Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When is it time to let go of beloved television shows?

Something occurred to me this weekend when I was watching the season finale of the BBC’s ‘Being Human’ – I can’t watch this show anymore.

It’s not that the finale was bad. In fact, it was quite good. It had a surprising ending that an American show could never pull off because viewers would be screaming like banshees.

I’m just done.

While this probably isn’t profound to a lot of viewers, it actually was to me. I can’t remember the last time I actually made a conscious choice to cut a show out of my life. Usually, it just kind of happens like attrition.

‘Being Human’ isn’t the first show this season that I’ve dropped – it’s just the first one I acknowledged as I was dropping it.

For example, I somehow dropped NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ and the CW’s ‘America’s Next Top Model’ over the past few weeks without even realizing I was doing it. I didn’t realize I’d done it until I went into my DVR to cancel any future recordings of ‘Being Human.’

So why did I drop ‘The Biggest Loser’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model’? It’s not that they’re overly bad – there’s a lot of television that is much worse riding the airwaves. I’m just tired of them frankly. To be fair, though, they were never my favorite television shows, they were just two reality shows that didn’t make me want to claw my own eyes out when watching them.

On the flip side, I used to consider ‘Gossip Girl’ must see trashy television. On Monday, I realized that the past four episodes were sitting in my DVR unwatched – so I sat down to watch them. I made it through all four episodes in less than an hour. That’s how bad the show is – out of four hours of television, I whittled it down to one hour of viewing.

I said goodbye to ‘One Tree Hill’ this year, too – but at the end I was merely watching out of habit. The only episode in the final season worth anything was ‘Danny Boy’ – the goodbye love letter to show villain Dan Scott. If the show hadn’t ended, I wouldn’t have tuned in next season.

That got me to thinking, which shows really should be put out to pasture?

The list is long – much longer than it should be. It highlights how much time I’m wasting on shows I no longer even care about.

So, which shows is it time for me personally to say goodbye to?

Grey’s Anatomy – I still DVR it every week but I can watch the entire episode in about 15 minutes. I no longer care about the case of the week. I’m really down to caring about Owen, Christina and Alex. Given the size of the Grey’s Anatomy cast – that’s not a good sign.

Desperate Housewives – This show hasn’t been good in years. Okay, this show was never really good, I admit it. It was just mindless fun sometimes. I’m glad it’s ending in a couple episodes – because the only character worth watching anymore is Lynette. When we say goodbye to Wisteria Lane, my guess is fans will move on pretty quickly. The show never really had any emotional heft to it.

Criminal Minds – This show has seen cast upheaval since the early years. First it lost Lola Glaudini (thankfully). Then it said hello to Paget Brewster. Then it said goodbye to Mandy Patinken. Then it said goodbye to A.J. Cook. Then it said hello to Rachel Nichols. Then it said goodbye to Brewster. Then it said hello to Cook. Then it said goodbye to Nichols. Then it said hello to Brewster. And, finally (whew, that was a mouthful) they’re saying goodbye to Brewster again. I love the show, but the quality is starting to fall and it’s getting really long in the tooth. That being said, I’ll never stop watching this show as long as it airs because of the Shemar Moore beefcake. I’m shallow, sue me.

How I Met Your Mother – I don’t care who the mother is anymore. I don’t care about who Robin ends up with (quite frankly, I don’t know why either guy likes her). I don’t want to see the group saddled with a kid. I’m just done. This show has eradicated any love I ever had for it.

Two and a Half Men – This show should have died with Charlie Harper. I’m not an Ashton Kutcher hater (Kelso rules!) – but all this show has managed to do is make Alan even more of a leech – and it’s not entertaining anymore.

Gossip Girl – The only thing I truly care about anymore is reuniting Chuck and Blair. I don’t care about Serena and Dan (who I am sure will end up together), Lily and Rufus, Lola and Nate. I just don’t care. This show stopped being fun sometime last season. Put it out of its misery already. All of the actors want to move on. Let them.

CSI – All three franchises are tired and long in the tooth. Let them go CBS. Let them go.

Law and Order: SVU – What I said about the CSI franchises can be said about this show, too. It’s not compelling anymore. It’s just annoying.

Supernatural – I’m prepared to be flogged for this. I know the fans of this show are fervent, but the quality has really gone downhill. It should have gone out on top at the end of season five. Season six was a nightmare. Season seven is better than season six – but that’s not saying much. As it stands now, Dean and Sam can’t have any peace when it ends because they’ve eradicated any ties the boys have. It’s time to let them go with a little dignity. I doubt that will happen, though. I have no doubt they’ll be back for a season eight – which will really be pushing things.
30 Rock – I do think the show has some funny moments, but they’re few and far between. It used to be when you watched the show you were laughing non-stop. Now I find myself fighting not to change the channel to find something else worth watching.

The Office – This should have ended when Steve Carrell left – everyone knows it’s true, even if they don’t want to admit it.

Army Wives – These women aren’t likeable or recognizable anymore. Any heart the show had remaining left when Pamela did at the beginning of this season. I watched exactly one episode after that and then quietly stopped watching the show.

What do you think? What shows should bow out gracefully? Which ones still have some juice?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh I totally agree with you re: GG (I also used to watch Grey's, Desperate Housewives, and the Office, but only watched the first few seasons before it just got old. I still watch 30 rock b/c I love tina fey and alec baldwin but shows are always the best in the beginning.) I think my all time favorite show is GG though. It's embarrassing to even say that now because it's so abysmal, but Season 1 and Season 2 of Gossip Girl are just perfect in my eyes and I just love them. So I stuck with the show and even though I had problems with it in S3 and 4 and realized that it was not the same show anymore, I kept watching.

Now it's season 5 and I found myself freaking out over the last episode. Why have I wasted the last 3 years (season 1 and 2 were not a waste! I just regret not quitting the show at it's best after 2x25) watching this?! What did I just watch?! Why is this show still on?! I really do wish the show had ended on a high note after Season 2...now it is just embarrassing and it is not the GG I fell in love with. And I only watch for Blair and Chuck now too. And Blair is with freaking Dan Humphrey (reason #304958 why the show is not itself and just completely sucks now) so why even watch??

I still will though in hopes for Chuck and Blair (it's a curse! I hate the show but must keep watching and I don't know why) but this show should've just stopped after season 2, or they shouldn't have hired Safran and it might've continued being great in seasons 3,4,5, etc. But now the show is just a fail and to see how great it was in S1/2 and compare it to now is just depressing.

the shows I keep up with now are How I Met Your Mother (I still care a bit haha), 30 rock (I don't pay attention anymore though...just habit I guess), GG (I thoroughly explained that one haha), revenge, and modern family. (wow you don't realize how much tv you watch til you type it all out! and I watch almost none of this on tv...mostly online)

I'll probably stick around until the end of HIMYM and GG for sure but himym is losing its fun and GG is just torture now. thanks for this article and sorry for my super long post :)

April 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM 
Blogger Chibbykins said...

Dan and Blair are the only thing keeping GG alive, imo, but for the most part I agree with this list. I'm still down for another season of Supernatural...

April 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM 

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