TV Wisdom: Dreamers, Realists and Braking For Birds

Fort TV

Why do TV characters give such excellent advice?

Well, probably because every word they utter is chosen with the love and care of some seriously talented writers. We’re not all so lucky! People on TV don’t have the same experience of hindsight as we do: they’re quick with the comebacks while we are almost always left landing on a snappy retort some hours after an argument. By the same token our favorite TV characters always seem to have the perfect, most articulate speech to deliver for every occasion. Even if their beautiful eloquence isn’t entirely realistic, there’s usually some truth to be taken from it.

Here are just a few life lessons that TV characters have expressed better than we ever could.


Jeff from Community


The context:

Britta is pining pitifully over a withholding ex, and Jeff confronts her about her emotional self-abuse.

The quote:


I have to go to him.


No, woman. None of us have to ‘go to’ anyone. And the idea that we do is a mental illness we contracted from breath mint commercials and Sandra Bullock. We can’t keep ‘going to’ each other until we learn to ‘go to’ ourselves. Stop making our hatred of ourselves someone else’s job and just stop hating ourselves.

What you can learn from him:

You deserve to be surrounded by loving, inspiring warm people who can appreciate how loving, inspiring and warm you are in return. Don’t settle for anything less!


Tyreese from The Walking Dead


The context:

In the face of the group’s many hardships and losses, Tyreese discusses perspective with a worn-down Noah.

The quote:

It was our duty as citizens of the world to keep up with the news. Those stories on the radio — something happens 1000 miles away or down the block, some kind of horror I couldn’t even wrap my head around — he didn’t change the channel, he didn’t turn it off, he just kept listening. You have to face it, keeping your eyes open. My dad always called that ‘paying the high cost of living’.

What you can learn from him:

It’s all about perspective. Yes, life is tough – but you can bet that someone out there has got it tougher. We need to acknowledge and understand all of the horror in the world, appreciate what we have, and do good at every opportunity.


Jess from New Girl

Jess Day

The context:

Snarky lawyer Julia is openly derisive about Jess’ overt girliness. Jess puts her in her place after one too many eye-rolls.

The quote:

I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children, and I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. That’s just weird and it freaks me out. And I’m sorry I don’t talk like Murphy Brown, and I hate your pant suit and I wish it had ribbons on it or something to make it just slightly cute. And that doesn’t mean I’m not smart, and tough, and strong.

What you can learn from her:

We are not defined by what we wear or the things we enjoy, and we don’t have to slot comfortably into outdated stereotypes. We desperately need to stop underestimating and undermining one another.


Carrie from Sex and the City

Carrie Bradshaw

The context:

Carrie contemplates leaving her New York life behind to move to Paris with a new lover.

The quote:

Sometimes we need to stop analyzing the past, stop planning the future, stop figuring out precisely how we feel, stop deciding exactly what we want, and just see what happens.

What you can learn from her:

Analysis paralysis is life-threatening! Live in the now!


Cam from Modern Family


The context:

After arguing all day about an anecdote of Cam’s that he finds far-fetched, Mitch joins Cam’s attempt to prove it really happened. Cam is touched.

The quote:

There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. See the dreamers need the realists to keep the dreamers from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists? Well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.

What you can learn from him:

Wholly love and embrace who you are, but don’t discount everyone who sees the world differently. Even the strongest, most innovative people need balance in their lives.


Featured image by Lubs Mary.

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