The TV Talk’s Shows I Gave Up On

Pretty much all of these shows are very popular, either among a mainstream or a small-but-insatiable fan base. I in no way mean to diminish anyone’s love for these shows, only to say that although I watch a lot of television, I simply cannot watch it all (nor would I want to). Here are a few of those shows that other love, yet I, for one reason or another, left behind:

“Castle” – I watched most of the first season, really because I’m not a fan of many procedurals, other than “Bones,” which has a sense of humor unlike any other crime procedural. So, while “Castle” seemed like a cheesy copy-cat, with Nathan Fillion’s hammy Richard Castle. The cases were standard, as was the friction (read: future romance) between the lead characters. I was more willing to look past that because I’m a fan of what  the “crimedy” genre, mixing in comedy and heart with cop drama. It had all of the right elements, and no show is perfect in its 1st season, but eventually I chose to stick to the characters I’d already grown to love.

“Nikita” – One of the shows I was most looking forward to last fall, I watched the first half of the season before giving up, feeling like every episode was starting to feel the same. There was a case in which Nikita had to stop Division, along with help from Alex, and she succeeded every week. For a show about spies and double agents, there wasn’t nearly enough tension.  Likewise, there wasn’t enough of the secondary characters, especially Melinda Clarke’s intimidating but seldom-seen Amanda. Of any of these shows, this is the one I regret letting go of the most, since I know most of these problems were remedied as the series delved deeper into the mythology of Division and the Black Boxes, along with some intriguing character developments.

“The Big Bang Theory” – I was a huge fan of “The Big Bang Theory” for the whole 1st season and well into the 2nd. Yet somewhere along the way, I stopped finding Sheldon’s antics funny and just found his character to be grating. One of comedy’s biggest challenges is that the characters do not evolve as easily as they do in dramas, usually because their personality flaws are what bring the laughs. While I understand this, I would look to “How I Met Your Mother,” for all of its flaws, for allowing Barney to be true to himself while also growing into a man who is ready for marriage (hopefully to Robin!). My problem with that show was when it gets too “sitcom-y,” and “The Big Bang Theory” always feels that way to me. Which is why, no matter how much I like Kaley Cuoco, I had to give this show up.

“The Middle”– This show gained a lot of critical buzz in its 2nd season as an underrated comedy gem. My problem is that I find the show and its characters cute but not very funny. Brick is adorable, as are his under-his-breath whisperings. Sue’s positive attitude, despite constant setbacks, is also amusing. But the show never really makes me laugh. Patricia Heaton’s exasperation doesn’t do much for me, and Neil Flynn, who was so great on “Scrubs,” never really gets much to do. I check in on the show periodically, usually when everything else is in reruns, and it’s always nice to see the Heck family again. But for me, “The Middle” is like an old friend that it’s nice to run into every once in a while, but not someone you need to see on a weekly basis.

“One Tree Hill”– I can’t believe this show is still on, seeing as how many times it has been on the renewal bubble, not to mention the fact that it has been on for almost 9 years. “One Tree Hill” was always an over-the-top melodrama, with a pretend-brother stalker, a limo crashing off a bridge after a teen wedding, and a grown man murdering his brother (seriously, the show’s creator Mark Schwahn must have a seriously complicated relationship with his brother), all while the characters were in high school. But I stopped watching the show after they all became famous (writer, musician, fashion designer, etc.) and they introduced their second psycho stalker in two seasons (Nanny Carrie). Although I am not apologetic about giving it up, “One Tree Hill,” something about the show ending this year has made me a little nostalgic for the early years.

So tell me, am I crazy for giving up on these shows? And what shows have you dropped from your TV line-up?

Related Post: The TV Talk’s Shows I Just Can’t Quit

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2 Comments on “The TV Talk’s Shows I Gave Up On”

  1. shaolinsybarite says:

    I’m such a completist, I very often stick to the bitter end. That’s not to say there aren’t loads of shows I wish I’d abandoned very early on. And occasonally – I took one look at The Middle, decided it was a thin retread of Malcolm in the Middle, with a lot of self conscious wackiness, but I wouldn’t say I gave up, because I didn’t feel it warranted the effort of starting.

    And I really liked Nikita, mostly because they managed to keep an ostensibly unsustainable plot going and even managed to develop it.

    My picks:

    TREME: I know, I know. David Simon. I loved The Wire, I loved Generation Kill, but my patience gave out on this. Predictable, stuffed with stereotypical “eccentric” characters, who I just didn’t care about. Not being American might have had something to do with it – I could watch Clarke Peters until the cows come home, but I gave not a fig for his Mardi Gras costume Indians. The resonances of a city recovering from awful tragedy didn’t chime for me, and I felt bad about it. But not as bad as I felt about being hit over the head with message. If it wasn’t David Simon, maybe I wouldn’t have been so down on it, but then again, I probably wouldn’t have wasted six hours before I decided that this wasn’t going to improve.

    V: Almost doesn’t count, because I saw all the eps until the penultimate, went away, recorded them, came back and thought…..meh. Does that count? That i didn’t care how it ended? In terms of “rebooting” this is as badly wrong as it possible to get it.

    COVERT AFFAIRS: No, no, no. I managed a whole series, until halfway through the second I stayed up to watch an episode past midnight, and realised that I’d never get that hour’s sleep back. How many good actors can they find to waste? more thoughts here – http://shaolinsybarite.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/covert-affairs-there-are-people-who-think-its-good/

    THE BIG BANG THEORY: In a world where US TV turns out Family Guy, South Park, Modern Family, 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Community, Parks and Recreation…people talk about this as if it’s somehow classy comedy? Really – it’s jokes about ugly guys fancying a cute girl. Retarded.

    That’s it. Four. I really have to have my dog-doo detector recalibrated.

    • thetvtalk says:

      I probably should have called this one a Broadcast TV version because I didn’t even think about cable shows, but it’s definitely worth exploring. I have a confession to make: I’ve never watched “The Wire.” I know it’s “the greatest TV show” ever, but it just doesn’t seem like my kind of show. I can’t say I quit “Treme” either, since I don’t think I finished the first episode. So my being American didn’t make me watch either.
      My problem with “prestige shows” is when they’re just too slow for me. I watch “Mad Men,” and I really enjoyed your post about the show and the time slot! But there are only so many of those shows I can watch.

      I’m with you on “V,” which I quit watching sometime near the beginning of the second season. I think it might count even more, that you got so far into the show and genuinely didn’t like the show enough to finish. I’ve felt that way before about shows. Also, nice choice of comedies! I’m a big fan of all of those shows, other than “Curb,” which I’ve never really watched.

      Only 4? Well, fall is coming soon, so it might be time to get rid of the dead weight and find some new faves! Or be like me, and just start watching so many new shows it starts to become stressful.


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