Five TV Shows I Stopped Watching

More often than not, a show we enjoy or love to death will lose its way and test the extent of our faithfulness to it. We can either watch it until the bitter end or let it go once we realize the magic that hooked us is gone. I have done both. How I Met Your Mother was a TV series I stuck with for pure loyalty. The struggle was real, though, and I fast forward through several of the final season episodes. The thing is, it's much easier – and healthier, even – to just let it go. With that in mind, I compiled a list of shows to which I said goodbye before they were over, why I did it and if I would consider going back and finishing them.

Spoilers below!


Why I loved it: I identified with Chuck a lot. His clumsiness, his insecurity, his struggles. Plus, the show was very funny. Season two of Chuck is still one of my favorite seasons ever. It's a terrific character journey, with Chuck completely focused on getting rid of the Intersect, only to sacrifice everything in the end for the greater good.

When I dropped it: At "Chuck Versus the A-Team" (S04E18), in which Sarah and Chuck are surprised that there is a new facility built inside the Castle, even though it wasn't secretive at all, their reaction makes no sense, it's dumb, it drove me crazy and I stopped watching the episode five minutes into it.

Why I dropped it: I defended season four for a while, but it lost me too. The show was taking itself too seriously but the plot simply didn't hold. If you are making a spy comedy and there are some plot holes here and there, that's okay. If the show becomes more spy drama than spy comedy, you better fix those plot holes. Chuck didn't. Instead, the plot holes were as prominent as the lack of comedy.


Would I go back to it? Not really, no. It's weird that I feel this way about a show I loved so much, but if I ever watch Chuck again, it's probably going to be the first two seasons and parts of season three, not a completion mission.




Why I loved it: Season one of Battlestar Gallactica was sci-fi at its finest. The miniseries was enough to get me on board, I was blown away by the first episode, and by that episode in which Starbuck hijacked a Raider to return home, I knew that I loved her and the series. When everyone cheered that she was safe, I cheered too. This definitely doesn't happen often when I'm watching a TV show or a movie.

When I dropped it: During season two.

Why I dropped it: All I remember was that the last episode I watched ended on a weird cliffhanger (four main characters were on a planet, near sacred stones or something, Number Six and her crazy lover were in a temple somewhere else, it was all very mystical-y), I decided to take a break and forgot to resume watching. However, that's a false memory, because as I went through the list of season two episodes to write this article, I realized that I watched the episodes that feature Admiral Cain, which take place after the weird temple stuff. So I don't really know when or why I stopped watching.

Would I go back to it? Totally. Even though I know many people didn't like the finale (and I'm spoiled about the bizarre ending one of the characters got), when I stopped watching the show, it was still great. The problem is I lost my season one DVDs, and when I tried to resume watching starting with season two, I had no idea what was going on. It's been too long. I really need to restart from the beginning, but as of now, I'm not rushing to buy again the DVD set of season one. Should I?




Why I loved it: I don't know if I ever loved it. I grew very fond of some of the characters, though: Ned Stark, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Arya Stark. Basically, the Starks. Yes, even Sansa. Her decisions were infuriating, but she had "is going to have an awesome character development" written all over her.

When I dropped it: After the end of season one, to which a lot of people ask me, "you watched the first season and didn't continue?"

Why I dropped it: Well, don't kill me for this, but I think Game of Thrones is a bit overrated. It's a quality show, but one problem I had with it is that it was too much buildup. Season one has ten episodes: the first eight are buildup, episode nine is execution and the finale is setup to the following season. I understand that the political nature of the story means there will be some dancing around the throne, but still. Daenerys' story was the only one that had more dynamism to it. But the wall, for instance? Nothing ever happened there. There is also the issue that the series has ten billion different characters, and I tend to like stories with fewer characters.

Would I go back to it? Yes. Like I said, it is a quality show, and I have heard so much about that red wedding that I need to watch the damn thing.




Why I loved it: The Vampire Diaries was a great supernatural series. Initially looked down upon under the label of "teen show" (as if that were a bad thing), the first season grew and delivered great TV, with awesome arcs and interesting characters. After six or seven episodes, I was hooked. The story kept going to unexpected places, with a rich and ever expanding mythology. I remember that I loved the arc with the tomb vampires a lot. Season two was also a must, with Katherine Pierce and the introduction of the original vampires.

When I dropped it: After the end of season two.

Why I dropped it: The show used to kill too many characters, some of them way too soon and eventually one death upset me a lot. It was Jenna's, in the penultimate episode of season two. It's not that I was immensely fond of her or anything, but her death felt wrong somehow. To make it even worse, the season finale was emotionally focused on Damon and Elena, not on Elena losing her tenth parent figure. I knew right there and then that I wouldn't keep watching a show that valued romance shenanigans over the death of a loved one.


Would I go back to it? Not most of the time, but I have to admit that recently I watched a random scene of TVD on Youtube, a new one to me, and it was so delicious. It featured Damon being evil and twisted (obviously), Caroline being awesome (as usual) and Elena being dramatic (you know the drill), and it instantly made me remember why the show was so addictive. Maybe I should give season three a shot?




Why I loved it: Like The Vampire Diaries, it was dismissed as a forgettable teen show and it took a few episodes to find its footing. Despite the rocky start, I liked it from the beginning and by the end of season one I was a fan. The main characters are complex but likable and face some impossible dilemmas, especially the leading lady. The sci-fi stuff is good, the Grounder mythology is awesome and the series knows how to deliver a climatic finale. What's not to love?

When I dropped it: After "The Tinder Box" (S04E05).

Why I dropped it: Even though I was enjoying season four, I decided to take a break after watching yet another guy ruin it for everybody. I'm referring to that grounder who blew up Arkadia. There was also that arkadian who nearly killed Roan and started a war. Just how many times do we need to watch Clarke et. al. work really hard to keep everyone safe, only to have said work undone by the reckless action of an ill-motivated person?

Would I go back to it? Yes, absolutely. If there is a show on this list that I know for sure I will resume watching, this is the one. In fact, writing about it has made me realize how much I miss it.

That's it, guys. Do you have anything to say about the shows I listed above? Why I should totally go back to watching them or avoid them at all costs? What about some shows you have dropped watching yourself? Hit it on the comments.
--
Lamounier

15 comments:

Billie Doux said...

That's an interesting list, Lamounier. I am having conflicting thoughts about all of them.

1. Chuck: I stopped watching in the middle and never went back to it. I think you have an excellent point about it moving from comedy to drama and that it wasn't strong enough to do that. That might be why I stopped, too.

2. Battlestar Galactica: Despite some dissatisfaction with the ending, I thought this was a quality show right through to the end, so I'd probably recommend finishing.

3. Game of Thrones: I'm one of the few Doux writers that doesn't watch this show. The first couple of episodes turned me off, big time. Maybe someone else can help with this one. :)

4. The Vampire Diaries: I watched it through to the end, but wasn't happy with the last couple of seasons. It probably went on a bit too long. So... hmmm.

5. The 100: I've been really into this show but it might be losing me. I have the last six episodes of this season sitting unwatched on my DVR. I understand that this season ended really well so I will probably get to them. When I do, I'll add another comment.

Chatter said...

Those are the bests shows there are out there and you stopped watching lmfao

televisionandotherrantings said...

I guess you can include SHIELD in this with an asterisk in this list in that was a show that you dropped and then came back to and enjoyed (although perhaps the fifth maybe more than it deserved but no need to go into thoughts on that season here). A list of shows that people drop and then get back to eventually (with or without major praise) would be an interesting topic/list also.

I've had to drop a fair amount of shows in the past few years less so out of dissatisfaction but more so because I got too busy or distracted to keep up with them. This would include both Walking Dead shows, Big Bang Theory (which I guess will finally be ending in the coming Season 12), Homeland etc. Although I think with some of these dropped shows (Homeland most surely) I'll probably be catching up with at some point out of convenience of cuz it will provide some decent filler between other shows and they might be better served in a binge. Family Guy I've been keeping up with a bit irregularly. Brooklyn Nine Nine I feel behind during Season 4 but have since managed to catch up on and glad that it will live for another season.

Anonymous said...

Re Galactica: Keep watching, it's great, despite Ron Moore's occasional travels to the mystic (it happens with all he writes, even DS9). Just repeat with me:

SEASON FOUR ONLY HAS TEN EPISODES. There are rumours that they did 10 more. They are false. As false as those that say that there is a fourth Indy movie, a Star Trek reboot, or more Star Wars movies than The Trilogy.

DO NOT BE FOOLED!

Diogo said...

Funny, I nodded in agreement when I saw you mention Game of Thrones, only to realize you left only after season 1 :p For me the show began losing quality in season 5, when they began departing from the books and making up their own story... which came of as fanfiction-y (specially that relation that got consummated at the end of the last season finale) and closer to traditional fantasy story telling (as opposed to the deconstructionism going on in the books and the earlier seasons). As of now the show remains a shadow of its former self, and while still somewhat enjoyable (the visuals are cool and I still like the cast) I now write it off as a guilty pleasure.

Patryk said...

I watched/will watch them all till the end so what I think:

Chuck: spot on although I only realised that after I read what You wrote. I don't even remember any of the overarching plots apart from the Intersect.

BSG: It was really great, the ending was stupid (not so much for the one character reveal, but for how idiotic is to abandon all technology to live like cavemen on an unknown planet..., no wonder Mitochondrial Eve died so young) I agree with that but not with cutting off all 10 episodes after the midseason finale.

GoT: Just like the books it's based on it fell in quality after getting past the 3rd book and on top of that again after getting the part that's not written yet (or that won't be ever written when You look at GRRM's work ethic) But I'm still invested in seeing how it all ends

VD: I really really liked it up until the time the Originals went to star in their own show. Season 5 and beyond were really lackluster. On top of that the show went from killing everyone to a core group that will never die until it ends. That killed all the tension instead. How many times can Bonnie or Damon come back to life before it gets stupid. Kai ws really fun though, but not enough to save a season/seasons.

the 100: It gets really repetitive because each episode someone betrays someone or ruins all plans to resolve the conflict. It gets tedious and you just can't get invested in the outcome. It's not the end of last season that was really good (just another groan-fest of implied main character deaths that did not happen), it was the epilogue. One of the best scenes of two people just watching a video log on a screen ever.

lisa menaster said...

You should post a list of "Shows I Stuck With Til the Bloody End:

Billie Doux said...

lisa, you made me LOL. That list would be way too long -- at least for me. :)

magritte said...

Never watched 1 or 4, but for the others my two cents.
2. I think you should finish it. Though the larger narrative arc is clumsier in the later seasons, it remained a beautifully written show. And the first few episodes of season 3 are brilliant, not to be missed.
3. I actually started watching at the end of season 3 (I'd read the books, so it wasn't that hard). Still like the show, though it has its flaws...like the books, it's the characters that keep me from giving up on the plot spaghetti.
5. The 100. I'm still watching, though I could understand why you would stop...it's kind of stuck in a pattern of repetition as Patryk says. They have an opportunity to break the mould in season 6...if they don't, I'm canning it.

Though I often go on hiatuses of disaffection even with really good shows--I've given up on Supernatural a couple of times, Buffy and Angel at least once each--there are some popular shows I gave up on.

The X Files - late in season 6. Eventually watched to the end when I got Netflix, but still think the show really should have ended around season 5.

Heroes - early in season 3.

Lost - midway through season 3.

Walking Dead - late in season 2.

Lamounier said...

Billie, I do intend to finish BSG. Back then, I only meant to take a short break, but life happened and I forgot to go back to watching the show.

televisionandotherrantings and lisa, those are great ideas for follow-up lists. And rantings, I usually drop a show for the same reasons you do.

Anon, LOL. I'll keep that in mind, but I have to admit that now I'm tempted to watch those ten episodes that don't exist.

Diogo, I heard about Game of Thrones focusing more on the fantasy side of the story, but I figured that happened in the books too. So it didn't? And I just remembered now that I wanted to read the books first, that was one of the reasons I didn't continue watching the show! I'm almost always inclined to read the book first, the only exception being The Hunger Games. I watched the first two movies back to back, fell in love with them, read the first two books, but only read the third one after watching the final movie.

Patryk and magritte, I'm aware of the repetitiveness of The 100, but I also have an idea of how season five ended and I hope the show can reinvent itself. In any case, out of the five shows I listed, this is the one I really miss watching. I mean, how is Raven doing? Sometimes I wonder.

magritte, "plot spaghetti" is a great way to describe the plots in GoT. And if I may, you dropped The Walking Dead right before it got better, although my relationship with the show was always a mix of love and frustration. Seasons four and five are terrific, but there was already too much nihilism and that made me drop the show early in season six. I thought of including TWD above, but today I have more resentment towards the show than good memories, so I decided to leave it out.

Patryk said...

When thinking about Raven, it's a safe bet to assume she's being tortured by somebody at all times. ;)

TJ said...

I've held on to all of those shows but I admit I had a very long hiatus with TVD. The 100 I have discovered is better when binge watching.

Some shows I have dropped:
Bones - I followed it just because of David Boreanaz, dropped it after 3 seasons.
The Walking Dead - dropped it after one season
Dexter - dropped it after one season
The Originals - couldn't stand one of the actors
Supernatural - got through til season 11 then I didn't have the energy for it
Doctor Who - didn't really appreciated the new doctor

Lisianpeia said...

I think the only reason I've droped shows until now is because they became boring - at least for me. So the Willow image you chose describes me to a T. I drop OUAT in the middle of season 5 and grey's anatomy after season 13 (yep, I kept at it this long).

Of the ones you listed I've watched (and still do) Game of Thrones, but I do wanna watch Battlestar Galactica and I'm considering The 100. I agree with you that GoT is overrated (~a lot~). For me, s01 was really good, but there was a drop in quality as early as s02 (to be fair, I think the first book - which is covered in s01 - is easier to adapt). Overall, I'm invested in the characters and most plots, so I was ok with somethings being less than great. What really disappointed me, though, is what Diogo summed up: the show got closer and closer to "traditional fantasy story telling (as opposed to the deconstructionism going on in the books and the earlier seasons)". Especially last season. Thomas Ijon Tichy's review of episode 7x03 (The Queen's Justice) and Juliette's review of 7x06 (Beyond the Wall) greatly reflected my feelings toward that season. I think someone binge-watching will acutely feel the differences in tone along the seasons.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post.

1. Chuck: I hear you.

2. Battlestar Galactica: Give it a shot. It gets good.

3. Game of Thrones: Maybe?

4. The Vampire Diaries: It lacks conventional morality and that troubles me. Much like True Blood it excuses its sexy vamps too much. Could just be me.

5. The 100: Don’t know. Am put off by the death of spoiler persons.

6. Lost: Got tired of the questions without answers.

7. Sherlock: You are not as clever as you think, Moffat and Gatiss. I’ll never forgive them for what they did with Irene.

8. Arrow: Killed off spoiler person and lost me.
9. Supergirl. Got bored with the central romance.
10. Agents of SHIELD. Don’t know, it just got boring.

Mazephoenix

Dustin said...

Reading this article made me think of the all of the shows where an irritating or awful finale sapped my desire to ever re-watch the series again. Battlestar, How I Met Your Mother, Forever Knight, and Lost all fit into this category for me.