Life lessons from TV shows

Emotio­nal dramas, envy, medica­l dramas, relati­onship­s, missio­ns: are life lesson­s learnt from TV shows?

Jahanzaib Haque/nadir Hassan September 23, 2010

Emotional Drama


Fate and free will are not mutually exclusive. The general direction of your life may be pre-determined but, through several cycles of trial-and-error, you will learn that it’s the journey that really matters. And that journey is best undertaken with the people who end up by your side. When you die, all that matters is the memories of those you loved.

Mad Men

See through the visage of perfection and outer calm to realise that everyone, no matter how self-assured, suffer the same insecurities you do. All humans are emotionally stunted and an extrovert is simply an introvert who’s had too much to drink.


Gossip Girl

You know those kids at school who were richer, more popular and led infinitely more interesting lives than you? You were right to envy them.


Things were much simpler back when you were in school. No matter how ‘complicated’ you thought you were, you could still easily fit into an archetype. Sometimes it’s better to be young and carefree enough not to realise how badly you sing.

American’s Next Top Model

You will never, ever be successful in life if you don’t know how to stand up straight and ‘smize’ ie smile with your eyes.

30 Rock

Just because you are smart, talented and funny doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful. But if you don’t want to seem threatening, just pretend you’re as ugly as everyone around you.

Medical Drama


Trusting a doctor – even one who pops far too many painkillers – may not be the worst idea.


Even with their scary white coats and stethoscopes, doctors are just like us and want to sing and dance through hospital wards.



Despite years of patient lecturing, men still don’t know what women want. Or the importance of sofa cushions and shoes in every colour and type.

How I Met Your Mother

Just give up already. You’ll never be able to compete with the cool guy. No need to practise your smooth-talking.

Ugly Betty

Appearances are immaterial. It’s the ugly on the inside that shows itself in public.


Relationships are wonderful, beautiful things so there is nothing wrong with acquiring two, four or five significant others over a period of a few months. More importantly, being fantastically wealthy is a wonderful, beautiful thing, and completely covers up for the lack of a soul – or brain.


Never underestimate the importance of a coffee shop or a dhaba in your lives.

The OC

The first season shows that perfection isn’t always illusive. The subsequent seasons show how resting on your laurels leads to stagnation, creative malaise and the most awful television imaginable.


DH Desperate Housewives

If at first you don’t succeed, blame someone else, rat out your friends, lie, cheat steal and always, always try to look composed and beautiful while doing so. And remember, there is no shame in repeatedly ruining your life and that of those around you because it’ll all be okay by the end of the year.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

If you have a mission in life, no sacrifice is too big. There’s nothing you can’t face so long as you aren’t alone.

True Blood

Beware – all friends, loved ones, peers and co-workers are most likely living secret lives as vampires, werewolves, fairies, maynards, witches, shape shifters or just plain scum. However, you probably have super powers and secrets of your own so make the most of them by terrorizing others and hopefully falling in love.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2010.


Anoop | 11 years ago | Reply I loved Lost. You described it beautifully. Too bad its over..
Nida Haque | 11 years ago | Reply Funny and fun. But where's Dexter?
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