10 Television Shows That Wore Out Their Welcome
Entertainment Weekly posted a list of 20 shows audiences discovered after they were doomed! The list boasted some worthy entries: Rome, Arrested Development, My So-Called Life and Carnivale. It’s nice and all, but let’s dish shows that seem to go on and on for no good reason!
10. Happy Days (aired 1974 – 1984)
The first blows to the series were struck early its lengthy run, and oddly enough predate the Fonzification of the show. No, Potsie’s transformation from a smarmy bon vivant into a chucklehead on par with Ralph was the start of the problems. Fonzie was fun, cheeky and not really the source of fail until after Ron Howard left the show! Nevertheless, Happy Days was at its best during the first four years it ran. Beginning with the fifth season, plots were routinely rehashed – um, how many times does Richie have to get trashed, fight and learn a valuable lesson – characters were added/subtracted without regard to continuity or common sense and Mr. C didn’t get nearly as many good one liners!
9. The Original 90210 (aired 1990 – 2000)
By the time this dinosaur went off the air most of its original cast members – well the ones who were left – were collecting social security. No, I’m not talking about Jim and Cindy Walsh, who smartly fled to Hong Kong and washed their hands of the inane plots, bad acting and those wretched real estate agent blazers favored by Brandon and Steve.
8. House (still airing!)
Oh House, I am about tired of you. When you were a medical-mystery-of-the-week I loved watching! I loved the snarky banter between you, Wilson and Cuddy. I liked the original three doctors and I even like Taub and 13. But I do not like “Huddy”. How are you gonna explain away Stacy? I thought she was the great love of your life? It’s not merely the romantic chow chow, but why can’t you be a crabby pill popper who solves medical puzzles and watches daytime soaps? I do not like the lack of worthy opponents. Bring back David Morse!!! Stop being abusive to Wilson! Stop making obnoxious racist remarks towards Foreman! Stop making sexist, homophobic, ableist remarks towards 13! No more Taub short jokes! Better yet, make season 7 your last.
7. Law & Order: SVU (still airing!)
I’m sorry, why are you still on the air? Hasn’t every sex worker, mail order bride, Transgendered person, child prodigy, cult member, teen runaway, rent boy or member of some other stigmatized population (I didn’t mention) in your fictional NYC been killed or convicted of a heinous crime already? Who’s left? I think your work here is done.
6. The Jeffersons (1975 – 1985)
I can’t even get through the last five seasons of the show, which are so awful and unfunny I can’t believe Norman Lear still had his name in the credits. Seasons 2 through 5 are the best and funniest of the series. As long as Weezie’s got cloud hair and is wearing sequins/tulle during the day, it’s probably a good episode. Something about trying to transition to the 1980s caused the once sharply written show to seem woefully anachronistic.
5. ER (1994 – 2009)
Every so often – when visiting someone with cable – I’d watch The Preview Guide (my favorite channel) and say something, “Wait, URRR is still on the air???” The sad thing was I was a true ER early adopter. I remember the summer before it aired I ran into every one of its principle cast members – yes, even that one – at the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square! I guess it wasn’t really filmed in Chicago! I watched it from the beginning and I liked a lot. It seemed a bit weird the show continued after its beloved creator – Mr. Andromeda Strain, himself – Michael Crichton passed away unexpectedly in 2008. ER was one of the rare medical dramas that didn’t strain credibility, or when it did, its critics were silenced with three words: Crichton, MD, Harvard. Anyway, the show went off the rails after they stabbed my sweet Carter! I kind of stopped watching because Carter, Carol Hathaway and Goose – err, what was his character’s name??? – were my faves and when they weren’t around as much or at all it wasn’t worth watching. I might have also been the only person who didn’t really notice Clooney’s work or presence on that show! Was he a pediatrician or something? I still do that Dr. Benton fist pump/knee slide whenever I accomplish something important!
4. The Simpsons (zomg, still AIRING)
I have seen every single episode of The Simpsons and I’m not proud! I abandoned the series after the season nine New York episode because I didn’t think it was that funny and sensed a change in direction for the show. (I’ve since revisited that episode and am surprised my opinion hasn’t changed!) I came back to the series in the 19th season and it’s just okay. Not awful, but not Mr. Plow caliber either. There are some episodes between when I abandoned the show and when I came back: “Lard of the Dance”, “Maximum Homerdrive” and “Hello, Gutter, Hello Father” are some of my favorites, but the great episodes are few and far between. Oh yeah, I love that episode where Moe and Lisa go to Vermont! Ha. Tom Wolfe was really funny! But mostly, The Simpsons seems more mean spirited than I remember and definitely has much more -ism fail than I can tolerate. It’s not awful like say – Family Guy, but I definitely find myself going, “Really? oh c’mon!”
3. NCIS (still airing)
Okay, here’s a series tailor made for me! It’s a procedural. It features a Fontanaverse alum in the lead and it’s not especially complicated. Yet, after watching only three or four episodes I do not understand why this thing has run for seven years. it feels more like a four year kind of show. It’s like JAG but with lot more likable lead, though similarly engaging. read: boring. Try as I might, I just can’t stop seeing Harmon as Ted Bundy! Maybe that’s the problem. Damn you, The Deliberate Stranger!
2. Any long running Reality Television Series
Do. Not. Get. Them. Trading in the most hateful tropes, stereotypes and depictions of marginalized folks and this is considered entertainment. Look, I am not a snob. I will rock some The Price is Right like nobody’s bidness, but as a writer, well I have a special hate for “unscripted” television! Don’t try to change my mind. Just accept and move on.
1. CSI (where’s Kiki and Sandman???)
249 years later, CSI is still on the freaking air. There are like five or six plots – and they’ve all been done to death. Speaking of death: it was over when Warrick left. Sorry. Don’t mean to spoil things. Also, I cannot stand that Sarah person. Can’t Lady Heather get her own procedural? She seems to know more about profiling than anyone else! She’s also has better manners! That said, I do love Miss Catherine and Nick! Morpheus has provided some badly need Grissom-lite factor. Still, there are plenty of episodes for this to have a nice long retirement in syndication!