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Ain't Nobody Got Time for That: Shows We Love and Then Leave

By Mike Roorda | Seriously Random Lists | May 31, 2013 | Comments ()


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I watch a lot of television. Praise be to Comcast, my DVR allows me to go about living a normal life without missing any of my many shows. If the choices were "see real people who sometimes suck and disappoint me" and "sit at home and be entertained and if HBO is on there's probably nudity" I'd choose the possibility of couch nudity every time.

Given the volume of content that I attempt to absorb, often times shows that I previously swore to love and protect, honor and cherish to have and hold forever and ever amen ... well sometimes those shows have to go away to visit their parents and never come back. The shows tend to differ in scope and subject matter but a few things will make me reach for the clicker and swear off your story for ever. Those things are:

1. Promising me complex drama with high stakes, but failing to deliver. For the sake of argument, we'll call this one "Sutter Syndrome." You can only feed me so many sh*t sandwiches while promising steak before I get tired of eating poop and go someplace else with a cow in the window. Big scary conflict at the end of your season with high stakes and the possibility of death? Nope! Something we hadn't even introduced until just now comes out of left field and changes the equation.

Worst offenders: "Sons of Anarchy*," "Burn Notice," "CSI," "Castle."

2. One upping the previous season, every season. I don't mind a little bit of crazy bananas every now and again (see: "Hemlock Grove") but if that's all that your show has going for it, I'm going to eventually lose interest and move on. Story has to include more than just who's copulating with whom and you won't believe what happened, no really, you won't believe it.

Worst offenders: "True Blood," "Weeds," given the final shot of the season probably "Hemlock Grove."

3. Populating your story with characters I don't care about. You could have a great story on your hands, or you could be attempting another USA Network show, but if your characters are dull and hollow I have no reason to emotionally invest. On the other hand if your story sucks, but your characters are awesome, I'll continue to tune in. (*cough*NCIS*cough*)

Worst Offenders: "Suits," "Falling Skies," "Revolution."

So now you know some of what I've quit watching and the major reasons why I'll stop tuning in. What are your additions to these lists, or new reasons with their own examples?

*Yes, I know who Sutter killed off last season and how. I still don't care and will never watch again.



"Justified" Lovers, Now You Can Have Raylan's Hat; Plus Spelling Bee Trauma | I Was Promised Fear, But All I Got Was This Handful of Dust: After Earth






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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • James

    What about "Heroes"?

  • stofjas

    finally someone admits to watching NCIS. The stories is sporadic in strength the outcomes predict`able but people, I give you Gibbs, Tony Dinozzo, McGeek and Zeva (I still suffer from PTSD after Kate's death end of season 2). After watching them for now 10 (even soapies dont always get 10) I know these people better than I know most of my family. Are there meetings for people like us? NCIS-Anonymous?

  • Mr_Zito

    I'm putting Dexter down for all of them.

  • AudioSuede

    We had to give up on Parenthood after *SPOILER* Ray Romano replaced Jason Ritter. I wanted to throw my TV out the window. Such a stupid and unnecessary plot change. It got to the point where the only character I could tolerate was Christina, when she was the only character I actively disliked in the first couple seasons. They made one character better but removed any semblance of logic from everyone else.

    /rant

  • Fredo

    Let's see:

    Supernatural - after 6 and a half seasons of demons, monsters and Apocalypses, I finally couldn't take more of the emo moping of Sam and Dean. Honestly, those two have broken up and gotten back together more than a married couple. Episodes piled up in the DVR and I just couldn't be bothered.

    The Simpsons - about a decade ago. Just quietly slipped out the back and moved on with my life.

    Burn Notice - I think I just quit it after one of those season finales that revealed another supervillain responsible for burning Michael. At that point, I realized that the entire US government was apparently involved in the decision and that it'd never end.

  • kirbyjay

    Mad Men :ducking: I have a hard time watching a show when I don't like anybody. You need someone to root for. After 3 seasons I'd had enough. I stuck with the Sopranos but it was the same thing, I hated everyone. I think a successful show needs many elements along with the great writing. You need characters that you can get behind, heart, drama, surprise, romance, and a little comic relief. High drama and gratuitous sex wear on me and I get bored quickly.

  • Leigh

    Agree! I was surprised when only just this season people have become disgusted with Don and begun to turn against him. I have always hated him. I only tend to care about what happens with Joan and Peggy.
    One of the main reasons I started watching was for the set design and the fashions. Now I have a hard time giving it up because it's one of the few shows I've watched from the beginning.

  • kirbyjay

    I tolerated Don because, well, he's HAMMMMM. But after the Hamm got pissy about the penis blog, I don't even care about Himm anymore.
    Peggy always irritated me. Don't know why, maybe it's Elizabeth Moss but I wanted to pie her.
    I liked Joan, but she wasn't on all the time and her boobs made me feel unspectacular.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I just got done watching season five of True Blood and I enjoyed it for the most part. Bill is tedious and has been for a while so here's hoping next season gives him a personality transplant.

    I lost interest in Burn Notice last year and Bones started pissing me off with the stupid plots... more stupid than usual. I couldn't get past that terrible lighthouse episode on Revolution and I developed an intense and irrational dislike for Charlie. Maybe not so irrational, she's a terrible character and a shitty actress. I was starting to lose interest in Psych but the last episode was hilarious so we're back on good terms.

  • Anham Mahna

    1. The Mentalist--tired of the whole Red John nonsense. Plus, Robin Tunney is just plain horrible, with her two-face expressions and no arms moving as she galumps along. Ugh.

    2. Gray's Anatomy. #2

    3. Psych. It just got annoying.

    4. Mad Men. I hate everybody.

    5. Glee. Ugh. Every reason.

    6. Bones. Grow up already, people!

    Knowing what I know about Game of Thrones (I SO love the spoileriffic posts here!), I debate every week whether to watch or not, knowing no one ever gets a happy ending. (I WANT A HAPPY ENDING!) But the show is SO GOOD and so well done, I can't tear myself away.

  • Anham Mahna

    I forgot Scandal. I love him! I hate him! I love him! I hate him! Oh, shut the hell up. No one cares.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I have to agree, that part is getting dull but the rest of it is still a lot of fun for me.

  • e jerry powell

    I did give up on Shameless (US), but I can't remember why. I do remember that dropping Californication involved lots of #3 (plus being easily as misogynist and juvenile as Entourage up to its last episode). Even Pamela Adlon burning all of David Duchovny's clothes in a bonfire (as Jason Beghe danced naked circles around it) couldn't bring me back to that steaming fecal pile.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    Grey's anatomy is guilty of 2 and 3. I mean, they killed Lexie and left April! Who does that? I always shout at the screen while watching Castle. I think it's a form of therapy at this point.

  • e jerry powell

    My love of Scandal notwithstanding, Shonda Rhimes is guilty of all three at various points in time.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    But she starts off so well, then goes batshit completely out of nowhere. One can only assume that she'll find a way to fuck up Scandal as well.

  • e jerry powell

    Oh, no doubt.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I still watch Criminal Minds because of the characters and the occasional gross/weird stuff. It's like a shallow Hannibal in that respect.

  • emmettdigger

    How about Bones? That show has gotten completely ridiculous. Some super duper cyber hacker has ruined everyone's lives - FROM PRISON!

  • Leigh

    See I think the ones with Pellant are the best ones, whereas "finding a dead body in a huge chocolate bar" or "finding a dead body in a life-sized doll box" are the stupid ones. (I *love love love* this show, but about twice a year they have some incredibly ridiculous episodes that make me embarrassed for the actors to have to perform them.)

  • Bodhi

    I think he escaped? I don't know, I don't actually pay attention when I watch it now. The leads getting together was a DUMB move. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

  • manting

    I don't get the trublood fandom. The show is a soap opera with nudity. That's it. Horrible Horrible writing. There are some decent actors in the show but the material is just pathetic. I don't mean the source material, which I have never read, but the shows writers really churn out complete shit

  • I'll say this for True Blood: that first season was highly enjoyable. It seemed entirely aware of its silliness and hired actors who committed the hell out of themselves to their roles and seemed to be have an amazing time chewing scenery. Was it the smartest show? Not really. But it was fun and campy and pretty exciting.

    After that though, the show started taking itself way too seriously, all the fun dark spark sort of went away, and they started making some really troubling choices (were-leopard rape, I'm looking at you). Also, the second season infuriated me for both somehow making Hot Sex Orgy Bacchanalians insanely boring and for saddling Michelle Forbes with suuuuuuuch a poorly-written character.

  • Rochelle

    The first two seasons were pretty great in the guilty pleasure category. Lafayette, Pam, Eric, and Andy were fun. But it just ran out of fun and sense and then it just became silly. I could always do without Sookie and Bill.

  • tatertot

    "The Simpsons".

    When I watched one of the Halloween Specials and didn't laugh once I knew it was time to cut the cord. It was physically painful for me to cancel that Season Pass, but I experienced a huge sense of relief once I did.

  • AudioSuede

    Seriously, that show was a part of my family from the time it first aired, so much so that even though we stopped liking the damned show after 1998, we kept watching for years, every week, like maybe somehow they'd make it funny again or come up with a new idea or be emotionally satisfying, and after a while we had to just let it go.

  • tatertot

    Exactly! My sister and I still constantly quote from Golden Era "Simpsons", and those episodes never fail to make me laugh even after years of re-watching, but the current incarnation is a pale shadow of itself. I kept holding on to hope that they'd pull it together and be funny again only to have my heart repeatedly broken.

    In some ways Later Era "Simpsons" is like Season 4 of "Community" - it's a show written by people who watched and loved the earlier version, but couldn't quite grasp how it worked and what made it great.

  • Wednesday

    Category number one should contain "The Killing". So much promise, so little delivered.

    Although it might fail the test on account of never actually being good. I watched it out of sheer pigheadedness.

  • specialj67

    Oh, blerg. That show. Cannot stop watching it even though the con list is waaaaay loner than the pro list. I think I stick with it out of pigheadedness too. There are several things about it I love--the two lead characters, the damn rain NGL, the unrelentingly depressing atmosphere--but pretty much everything else about it I hate. Especially the plot. I'm hoping season 3 is less of a turd burger, new crime and all, but that it's a serial killer give me little to hope for.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm assuming you're only referring to the American remake, but I could be wrong.

  • Wednesday

    Yes, your assumption is correct.

  • jollies

    It's a pretty big moment for me when I see all those unwatched episodes of a formerly cherished show piling up on my DVR, taking up space, and deciding it's time to just stop recording them. Modern Family, Raising Hope, HIMYM, Bones, Tru Blood, and (gasp) Mad Men (which just got to be a chore for some reason). Still solid with GoT, Justified, New Girl, and Falling Skies (although I fast forward through some scenes)...

  • AudioSuede

    My wife and I started watching season 5 of Mad Men when they finally added it to Netflix, and suddenly, I just didn't care anymore. I didn't care about the characters, I didn't care about their drama, I thought the premise was wearing thin. She still wants to keep going, but I think I'm ready to call it quits. Which, considering we own the first four seasons on DVD, is a really hard thing to say.

  • dizzylucy

    That's usually the sign for me too. I look at the growing list, sigh, and continue scrolling down. That, or if I find myself watching but leaving the room to do other things. Revenge and Once upon a Time both got the boot when I realized I was watching but not really watching anymore.

  • e jerry powell

    And that last sentence is often the most difficult thing to admit to. I don't know why.

  • dizzylucy

    LOL, that I was watching them to begin with? I know.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I don't watch a lot of television on a regular basis - pretty much just Game of Thrones, Colbert & Daily Show. Pretty much everything else gets dvr'd but left for a lazy evening/weekend day.

    But Newsroom I gave a shot for about 5 episodes last year. Then even this verbose liberal got bored/exasperated. This would be a reverse 3 - characters I liked, stories I didn't buy at all.

  • Ruthie O

    4. When previously resolved conflicts become unresolved because the writers have run out of ideas. See: How I Met Your Mother and Gilmore Girls.

  • AudioSuede

    And Parenthood. Everything Sarah Braverman ever does on that show is two steps forward, then two steps back by the end of the next season.

  • e jerry powell

    And yet another one for Nip/Tuck.

  • koko temur

    i have trouble letting shows go. I get attached to characters and watch while muttering to myself russian profanities.
    But in the last 2 years i improved my quality of life greatly by dropping true blood, castle, happy endings ( its just not the same in third season), community, mentalist, bones, burn notice. Probably more. I basically watch only cable and only in marathons. The only network shows that survived are the new girl and the good wife.

  • Siege

    I also dropped most of those shows! (Is is just me, or did the droppings often coincide with the main characters finally hooking up?)

  • Rochelle

    You could make your life even better by adding Parks and Recreation. :)

  • koko temur

    oh, silly me! i do watch it, of course.

  • John W

    For #1 - Last Resort - They advertised Crimson Tide and then spent the entire show on an island.

    For #2 - I agree with True Blood. We went from Vampires to Fairies to Werewolves to Witches to Ghosts to Djinns. What's next? Aliens?

    For #3 - True Blood again. That show needs an epidemic of true deaths. Also I would add Scandal.

  • Bea Pants

    Last Resort meandered something fierce. Between that and the crashing and burning of my personal life around episode 4 I just couldn't do it.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Aliens? Let's not get outlandish here. Obviously the next step is the common Were-Sasquatch. Or Were-Skunk Ape I suppose, given the geography.

  • e jerry powell

    Were-possum-gator. Or are they too far north for that?

  • mc-rox

    I would rather a were-man-bear-pig :)

  • e jerry powell

    I'm super cereal!

  • Rochelle

    I'd watch again if there were a were-possum-gator.

  • delle

    Yes!
    Especially if a bald kid with a blue arrow tattooed on his forehead showed up out of no where and tried to ride it.

  • TheReinaG

    At least they largely abandoned the books more or less. Or maybe they're going to get around to turning Jason into a kind of retarded, hybrid were-panther thing. (This statement is a true fact, that actually happened in the books)

  • e jerry powell

    The bad thing about that, though, is that they still have to pay Charlaine Harris.

  • Bodhi

    I'm still looking forward to that. I just can't quit that stupid show

  • John W

    Sorry lost my head for a moment there....

  • koko temur

    the mentalist. I love simon baker, i really do. But he is moody about red john twice a season and the rest of the time its the worst procedural ever . Plus, 22 episodes? Who does that anymore? Socialists, thats who.

  • Alyson McManus

    how i met your mother...glee i dropped after season 2

  • bcarter3

    Killing a good concept by making the plot so absurd that it destroys the willing suspension of disbelief. E.g. "Homeland" season 2.

  • e jerry powell

    Or Dexter post-Trinity (and it was really stretching things with Trinity).

  • DataAngel

    Law & Order: SVU (I don't know why, but the mothership never reached this point with me). All of the above reasons. Every now and then I "drop in" and watch an episode of SVU on Hulu and by the end of it I'm saying "Nope. I remember now why I stopped watching this."

    Castle and Body of Proof are on my list. I wasn't at all surprised to see Body of Proof was cancelled. I managed to watch two episodes of this season and quit.

  • Siege

    I kept up with SVU for much longer than probably healthy, just because I loved Christopher Meloni, and there was usuall that time once or twice a season when Munch and Finn would get to be funny. But then Christopher Meloni left and it was a constant "WAAAH WAAAH PERSONAL DRAMA GIVE ME MY EMMY!" from Mariska Hargitay and I just couldn't do it anymore.

  • DataAngel

    I stopped a little before that... once it was pretty obvious that Belzer was being pushed further and further into the background and would only get one or two lines, I was pretty much out. Yeah, I was watching it for the Munch. I only really started watching it for him. Homicide: Life on the Streets, man. R. I. P. The constant "Benson knows the victim and the perp and the special agent from the FBI and the reporter covering the story and the witness and the witness' cousin's adopted son" thing was just too much for me.

  • e jerry powell

    There is always room for Munch on every show, though. Soon he will begin appearing in the ABC Wednesday night comedy block, mark my words.

  • JJ

    If #1 is also known as "Sutter Syndrome," can we call #2 the "Murphy Malady" after Ryan Murphy? Because Popular, Nip/Tuck, and American Horror Story.

  • Bea Pants

    I quit Nip/Tuck after the conclusion of the Carver storyline and have not watched a second of a Ryan Murphy creation since. What I have heard via Pajiba and other reliable media sites seems to validate this decision.

  • e jerry powell

    I saw the pilot of Glee and maybe two hot minutes of American Horror Story (aside from Dylan's gratuitous nudity, which was must-see TV). Ryan Murphy has become a major disappointment, and networks keep throwing money at him like he's on the same level as Dick Wolf, Jerry Bruckheimer or Shonda Rhimes.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'm not sure if that's totally correct, only because Murphy rarely waits a full season to begin the one-upping. It seems to be three episodes max.

  • e jerry powell

    If that.

  • dizzylucy

    I think Murphy Malady is really more about a show have great potential and a promising start, and then nosediving in quality, usually after just 1 season.

  • e jerry powell

    You'll get no argument from me on that point. Especially because Murphy's stated goal was to hit 100 episodes so he'd get the syndication package deal. Apparently nobody was willing to tell him that the majority of those episodes needed to be good or having the syndication deal wouldn't mean anything, because no one would want to carry it in syndication. And, really, since LOGO is the only outlet I know of that's carrying it, clearly no one does.

  • Monica

    Second the Murphy Malady. Hell even Glee just got out of control but started off decently.

  • e jerry powell

    What I found to be the problem with Murphy is not only was he doing the one-upping thing, but it was always with the same things. Over and over, always the same kinds of things happening to the same characters. Not even exactly variations on a theme.

  • Rochelle

    I stopped watching Burn Notice and Castle because they were light, clever shows that started taking themselves too seriously.

  • Castle was also given to setting up arcs that they never fully followed up on. That and I got tired of the mood-whiplash episode to episode with like "CASTLE'S DAUGHTER MIGHT DIE" one week and "Woah Cirque du Soleil has come to town and it looks like Becket's wearing something sexy and will make wooden jokes about flexibility!" the next.

    I love Fillion, but it just ran itself out.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, all I ever expected of Castle was Moonlighting for the new millennium. I still watch, but the murders are ridiculous in a not-funny way, Stana Katic is mostly terrible, and I didn't need a two-part version of The Takening.

    I just TiVo the show and marathon it in the background while doing computer work at home.

  • e jerry powell

    I can still watch Moonlighting, though. About the only thing Bruce Willis doesn't have that Captain Tightpants does is the luscious, ample ass.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I'm on a Remington Steele kick, myself.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm so torn about Pierce Brosnan, though.

  • BWeaves

    I love Nathan Fillion, and I like a lot of the supporting characters on Castle, but yeah, I stopped watching this season. The thing I hated the most was when the bad guy directly targeted the leads. I don't want that. Just have them investigate a homicide and leave the family out of it.

  • That almost-weekly moment when his daughter would like... take a bite out of an apple in front of him and Castle would exclaim "OF COURSE! The steampunk-obsessed dentist only WANTED us to think his wife was cheating on him, but the dog was missing the whole time!" got so old.

  • Rochelle

    Yeah. I didn't stop watching because of Nathan Fillion. I jus couldn't take the conspiracies anymore. And frankly, Fillion doesn't look like he's having that much fun either.

  • koko temur

    I noticed that too. And he seems like he slightly dislikes Stana too, which is;
    A. Problematic when they structure the show around that relationship
    and B. makes you think what kind of monster is she in the real life, since fillion can have better chemistry with door knobs.

  • koko temur

    me too. It was the hardest breakup from a show ever. Because, firefly.

  • I'm still watching both but I question that decision a couple of times a season. Sometimes I just want a procedural.

  • James

    Burn Notice should've ended the Myth Arc when he brought down the organization and just turned into a crime of the week show, keeping it going with Jere Burns and John McGinley was too much.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Oz. Reason #2.

  • Jeff in Middletucky

    Not Oz, because of this sentence in rule #3: "On the other hand if your story sucks, but your characters are awesome, I’ll continue to tune in."

  • delle

    No matter how awesome the characters were, whenever I see those actors in anything else my first reaction is always to giggle gleefully and tell them, "I saw your PENIS!!"

  • e jerry powell

    So now Seth McFarlane needs to update "We Saw Your Tits."

  • e jerry powell

    Nope. Still about the nekkid.

  • e jerry powell

    True. But because I am a hormonally driven homosexual, I kept watching Oz for all the nekkid.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Proof that man, hetero or homo, will stare at a static screen for 56 minutes of nothing, but for the promise of a brief glimpse of nudity. We are a predictable lot.

  • e jerry powell

    (P.S.: cut Huston Street some slack. He's not Jesus, but he doesn't have to be. It's freakin' San Diego.)

  • e jerry powell

    That is the sad truth. Weep for our culture.

  • Derreck

    Chris Meloni will always have a place in my heart because of Oz. Not only for the overwhelmingly gratuitous nudity but because Chris Keller was an incredibly fascinating character and i lived for Keller/Beecher.

  • delle

    I hear that. As a hormonally driven heterosexual female, there was apparently no amount of crazy bananas that could force me to give up on all the nekkid.

  • specialj67

    Seconding this!

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  • e jerry powell

    Hmmm. The slut needs to have an opinion about Meloni before she starts talking.

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