be taken lightly. Covertly wiping out your spouse’s DVR programs is a violation of the bond you forged when you took your wedding vows and promised to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part or the DVR runs out of memory—whichever comes first. That said, delete the hell out of his shows. Do you know how many episodes of Glee and Nashville I have erased without my wife’s knowledge? ENTIRE SEASONS! Plus, Growing Up Fisher? By clogging your DVR with not one, not two, but seven episodes of an already canceled sitcom, he is disrespecting not only you but himself. One more thing to keep in mind: If you choose not to delete the offending episodes and he does finally watch them, he’s likely to double the show’s DVR rating—and that’s just kind of sad.
Last year’s Big Brother was filled with disgusting racist and homophobic behavior. I vowed never to watch again, but with the new season now under way, my resolve is weakening. Help me stay strong! —BELLA
Bella, you clearly have no idea to whom you are writing. You want me to help you not watch Big Brother? My wife has almost divorced me—with just cause—15 times for watching 15 consecutive seasons of this crapfest, so I am the last guy to preach abstinence. We all have our vices. For me, it is network reality TV with no redeeming value whatsoever. Perhaps at some point in the future I will transition to a far less dangerous vice…like, say, heroin…but until then, I will be eagerly awaiting the appearance of Big Brother‘s sassy, wisecracking Zingbot and the inevitable moment someone is forced to dress up in a hot dog costume for a week after stuffing the least amount of Jell-O into her bikini bottom during a food reward challenge. (Or maybe something a little less highbrow.) My advice to you is to just do it already. I mean, it’s summer—what are your other reality TV options: watching a giant wall with pictures of Kesha and Ludacris go up and down for two hours on ABC?
Tweet your pop culture queries to @DaltonRoss, and tune in to Dalton’s radio show, EW Morning Live, every weekday from 8 to 10 a.m. on SiriusXM Channel 105.