Vincent Vega famously declared that he “doesn’t watch TV” in Pulp Fiction, but that was 20 years ago, before a new Golden Age of TV that now looks more like a Gold Alloy age with the glut of scripted programming currently being produced. And Vega’s creator, Quentin Tarantino, is known for being a voracious media consumer. So what’s on Tarantino’s DVR? Breaking Bad? True Detective?
No, but he does like How I Met Your Mother and The Newsroom.
In a new interview with Vulture—also the source of that train wreck of an interview with The Fat Jew last week—Tarantino expounds on his TV habits in a way that only someone who doesn’t give a flying fuck what anyone thinks can. Things start out fairly predictably, with Tarantino name-dropping The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (as he’s prone to doing) and saying that “I’m not trying to make Hateful Eight contemporary in any way, shape, or form,” but he’s hopeful that it will resonate with current conversations about race. “I love the fact that people are talking and dealing with the institutional racism that has existed in this country and been ignored,” he says, before praising President Obama as having a “he-doesn’t-give-a-shit attitude [that] has just been so cool.”
But Tarantino isn’t all motherfucking sunshine and rainbows who are deadly with an edge weapon: He says that he thought the first season of True Detective was “boring” and the second “looks awful,” making fun of “all these handsome actors trying to not be handsome and walking around looking like the weight of the world is on their shoulders.” (Sorry, Vince Vaughn, looks like you won’t be playing the third Vega brother.) So what HBO shows does he like? Pretty much just The Newsroom, each episode of which he claims to have seen three times. In defense of the show, which (to put it politely) was not a critical favorite, he says:
Who the fuck reads TV reviews? Jesus fucking Christ. TV critics review the pilot. Pilots of shows suck. Why would it be surprising that I like the best dialogue writer in the business?
His other favorite shows, according to the interview, are Justified (okay, makes sense) and How I Met Your Mother (maybe he’s a Barney fan?). Honestly, though, while those choices may seem, let’s say, eclectic, this is also the guy who put The Lone Ranger on his Top 10 of 2013 list. He read the script for Little Nicky and still agreed to be in the movie. This statement is not unprecedented.
Meanwhile, the writers of The A.V. Club’s TV Club gather in an abandoned warehouse. They all wear matching suits, but only know each other by their Twitter handles. A tall man in glasses with a silk pocket square played by Samuel L. Jackson strides into the warehouse, an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips. He lights the cigarette, then begins coughing uncontrollably. He puts out the cigarette and addresses his assembled crew.
“Now, I’ve called you all here today because some motherfuckers out there don’t appreciate the art of recapping television. Are we going to stand for that?”
“Are we just going to let some Newsroom-loving motherfucker shit on our chosen profession like a dog out on his afternoon walk?”
“Then you take those words and you shove them so far up his ass that he’ll be burping up Rick And Morty reviews for a month.”
In unison, the writers pull sunglasses out of their pockets, some putting them on over their regular glasses. They pull out their phones and begin to type.
Tarantino’s full interview, which also has some interesting insights into the state of indie filmmaking, comic-book movies, and the franchise machine, can be read over at Vulture.