As much as I love TV, I have to admit that I’m getting a little jaded about some of my favorite shows. It’s an undeniable fact that even the best shows tend to start sucking after a couple of seasons.
I still remember the exact moment that I realized, while watching The X-Files, that I had as much of an idea where the show was going as the writers did. After about the sixth “shocking revelation” that was going to “explain everything,” it occurred to me that they were just making it up as they went along. Then Mulder left and they replaced him with the liquid robot from Terminator 2 — and for some unfathomable reason I kept watching. Then Scully left and they replaced her with a hotter yet more annoying chick, and I still kept watching. For some reason I kept hoping that it was going to get better, that they were going to eventually get back to the quirky, freaky little show that I started watching back when it was a clever little joke to name the main character of the show after the struggling fledgling network on which it aired. I stopped watching about three episodes into the final season. I have yet to meet someone who actually knows how that show ended.
It was pretty clear to me early on that the writers were ad libbing 24 from week to week. The show holds together pretty well from one episode to the next, but when you take a minute to think back a few episodes, it starts to unravel. Remember the season when Chloe went from secretary to super-hacker in like 3 hours? I could tolerate the occasional non sequiter or outright absurdity (like the premeditated prison break Jack pulled a couple of seasons ago), but now the show is committing the unforgiveable sin: It’s repeating itself. What, another torture scene? That’s original. How about if the only way to stop the terrorists is for Jack to shoot one of his fellow CTU agents? Yeah, done that a couple times too. I know! We could have Jack break into a foreign embassy to extract information from… Really? Wow. Maybe we could replace Jack with the liquid robot from Terminator 2?
I’m about fed up with Lost too. The deserted island bit only has so much life in it, no matter how much back story you fill it with. Let’s wrap it up already, ok?
We started catching up on the new Battlestar Galactica on Netflix after hearing so many great things about it, and let me tell you, the first two seasons rock. Even if you’re not big on sci-fi, you’ll dig this show. But it’s going to be hard to maintain that level of quality, and I hear the current season isn’t nearly as good.
Season three seems to be where most premises start to get tired. I have high hopes for The Shield this season, but the third season was definitely a notch below the first two, and then they had the bright idea of killing off the one sympathetic character. I have to admit that’s an original direction for a show to take, but if you’ve seen that show you know that one thing it doesn’t need is more bad guys doing heinous things to people. If I produced that show, I’d go in a different direction for season four. I’m thinking The Shield Goes to Hawaii. It worked for the Brady Bunch.
I could go on: Alias, Cold Case, Smallville, The West Wing…. Most shows start to suck around the third season. So I’m declaring a new rule: All TV dramas must wrap up within four seasons. That’s all you get. I don’t care if your show is still halfway decent (I’m talking to you, Law & Orders). We don’t need any more. Make way for some new shows that don’t suck yet.
That is all.
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