4 Beloved TV Shows With Unintended Real-Life Consequences

We are currently in a golden age of television, with popular shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones enjoying more fan devotion than most big-budget movies could ever dream of (in fairness, "middle-aged drug dealer" doesn't exactly scream "box office champion").

Unfortunately, some of us obsess over these shows a little too much, resulting in bizarre trends that seem to indicate that people become less able to tell the difference between fiction and reality after an entire weekend of binge-watching serialized dramas on Netflix.

#4. Breaking Bad Is Getting People Hooked on Blue Meth

Recently, trend-savvy meth barons in New Mexico have begun selling blue-tinted crystals in the Four Corners region, just like murderous television antihero Walter White from Breaking Bad. Because if drug dealing can't be fun, then what's the point?

However, despite the added impulse-buy factor of tying the product in with a popular TV show, it turns out that smoking blue meth is actually really bad for you. The chemicals in the blue dye are extremely harmful, which is a knowledge bomb that caught the normally health-conscious community of toxin-peddling meth addicts completely off guard.

jingjofire/iStock/Getty Images
"We need to start labeling this shit. I need to know what's going in my temple."

Furthermore, some people just aren't getting the show's message that becoming a drug kingpin will wreck your goddamn life, as evidenced by this mug shot of a 21-year-old kid arrested for operating a meth lab in his house while wearing a Breaking Bad T-shirt. This is only slightly more embarrassing than getting pulled over by a cop while listening to an Aerosmith CD and wearing a feather boa and lip gloss.

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
"Look on the bright side: At least you weren't arrested in your tighty-whities."

#3. Chinese Communist Leaders Love House of Cards Because It Makes the U.S. Government Look Evil

House of Cards, the political drama that exposes the seamy underbelly of the American government, is explosively popular in China, counting among its top fans the leaders of the Communist Party, who apparently just can't get enough Kevin Spacey. (We'll go one further and assume sans evidence that China's seeing an uptick in bootlegs of Fred Claus.)

Warner Bros.
"Make way. Two-time Oscar winner coming through."

In actuality, what the Chinese really seem to enjoy about House of Cards is that it affirms their long-held suspicion that the U.S. government is nothing but a relay team full of dong-beating shitheads. And in light of recent events, this does not appear to be a stereotype that America is in danger of overcoming anytime soon.

#2. Mad Men Revived the Cigarette and Whiskey Industries

Ever since the debut of Mad Men in 2007, the sale of cigarettes and whiskey have skyrocketed, as fans of the hit show struggle to remember why we ever moved away from a culture of misogynistic substance abuse.

Before the show premiered, Lucky Strike was a brand of cigarettes most famous for being sued for $750,000 by a man with lung cancer, and Canadian Club Whiskey had been enjoying a 17-year decline. Now, thanks to the panty-destroying charm of Jon Hamm, both brands have seen a huge increase in sales and name recognition.

Lionsgate Television
"Just keep buying, guys. They're the only explanation why women love him."

#1. Game of Thrones Is Causing a Rise in Abandoned Dogs

Game of Thrones, the popular show about medieval nudity, has contributed to a rising epidemic of abandoned dogs, presumably because die-hard fans want to participate in the show's unmitigated cruelty and heartbreaking betrayal in the most entry-level way possible (in related news, there's been a worldwide surge in people buying their children pet goldfish and immediately flushing them down the nearest toilet).

BrittaKokemor/iStock/Getty Images
"When you play the game of porcelain thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground."

Several of the show's main characters keep giant dire wolves as faithful companions, and in an untethered desire to become as much like their favorite characters as possible without exercising or building a time machine, Game of Thrones fans began to purchase and adopt wolf-like dog breeds such as Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes. However, many of these fans suddenly changed their minds when they realized that feeding and caring for large dogs is almost as expensive as having children and cast them out into the cold like a bastard of Winterfell. In the U.K., the rate that these breeds are being abandoned has risen 420 percent in the last six years, and is likely to increase to 1,000 percent by the time the show ends and every fucking character is dead.


The third part of XJ's epic science-fiction novel is out now on Amazon. The first $0.99 novella can be found here, with Part 2 out here. Or leave a review and get a free copy! Poke him on Twitter and follow him on Facebook.

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