Breaking up with a TV show you used to enjoy can be difficult. Once you’ve spent a few years of commitment in it, you may not even want to admit that the relationship is ending. Unfortunately, some shows (even those that started out great) just stay on the air too long, and either slowly deteriorate or outright jump-the-shark. Which current TV series still airing new episodes have you had to quit?
I’d been a loyal fan of ‘The Walking Dead‘ for six long seasons, including recapping episode recaps for this blog the last three seasons. I’ve not only been through storylines that seemed to go nowhere, but entire seasons (remember the farm?) that did. Yet the solid acting and occasional plot progression kept me coming back… until that disastrous Season 6 finale.
As most of you are well aware, the second half of Season 6 was completely focused on the arrival of new the Big Bad, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and the knowledge that he was going to kill a member of the main cast. This wasn’t a rumor or some closely held secret. Even if you weren’t aware of Negan’s arc in the comic books, the show-runners and cast members weren’t shy about who was coming onto the series and what he’d do. In other words, it was not a spoiler to know in advance that, in Season 6’s final episode, a) Negan was showing up, and b) he was going to kill someone.
So what happened when this highly publicized season finale finally aired? The creators pulled the rug out from under viewers by ending the episode with a p.o.v. shot of an unseen character getting whacked by Negan’s baseball bat. In other words, the show denied us the satisfaction of knowing who got offed. This isn’t the first time the writers have played fast and loose with their loyal viewership. Throughout the series, they’ve had minor cliffhangers at the end of shows, only then to use the next two or three episodes to show what was going on with characters elsewhere, leaving us hanging for weeks. They’d already pulled a similar stunt in Season 6 where it seemed like Glenn was killed by zombies, only to have him show up alive and well weeks after the fact.
Well, I finally screamed “Enough!” I’m tired of being jerked around by these storytellers, despite the fact that I really like most of the actors and I really enjoy the performances. Maybe I’ll catch up with the show someday in the future when it’s all on Netflix and I don’t have to worry so much about being manipulated, but for now I’m finished. There are just too many good shows on TV right now that treat their viewership with respect to be drawn back into ‘The Walking Dead’ anytime soon.
There was a time I thought ‘Modern Family‘ was the cleverest show on TV. Then, as so often seems to happen, it started to get repetitive and dumb. Even then, I had started buying the Blu-rays, so the collector in me thought, “I’ll go ahead and order the next season on disc anyway.” But just before the release of season 5, Fox got cheap and stopped releasing its TV shows on Blu-ray. That sort of killed it for me.
I haven’t tuned in regularly for a couple of years, but when I do, the plots all break down as: Cam and Mitchell are petty and jealous about a friend (usually at some sort of brunch or social event); Claire is unreasonable and obnoxious; Phil does something stupid; Gloria is insecure and reacts by lashing out; and Jay acts like a caveman because he’s afraid of his feelings, but then he embraces them and tears up a little. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. So lazy.
‘Gotham‘ is probably the only series that’s coming back this fall that I even care about, and that show is always floating around losing interest in my household (too many episodes per season, dead characters returning like clockwork, Barbara Kean being annoying, two dozen extras dying every episode, etc.).
‘The Walking Dead‘ and ‘Game of Thrones‘ are long out of the picture (too predictably bleak, too long in the tooth). ‘House of Cards‘ is just too soap opera-like with storylines that have little-to-no long-term impact.
Finally, it seems like ‘Orange Is the New Black‘ just has too much filler content, with too many characters and flashbacks that go nowhere.
M. Enois Duarte
If it hadn’t already been canceled, I would have voted for ‘Penny Dreadful’ as a show I started out liking but eventually lost interest in. Instead, I’m going to suggest ‘Fear the Walking Dead‘ as another that, in my opinion, maybe should be canceled. Because of my love for the original ‘Walking Dead’ series, I gave this companion prequel a chance. Early on, I thought things started great by setting the plot in the middle of the zombie outbreak.
I was initially forgiving of the fact that the main characters were not particularly interesting and were more annoying than believably engaging. I brushed it off as first episode jitters and a small hiccup in what eventually turned out to be poorly executed exposition. With each successive episode, the characters became more grating, and surviving the outbreak was more lucky coincidence than forethought or planning. Personalities clashing for dramatic effect grew more irritating, and I lost interest to the point of not finishing the first season.
I thought of revisiting the series because the idea of survivors traveling to Mexico reignited some interest, but honestly, I just don’t care enough to find out if the show has improved. It still features the same cast and characters that made me walk away from it in the first place, so I’m done with it and believe the producers should just let it die.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
My name is Adam (Hi, Adam!), and I’m a ‘Vampire Diaries‘-aholic. I’m three seasons sober, and I sure hope those dark demons remain behind me for good.
All I knew before picking up the first season to review was its title. I had zero expectations that a ‘Twilight’-with-a-LiveJournal TV series would be something I’d actually like, but sometimes the worst schlock makes for the most fun reviews to write, and that’s really all I was hoping for here. Sure enough, the first couple episodes delivered all the brooding, teen angst, star-crossed romance and, yes, diaries that I expected. It was somewhere around the third episode where ‘The Vampire Diaries’ stomped on the accelerator. For the rest of its freshman season, not a single episode misfired. The soap opera and genre elements alike screamed forward like nothing else I’d ever seen.
‘The Vampire Diaries’ routinely piled an entire season’s worth of plot twists into an episode or two, and every last one of them was well-earned and jaw-droppingly surprising. Its cliffhangers were so addictive that I devoured the entire season in just a couple of days. The pacing was absolutely perfect, never once feeling rushed or like it was spinning its wheels. No plot points were ever left dangling for long, always taking care to wrap up one thread before unveiling the next. I appreciate that Nina Dobrev’s Elena wasn’t a doe-eyed damsel in distress, and much the same can be said about the many other strong women in its ensemble. I dug that Ian Somerhalder was unrepentant about his vampiric murders but still somehow managed to be sympathetic all the way. I loved absolutely everything about that season, at least once the lackluster pilot was in the rear view mirror, from its soapier stretches to its manic bursts of horror and action. Virtually everyone ends that season either dead or unrecognizably transformed from the people to whom we were first introduced.
I thought it’d be impossible for ‘The Vampire Diaries’ to keep up such a brutal pace, but then season two rolled around to prove me wrong. The highs throughout its third season matched or eclipsed anything the series had delivered up to that point, but its valleys were far lower, struggling in particular to make the setups and payoffs equally compelling.
Season four, though… ugh. The twists were sparser and more telegraphed, mistakes the series had never made before. The endless fetch quests in the search for the cure to vampirism quickly grew tiresome. The series had run out of consequential characters to kill, so the deaths that season left little-to-no impact. Our hapless heroes’ poor choices were more directly responsible for their nightmarish predicaments than any Big Bad could ever accomplish. Seemingly every line of dialogue was mandated to either include “epic,” “feelings,” or “the cure.” You could make a drinking game out of the backstory, taking a shot every time Professor Shane started droning on about Qetsiyah for the eight hojillionth time, but you’d be trembling like Nic Cage in ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ before the season was out.
I had a blast with the first and final episodes of the season, but everything in between was such a miserable slog that I wrote off ‘The Vampire Diaries’ altogether after that. I still poke my head into recaps every once in a while, but it sure doesn’t sound as if I’m missing much.
This week’s topic was spurred by the return of ‘The Strain‘ this week. As I mentioned in my recap of the third season premiere, the show never really lived up to its potential even in the first two seasons, and the latest episode felt particularly dull and pointless. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stick it out for another season. Indeed, I’ve decided that I can’t. I pulled the plug yesterday and officially canceled the series recording in my DVR. Life’s too short to waste on boring TV.
Sadly, I’ve also broken up with ‘Suits‘ on the USA Network. I used to love that show. During its early seasons, it was a very fun twist on lawyer procedurals, but it’s simply been on the air too long and has outlived its usefulness. Season 5 was kind of a mess, and as Season 6 started this summer, I had serious reservations that it could right the ship. Unfortunately, after a few episodes it was clear that things were only getting worse. The season’s big plot twist of sending one of its main characters to prison turned out to be a jump-the-shark decision that unraveled the whole premise of the show. More importantly, all of the characters, every last one of them, have become truly insufferable assholes and I just don’t want to spend time with them anymore. When I looked on my DVR this week and saw three episodes sitting unwatched, I knew it was time to say goodbye. I deleted them and the series recording.
Tell us in the Comments about any still-active TV shows you used to enjoy but can’t watch anymore.
The blog will be taking Monday off for the Labor Day holiday. Enjoy the long weekend. We’ll see you back here on Tuesday.
“Game of Thrones”!
I just don’t understand the love for this.
After two seasons, I was so bored and tired that I just gave up.
Also, “Archer”. It’s just not funny anymore. And I wonder if it ever was.
I did not get the show when I first saw it. In fact, I HATED it. Then I stumbled across the books, read them, and started back on the show. Now the books are considerably better than the show, but the shows actually pretty good too, but I just could not see myself liking the show if I hadn’t of read the books (like I said, I saw the show, actually TWICE, before reading the books) and HATED it. Now I am hooked.
I actually used to hate the Dune movie until I saw the TV series, after I had a passing interest in the movie, and then after reading the book, I now LOVE the movie.
Some things are just hard to appreciate if you are not familar with the source material. I am honestly surprised at the people who DO like Game of Thrones without reading the books. I am all like “How can you keep up with what is going on?” I am not just talking about the plot, but there are tons of backstories – the author created an entire world, and a lot of what is going on is dependant upon knowing histories and mythologies of the world.
Now, my mom did see the show before she read the book (all of season 1), but I had the show on Blu-Ray, so after watching the first episode, we watched the Blu-Ray specials on the characters, then after the second or third episode, we watched the Blu-Ray specials on histories and all of that. Even she mentioned “How could anyone keep up with this show without all of these extras?” My dad said the same thing when he was introduced to it.
I watch the show without reading the books. But I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m frequently baffled, and unable to get the gist of the episode.
Hawaii Five O, The Strain, Hell on Wheels (I think it might be done though), Vikings (plan on catching up), Fargo (plan on catching up), House of Cards, Bloodline (can’t really tell if I want to stick with it or not, only watched 4 episodes and it’s not hooking me yet), Agents of Shield. There’s others I can’t think of right now.
It’s funny, seeing the ads for Piper Perabo’s new series on ABC (which looks terrible), I had to ask, “Wait, did Covert Affairs end?” Apparently it was canceled at the end of 2014 and I never noticed. I felt like it had been a while since my DVR recorded an episode, but I didn’t care enough about the show to give it any further thought or look up its status. If it hadn’t already been canned, I’d probably have to add it to this list.
I still miss “Covert Affairs” – it was kind of like a light and fluffy version of “Alias” (until it decided it wanted to be a full-on spy series for real….) Even then, it was entertaining….
I gave up on Sleepy Hollow about half way through the first season when the main character was still wearing his colonial outfit. Every. Single. Day. Dude, get some new clothes. Did he bring his luggage with him? Nope. Done with that.
I have the Strain on my dvr but I don’t think I’ll watch it. My friend at work talked me into recording it, but I don’t really think i have it in me to sit through it. i didn’t even finish last season. I feel an obligation to see the rest of Fear the Walking Dead, but I’ll probably just coast through the rest of the season.
Mostly all of them with a few exceptions like Game of Thrones, most Netflix shows, and a handful of comedies on network TV (Bob’s Burgers, The Last Man on Earth, and Brooklyn 99). I’m more content at this point to go back and watch acclaimed shows (caught up with Breaking Bad earlier this year) than I am to invest time into current stuff.
I’m gonna go with The Cosby Show.
That doesn’t exactly fit the topic of “current TV shows.” It hasn’t aired a new episode since 1992 and I doubt anyone’s going to bring it back now.
Well that sucks.
Well, Dr Huxtable being sued for malepractice would at least be current.
So many…Homeland (how many times can she have a psychotic episode and live to tell the tale), 24 (after the 32nd person got shot in the kneecap), Lost ( just am not intelligent enough to keep up with all the characters and sub plots, perhaps) The Amazing Race (Is it even still on?) Survivor (What that shows really needs is a good tsunami), True Detective (How can one magnificent season become such a god awful bore the 2nd season?), and many many many more.
I think the only show that I’ve stayed with through thick in thin is Jeopardy, though once in a while i fear that Alex may jump the shark during his short contestant interviews. Does that count?
I’m pretty sure ‘Lost’ ended a few years ago. If you have any questions, Luke Hickman is your fountain of expertise.
You’re right. I missed the word “current” in the original post.
I guess it finally got cancelled but I gave up on Castle three or four seasons ago. The show broke the golden rule by having the leads get together romantically, thus killing all the sexual tension, fun innuendos and will-they-or-won’t-they guessing games. Every show that has done this has subsequently failed.
Also gave up on Game of Thrones. Not even sure which season I watched last.
If it wasn’t such a mishmash of already existing fantasy tropes it may have been interesting. There isn’t a shred of originality in that series and all the loyal followers who think it’s such a game-changer probably haven’t read (or seen) any other fantasy fiction.
I stop watching almost all TV series after a couple seasons. Very few shows which run for more than two or three years can maintain their quality. And there’s too many other shows and movies in my queue, especially when you add foreign films and older classics. Offhand, I can only think of a few shows (that ran for more than two seasons) which I watched in their entirety: The Sopranos, Battlestar Gallactica, and Breaking Bad.
Damn right Shannon! It’s not just how they ended it, it’s how the entire crew was completely oblivious at all times they were walking into a trap. It was like watching a B level horror flick. Rick’s crew is NOT that stupid! Gah!
For me, it was definitely Game of Thrones and the new Battlestar Galactica. I’m a massive scifi and fantasy fan, but I lost interest in GoT mid way through season 2. Not sure why, it ticked all the boxes, but I just didn’t feel any urge to keep watching. I keep thinking I should start watching them again at some point, but never find enough enthusiasm.
Galactica was one I almost stuck with out of stubborn curiosity. It had great production values and the original’s concept is still fun and interesting to explore. Unfortunately, much of it annoyed me from the beginning, with idiotic characters and painful soap-opera/melodrama. I’d completely lost my patience by the the beginning of the last season, since it had started badly and only got worse.
I’m perilously close to giving up on The Walking Dead. I’m one of those who thought it vastly improved after season 2, but the ending of the last season with Negan was just idiotic. When TWD is good, it’s very, very good. When it’s bad, it relies on the worst horror movie cliche of having intelligent characters do stupid things, just to get into the desired situation. The ending of this season was the worst example of that.
Quantico, Blindspot, Agents of Shield, How to Get Away with Murder. I dropped each of these in the past year because they are all just too paranoid for my liking. “Don’t trust anyone”, “no one is what or who they say they are”, “your government is full of deceitful people”. “everyone has a hidden agenda”. Those are the hateful messages hammered into the viewers’ heads by each of these shows. Is it any wonder that our society now shows little faith in the agencies and organizations that are ostensibly there to protect us? When I was young there was a popular saying “Don’t trust anybody over 30”. Today it is “Don’t trust anybody in authority”. We’re all being brainwashed which isn’t that hard to do these days as we all immediately believe any claim, charge or assertion made on the internet.
I really hate the term “Breaking Up with a TV show”. It makes people sound pathetic, that TV means so much to them that they consider it a relationship.
How is the Simpson’s not on this list? It’s the definition of a show that started out great but has been on for far too long. I guess they said it best themselves long ago when Troy McClure joked that the show would stay on the air until it became unprofitable.
Also, sadly, Family Guy is now deserving to be on the list as well. I couldn’t even make it through the 2015 season.
As for non animated shows, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has unfortunately reached the point of jumping the shark too.
All sad destinies for once great shows that were stretched out too far.
Arrested development might have reached the same status after the awful fourth season, but I’m still hopeful that they can get it back to being the great show it was.
Personally, I gave up on The Simpsons so long ago I had forgotten it’s still on the air.
I can definitely understand being in that situation.
I consider seasons 1-8 truly, genuinely, unabashedly outstanding television classics. Season 8 ended in 1997. Which means they are churning out mediocre episodes for almost 20 years. Wow.
I had no idea the Simpsons were still making new episodes. Apparently Season 28 premieres in a couple of weeks. I’ve never watched a full episode of the Simpsons. http://release-date.info/tv-series/the-simpsons-season-28-release-date-49403892/
Even the early, classic seasons?
The Simpsons got to where it was unfunny in the early 2000s, but around 2007 or 2008, when they went HD, it got to be good again (not that them going HD made the show good, its just at that time the writing picked back up). The show has been turning out pretty good episodes since, and I would argue that a lot of the episodes that have come out in the past 5 years are better than the first few seasons.
Family Guy has always been hit or miss. The last couple of seasons (after they killed off the Cleveland Show and brought Cleveland back to Family Guy) have actually been pretty good.
With Family Guy and The Simpsons both, its like eating comfort food. Yeah, you may want to venture out and try your exotic and multicultual foods, your Greek, your Lebanese, your Russian, your Vietnamese, your Brazilian Steakhouse, your Korean BBQ, your Sushi, and your French foods (and tons of other cultures I didn’t mention, not that I don’t like other foods, just wasn’t going to list everything), but sometimes you just want good old Cracker Barrel. That is what Family Guy and The Simpsons are to me, it is that Cracker Barrel Chicken n Dumplings, Fried Okra, Fried Apples, and peach cobbler.
However, the one show that I still like is American Dad. Talk about a show that rebounded – I think the show got BETTER after it left Fox.
Interesting. I’ve seen a couple of Simpsons episodes this past year and still wasn’t impressed, but I guess there are some people out there who still like them. Good for them.
This is a difficult topic for me – a lot of times I will watch a few episodes, then take a break for a year or two and then go back and binge watch the show over a weekend. A LOT of people do that. I hope network executives take into account those of us who binge watch VOD – you might not get numbers week by week, but you can still gauge how popular a show is. I also have so little time at the moment with school and work, that I have a lot of stuff on my “to do” list.
There is one show that is not a reality show that I can say I gave up on. That show is Once Upon a Time. I have mentioned this show before. It is like the show writers had this great idea, and wrote a story that would play out over the course of a season. It was fantastic. The show ended up doing significantly better than anyone expected, and the network renewed it, and it was like the show writers thought “Oh crap, we cannot tie this up now, we got to leave ourselves somewhere to go”. So season 2 was okay, nowhere near as good as the first, then they got a third season. The problem with a story like Once Upon A Time is that its not a world that well supports that many stories – you have an overall story arch, which was a really good one, but they pretty much wrapped that up by the end of season 1, and any additional stories feel forced and not really taking the show anywhere. By season 3, when they started adding Mulan and Jack and the Beanstalk and Peter Pan, the show got corny and it felt like they were grasping for straws. I stopped watching it.
As for pseudo-reality shows, Dance Moms was a guilty pleasure. I love to HATE that show. I tuned in every week to yell and scream at the television set. Then I found out that about 80% of the show was scripted. The girls didn’t learn a new dance every week – like every other dance group in America, they had multiple dances that they were learning throughout the season, just fancy editing made it look like it was a new show every week. The relationships between most of the moms was actually, in real life, pretty good – the fights was pretty much ruined when the “characters” started getting their own Twitter accounts and started discussing how the show was really shot and edited. The show would show the moms getting restraining orders against each other, their Twitter accounts would show them at the mall or an amusement park or something hanging out and having a great time. One family broke contract with the show because of how they were being treated, pretty much end of season 2 or early season 3. With the illusion shattered, you are then left a group of mediocre actors yelling, screaming and cussing at each other, and a group of kids who, while talented and cute, the show was not focused around, were aging, and were really not THAT much more talented than thousands of other kids in America. The aging kids were actually an issue and they brought in a new group at the begining of season 6, but I truthfully don’t care anymore, I stopped watching in Season 3 – the illusion is gone, and the show is pretty much the same thing every week.
Other reality shows that I am done with are Pawn Stars and American Pickers. I may still catch an episode from time to time, but the novelty wore off.
The show ended about a year ago, but if it was still on, I would be done with 19 Kids and Counting. The problem is that they never evolved the show. Other than wedding and birth episodes, the show was “Oh look, we are taking the entire Duggar family to a Mexican restaraunt – yet again” or “we are taking the entire family on a road trip – yet again” or “we are going to the annual home school conference – yet again”. Funny thing is, I actually quite enjoy them rebranding the show as “Counting On” – its a different format, and you are focusing on individuals and their lives rather than “let’s see how a family of 19 does things”. And interestingly, it is one of the few shows that I actually watch the commercials – I have to see who is still brave enough to advertise – that may be as interesting as the show itself! Oh and then you are always like “are they going to show Josh” or “are they going to address this latest scandel that’s in the press”. I hate to say it, because I have met these people on more than one ocassion, and they really are the nice, sweet people they appear to be on television, but the train wreak of the past year and a half has made for some fantastic reality television and publicity. I am almost bipolar on the issue – having met them, I wish the show would be pulled just so the kids can try to have a halfway normal life, but on the flip side, I am eating up the tabloids and every new gossip story that comes out (as long as it’s believable – one tabloid published a story that “there are rumors that Jessa is expecting” three days after they announced it on their Facebook page, and stories such as “Michelle and Jim Bob are divorcing” wouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone).
I don’t know if the show still comes on, but I gave up on Under The Dome after four episodes. Horrible show.
Agents of Shield – I just could not follow it. Gave up after three episodes.
There are other shows that it looks like I have given up on, but I am just going to probably binge watch them in a couple of years – Doctor Who, Torchwood (I don’t think the show still comes on), The Expanse, Sleepy Hollow, Constantine and Gotham.
Doctor Who is a good one. I was SO into that show when David Tennant was on it, and Matt Smith started pretty well, but over the last few years it has just plummeted in quality IMO. I say that as a huge sci-fi fan too.