Michael Slezak
November 18, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

This just in from The Department of Horrifying Scientific Studies: Researchers at the University of Maryland have some cockamamie theory that TV watching causes long-term unhappiness. Yes, these scientists can point to 34 years worth of data collected from more than 45,000 people, but how do they explain the anecdotal evidence of the huge endorphin rush I got last night from watching DVR’d episodes of Old Christine and The Office?

The study, which appears in the December issue of Social Indicators Research (sounds like a front for the National Association of Book Publishers to me), concludes that “‘not happy’ people” estimate they watch “30 percent more TV hours per day than ‘very happy’ people,” and that plopping in front of the idiot box “pushes aside time spent in other activities — ones that might be less immediately pleasurable, but that would provide long-term benefits in one’s condition.” Gross. I mean, what activities could possibly provide long-term benefits to my condition more than the one-two punch of Gavin & Stacey, The Mentalist, and Countdown with Keith Olbermann that I’ve got planned tonight?

So help me out, PopWatchers. Let’s brainstorm some reasons to completely discredit these so-called “researchers.” I’ll get the list started; you continue it in the comments section below:

* The participants in the study who watched lots of TV had no cable and relied on bunny ears for reception. (Of course they’re sad! They don’t even know what Project Runway is!)
* The “sad” people in the study just said they were sad because they were tired of the researchers interrupting their programs.(Obvs.)
*The researchers are still angry that David Archuleta didn’t win season 7 of American Idol.

More on TV:
The latest TV recaps (including ‘Dancing With the Stars’)
Exclusive: Bruno (a.k.a.) Sacha Baron Cohen Disrupts ‘Medium’
‘Mad Men’: An Office and a Gentleman

addCredit(“Trinette Reed/Corbis”)

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