Sunday, November 23, 2014

How Do You Abandon Beloved TV Shows That Jump the Shark?

Lately there seem to be so very many television series that I have completely lost interest in.  I feel bad when I stop watching a show that I loved.  I often end up hanging in for far too long in the hopes that the magic the show held for me early in the season or series will return, because every so often a show will surprise me.  I was almost ready to throw in the towel on Supernatural once or twice but because I had watched it for so many seasons and loved it so dearly, I overlooked some truly awful story lines and lived for the stand alone episodes that held my attention (Leviathans - I'm talking about you).  I also almost missed out on the entire series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City and Game of Thrones, all of which became favorites of mine even though I didn't care for episodes that happened very early in the shows.  Full disclosure: I was unimpressed by the Praying Mantis episode of Buffy's first season to abandon it for over three years and I only ever watched the show on DVD.  The first episode I ever saw was the series finale, but thankfully I didn't know the characters well enough to have that color my enjoyment of the series.  When I saw it again I barely remembered it at all and I was still in tears.  Also when Sex and the City started I thought they would always break the fourth wall like they did in the first two episodes.  Thankfully they did away with that convention and my friends kept me watching it.  Similarly, friends begged me to get past the first episode of Game of Thrones which I didn't like at all.  If it weren't for the thousands of memes on Facebook responding to the death of a major character I probably wouldn't have started watching again at all.

Here are a few of the shows I'm saying goodbye to or couldn't even say hello to although I thought they would be such winners.  A few I stuck by for several seasons, but I just had to say enough is enough.

Witches of East End
Every single time I tuned in this season (and most of last season) I asked myself why I was still watching the show.  It was tongue in cheek campy at times and I thought it was best when it laughed at itself.  I really enjoyed a few of the actors and I hope they wind up in a better vehicle.  I was a little sad although not surprised to see it was cancelled.  They made the decision to give up really easy, but if I'm being honest I probably shouldn't have wasted the time I took watching the second season at all.  I hope they will make a wrap up movie to tie up all the questions and loose ends for all of the fans at some point, but I won't cry if it never returns at all.  (I always called this show "Witches of Waverly Place".  The fact that I never learned the title should've been a clue.)

Under The Dome
I loved this book by Stephen King and I stuck around for a whole season as they dropped the most interesting plot lines and drove the story off a cliff.  I recorded the second season and it sat on the DVR for weeks until I remembered that I was so completely uninspired by the show that I couldn't spend another hour with it.  Dear Uncle Stevie - what the heck?

The Paradise
This show taped one day because the DVR was set up to record Downton Abby on Masterpiece.  I watched the first season and screamed at the ending of what I thought was the final episode.  It finished so abruptly and with no fanfare that I was sure the series was cancelled and they had to wind it up in a 50 minute episode.  Imagine my surprise to see it return this year for a second season.  I watched, again and was lured back in although by the fourth episode I despised the main characters with a passion usually reserved for people who abuse animals.  Characters I previously rooted against as villains became the only ones I felt a smidgen of sympathy for and when I just watched the final episode of the second season which once again ties up everything abruptly in a two minute whirlwind, I swore to myself that if a third season arrives I will not be watching this any longer.  No matter how pretty the clothes are.

We have all the available episodes on the DVR.  It looks like such a cool premise, but I just can't bring myself to watch this show.  Batman's early psyche shaping world might be a glorious place, but I haven't even visited it.  I have a feeling this show is going to be canceled before I watch it.  The same thing happened with Resurrection - I ended up deleting that from the queue before I watched an episode.

Is this show even on anymore?  I honestly have no idea.  There was a time when I really thought it was fun and loved the musical numbers but somewhere along the line whole seasons got away from me.  I was so disappointed in the Christmas episode that I started edging away little by little.  When Cory Monteith passed away I watched the episode that was a memorial to him, but I haven't watched since.  I even heard there was a Billy Joel episode, but it wasn't enough to lure me back.

Sleepy Hollow
I really loved the first season of this show, but the episodes are stacking up and I just can't bring myself to care.  I felt really manipulated when Ichabod's wife decided to hang out with the headless horseman for a little while longer because she thought she might possibly have a plan that would maybe stop the horseman from doing something involving the end of the world and their kid and a bunch of other crap that I was and continue to be confused by.  Ichabod moved heaven and hell (or at least purgatory) and defied the passage of time in a literal way to rescue her and she was all "no, I'm good".  Sigh.  Why do I watch this stuff?

Hemlock Grove
I couldn't get into this.  At all.  I tried.  I gave it two episodes, and I know it is there in the Netflix vault waiting for some day to say "you really have absolutely nothing else you could be doing".  Even then I probably won't watch it.  Sorry Famke Janssen.

Okay, this is really not a new show at all but the last season of this on DVD has been sitting in my bedroom for years so I thought it was a worthy mention.  I look at it and I wonder if I even remember enough about the characters to pop it in.  Even Mario Lopez and his rockin' abs haven't been enough to get me to push play and I stuck with the show for almost all of six kind of miserable and kind of hilariously campy seasons.  Sorry Famke Janssen (although you probably don't show up in the last season).  Ironically I'm really hoping you'll play the other Beauchamp sister if there is ever a Witches of East End movie, because then I'd have to watch it).

I loved the movie.  I loved the casting.  I didn't want it stretched into a billion hours.  Billy Bob shot a dog.  I'm out.

Once Upon A Time
I started hating this show in the second season.  There were always enough little Disney inside jokes and story potential to keep me watching but the arrival of Elsa drove a big icicle through the heart of this series.  If I hated the Peter Pan crap (and I did with the exception of the dashing Captain Hook) I really can't watch the Snow Queen schlock.  The first season is something I will remember fondly but it was easy to see this apple was cursed when I fell asleep watching this, or more appropriately while waiting for The Walking Dead to start.

I love Nathan Fillion.  He was enough to get me to watch Castle, and I did watch it for several years.  Then Castle and Beckett went and got all lovely dovey on me.  I was worried that they would go the way of Moonlighting and kill the longing looks and unspoken feelings by rolling around on a white shag carpet and taking out an innocent coffee table.  Even though no furniture was harmed when they eventually realized their feelings for each other, the show nose dived into "I don't care about this anymore" territory for me.  I hear Castle and Beckett got married.  I am sure it was after both of them nearly died for the 200th time and they suddenly felt that if they didn't get hitched right that second they would notice that nearly losing each other the 201st time didn't really sting at all.  It's such a shame too because of all these shows, I think I miss you most of all.

Please tell me - what TV shows have you watched recently that you had to walk away from?  What series are you still viewing while suffering from the "I wish I could quit you" feelings of despair?  What are the klunkers that you let off the hook before you lost any more time to them and which shows keep pulling you back in like television mafia?  I'd love to hear!

Also, if you've made it this far into the post, thank you!  I have a favor to ask - could you pretty please take a glance at a few of my previous posts?  I've written quite a few that haven't gotten any love and if my page views could be a little higher I would gain a lot of confidence.  I am suffering from the "nobody cares" blues at the moment, and I can't keep pretending it doesn't bother me forever.  It sucks to put your time and energy into something and then see only three folks looked at it.  It is especially heart breaking when your own phone and its alternate ip address probably counted as one of the three folks.  So be a doll and click on the highlighted titles of my November blog posts and cheer me up!  Much love to all of you - hope you had a great weekend and that the hours you spent with your favorite shows were worthy of all your super-fan love.

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