Archive | 4:53 pm

Six Shows I Stopped Watching, Part 2

26 Apr

Part 2 of a brief list of six shows I actively decided to stop watching.   Part 1 and a full intro can be found here.


Beep beep

The only show on this list that I truly harbor no ill will towards.  24 was just doing its thing, year to year, and yeah, that thing got kind of, well, extremely repetitive (there’s always a mole) but it didn’t materially deviate from the promise that it made it great in the first place.  It just kind of got a bit worse doing the same, and at least part of that worse is that the writers were just out of ideas; if the last season was first, it might have seemed better, because repetitiveness was a problem that was harder to avoid in 24 than even in most other long-running shows.  Eight seasons is a lot.  I watched the vast majority of the seventh season and then missed the last few episodes due to circumstance, and just noticed as I went through that summer meaning to click on remaining episodes which were safely stored on my dv-r that I never really had the desire to.  Every time i sat down to, I instead decided to watch something else.  I then didn’t see most of the eighth season, but like with Lost, I also watched the finale, this time with a much greater sense of closure and merely saying so long to Jack Bauer (and Chloe, let’s not forget Chloe) without the vitriol that powered by viewing of the Lost finale.  I only vaguely understood what was going on, but that was fine.

As I’ve said, I don’t really hold any real animus towards this show; unlike with Lost, the inferior later seasons didn’t retroactively bring down the quality of the earlier seasons for me.  I still harbor great love for the first few seasons and the first season in particular, and the joys it brought me to see every 24 trope for the first time, and then to root for the tropes as they happened the new few times after that (Jack:  It’s not the right play!, Kim is kidnapped again).  The one later plot point that did particularly rub me the wrong way was the resuscitation of Tony Almeida who for all intents and purposes had been dead for seasons and now was a super evil bad guy for some reason.  I get how they could be very 24-y but it just did not work for me; very few characters in the pantheon outside of Jack actually mean something, and Tony was one of them.  If they had to decided to make him come back and go all revenge-y soon after, it would have been one thing, but to have him lay dormant for years and then bring him back was too much.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother

It’s almost a tribute to how much I like certain aspects of this show (namely, Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel) that I stuck with it for as long as I did considering how much this show seems like it was designed to bother me and me alone.  I know plenty of people who like the show, and plenty of people who don’t, but almost no one who is as irritated by the same aspects of the show that irritate me.  Just about everyone I know would agree the quality has slipped from the show’s second or third season peak, but how much is an open question.  What the show has going for it at its best is the cast, and, well, the jokes; it can actually be quite funny, and you’d think for a comedy that should be enough, and sometimes it is.  The show had an awful narrative device, and I just hated its tone, which I found moralizing and patronizing, trying to tell lessons that seemed uncalled for (see “Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.).  The show constantly told, rather than showed – it wasn’t enough to display some lessons through the events of an episode, but rather, narrator Bob Saget had to hammer the message home just in case you couldn’t follow along with the complicated narratives that How I Met Your Mother provides.  I stuck around for a fair time because it was funny, but when the later seasons became to seriously lack the funny, I was out.

I had threatened to leave for a long time before I did, coming back to the show, figuring it was only 20 minutes of my time, even if I didn’t really enjoy it.  This is, until I watched Season 7’s Symphony of Illumination, which had Robin narrating the show, presumably to her children, from the future, instead of Ted, and ended with the twist that she was just narrating the story to her fictional kids in her head, because she can’t have children (and I guess couldn’t have possibly adopted kids).  I just hated, hated, hated everything about it, and if I had been going back and forth about leaving the show for a season or two (in hindsight, I can’t believe I waited that long), that make it a quick and easy decision, and I haven’t seen an episode of the show since.  I always hated the idea of Barney and Robin getting together (not that it violates any key precept of the show, I just personally didn’t like it) from day 1, when it seemed inevitable (I still don’t understand how this isn’t weirder between Ted and Barney), so I didn’t particularly mind missing their engagement, though I suppose I’ll follow close enough to at least find out who plays the mother if they ever do get to that.