Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ditching TV Shows



I had my doubts about GAME OF THRONES from the beginning. But midway through SEASON ONE, I was won over. Season Two was pretty good too. But now,  midway through 3, I have lost all enthusiasm for the show and will finish this season but no more.

The reason is this: there are so many storylines, so many characters, so much darkness, that I can barely tell the characters apart nor keep track of their quests. Each episode gives at most a few minutes to each of these-not enough for me to care about any of them. If you total up the screentime of Peter Dinkage, the breakout star of the show, it must be less than ten minutes through ten episodes. Some characters are on the screen so seldom, I have no idea who they are anymore. And sadly, I care very little about any of them. Not because they are too evil to care about, but because they are too underdeveloped to care about. At the end of the episode, when the writers/directors discuss a scene, I say "huh?" Is that what you thought I should get from that?

What show did you leave midway through and why?

40 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I used to watch Grey's Anatomy. But after the first season or so, the show stopped being about what it was like to break into the world of medicine, and started being about who was sleeping with whom. I lost interest after that and couldn't tell you what's going on if I had to.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Except for sitcoms, I don't watch serious TV shows. The last one I did was CASTLE and I thought it was okay. I agree with Ms. Kinberg. I regret watching GREY'S ANATOMY the most (all of five or six episodes). I found it shallow and depressing. The children watch ONE TREE HILL and the Australian series PACKED TO THE RAFTERS. I join them in watching EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND (reruns) and THE BIG BANG THEORY. I hope they bring back FRASIER, THE DREW CAREY SHOW, and WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? Comedy Central is showing reruns of Alan Alda's M*A*S*H* and that's something to look forward to. MASTERCHEF USA is the current flavour and in spite of Gordon Ramsay, it is no patch on the flagship, MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA, a well-crafted show.

Anonymous said...

I haven't followed a show since Frasier--and I stopped watching that around the time Daphne and Niles got together (a shark-jumping moment IMHO). Although I haven't watched any if the new crop of critically-acclaimed shows, I notice they all follow a trend: critics are delirious about them for the first couple if seasons, but as the show expands in broad popularity, adds new characters, and makes the type of creative concessions (making an evil character more likeable, including anachronistic attitudes to women and minorities) necessary to maintain broad appeal, the critics turn and the show quickly loses its cachet and audience. I've seen it happen with Glee, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, and now it's apparently happening with Game of Thrones. All I can say is, bring on the baseball games!

Deb

Anonymous said...

Of, of, of

Have I mentioned before that the letters are too close together on an I-phone keypad? Arrggghhhh!!

Deb

pattinase (abbott) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JTG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Margot is wrong - Grey's Anatomy was about who was sleeping with whom from the first episode. Nonetheless, Jackie is a soap opera and medical drama fan so we still watch it.

Shows we quit watching:

Glee (thanks for reminding me, Deb)
Dancing With the Stars (Jackie; I didn't watch it)
American Idol (ditto)
Saving Grace (Holly Hunter; on TNT)
Revolution (I disliked all the characters; Jackie still watches it)
Touch (after one episode; moronic)
Weeds (I tried one episode; hated her, hated the show)
Nip/Tuck
Terriers (not for me)
Damages (quit after season 1)
The Riches (quit after 1 episode)
Monk (he just got too annoying to watch, though I like the books)

I'm sure there are plenty of more obvious ones but I can't think of them at the moment.


Jeff M.

Ron Scheer said...

Familiarity breeds contempt.

George said...

I had to ditch NIKITA when it got stupid. Your reaction to GAME OF THRONES parallels my reading of the George R. R. Martin books the series is based on. Too many storylines. Too many casual killings of major characters. Too long without a satisfactory pay-off.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I'm still enjoying Game of Thrones but feel it would work better if the episodes were two hours long. I gave up on The Walking Dead after the second season.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't mind a show having various supporting characters but there should be a relatively few primary characters so we get to know them and they get lots of screen time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I gave up on the WALKING DEAD midway through this season. Too much talking, too much killing. Surely there must be something else.

Heath Lowrance said...

I tried, I really tried, to get into Game of Thrones, but had all the same problems with it you did. I stopped after the first few episodes.
Another show I gave up on, but nearer the end, was House. It was SOO good, once upon a time, but lost all steam in the last two seasons.
And I can't get interested in Walking Dead, beyond the first season.
Justified is still good though. And Hell on Wheels. So there's that.

Dave Zeltserman said...

I'm still very much enjoying Game of Thrones, although I'd probably prefer if it was only about Khaleesi, the Dragon mother.

I should've given up on Community this season--they dumbed down, sanitized and niced up one of my favorite network shows and ruined it.

I gave up on Mad Men half way through it's first season, and fortunately tried it again during it's 3rd season, so I could go back and rewatch it, and it became probably my favorite show.

I gave up on The Office before Michael Scott left, but still watched a few episodes each season.

pattinase (abbott) said...

MAD MEN is the most consistently watchable show for me followed by BREAKING BAD. HOMELAND was not nearly as good this year. THE AMERICANS I am still on the fence with. VEEP has gotten much better this season--I almost gave up on it last year. JUSTIFIED is good but not as good as it could be. THE OFFICE completely jumped the shark. You would never believe the same people wrote it. I have taped HANNIBAL and RECTIFIED but not watched either yet. That's about it for me.

Dave Zeltserman said...

I did give up on The Americans, but that was after only one episode. Too many dumb plot holes--enough in that one episode for a whole season!

I also gave up on The Following. It was junk at the beginning, but watchable junk thanks to Kevin Bacon, but got absolutely ridiculous as the season progressed

pattinase (abbott) said...

I gave up on THE AMERICANS and then returned after some filial persuasion. It's not perfect but it's really about a marriage and that sort of interested me.

Richard R. said...

I guess one of the advantages of not watching much TV is not dealing with this. When I read the first book in the Game of Thrones series I had the same problem and didn't manage to finish it, so watching it was never a desire.

michael said...

CBS' VEGAS. I was looking forward to watching a crime show about the mob versus a tough local sheriff and I got another soap opera.

Chris said...

Game of Thrones is on pace to go down as one of my favorites ever, with The Wire and Deadwood. And it's the only one I've watched in "real time", though starting only with this season.

The list of shows I've watched and bailed on would be extensive, usually only after an episode or two. Many are listed here. For all the people who say the best work these days is being done on the small screen, I don't buy it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You are a better man than I am. Who are all these people and why is that man, don't know his name, being tortured?
VEGAS-Missed the whole thing. So many shows, so little time, They come and go before I catch them now. Remember when we all watched MASH and Mary Tyler Moore.

Al Tucher said...

I'm embarrassed to admit I ever watched REVENGE, but I have quit. Motivations got utterly incomprehensible, and the writers kept introducing new characters who had supposedly been party of her life all along (Damn. I can't remember the protagonist's name.)

It should have been a miniseries.

Anonymous said...

We do watch JUSTIFIED and THE WALKING DEAD (I disagree - I thought this season was pretty good) and THE AMERICANS, although with the latter who are you supposed to be rooting for? Stan and John Boy are worse than the Russians.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It drives Phil crazy that the story seems to force you to root for the Russians. Is this intentional?

Kent Morgan said...

I stopped watching Boardwalk Empire partway through the second season. I'm finding that it's so easy to record shows for later viewing, which often never happens. I delete them when I admit I will never get to them or I have too many recorded and my TV provider begins to remove the older ones. That happened with the Hatfields and McCoys mini-series and soon with happen with 11 Dallas shows that I will never watch. I've stuck with Nashville, Revenge and Scandal as I discuss them with a long-distance friend, but quit on Vegas and Body of Proof after a few episodes.

pattinase (abbott) said...

About when we left BWE too.

michael said...

Patti, yes the writers want the viewers to find themselves rooting for the Russians in THE AMERICANS.

I am sure they have many reasons for this but it does make you understand how similar we all are to each other despite our political beliefs.

I tried it and admit it is well done, but it has the one thing that makes me stop watching a series, characters I don't care about or find interesting.

BBCA's ORPHAN BLACK has a great premise but I dislike the characters so much I root for someone to kill them and put me out of my misery.

I sample nearly everything. But have a short list of shows I don't miss: FX's ARCHER and JUSTIFIED, BBCA's DOCTOR WHO, CBS' PERSON OF INTEREST and (forgive me) ABC's ZERO HOUR.

Al Tucher said...

I like the way THE AMERICANS toys with my sympathies. I find myself rooting for the Soviet spies, until they do something utterly ruthless and remind me who they are.

Then the FBI agents match them, and I'm back where I started.

le0pard13 said...

NORTHERN EXPOSURE, and the reasons were: Fleischman became insufferable and show relied too often on surrealism.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Could not agree with both of you more!!

Kent Morgan said...

How could I have forgotten Northern Exposure, perhaps my favourite show. It jumped the shark when Dr. Fleischman left for the great outdoors and they brought in the new doctor and his wife and Maggie and Chris got together. I did watch the final episode where everyone was dancing at The Brick to Iris Dement's Our Town. Nice ending.

Anonymous said...

Michael nailed it exactly on ORPHAN BLACK. After one episode we quit for just that reason.

Loved NORTHERN EXPOSURE too at first but when Fleischman left that was it for me.

Jeff M.

Charlieopera said...

Funny, my wife and I are starting to feel the same way about GOT, although her less so because she's read the series. I read the first book ... I'm not a big sci-fi (or whatever this stuff is considered fan), but I did enjoy the first two seasons much more ... until the final last season ... those zombies (which I friggin' HATE) ... WTF happened to them? They were attacking the wall, it looked like to me ... but what? They disappeared? You're right about the storylines ... makes me nuts trying to follow it all.

I dropped out of the Breaking Bad series after face-off. Totally forget the show was still filming. Haven't seen one since. I may get back to it ... or I won't, but I did enjoy it up to a point (before it became a little silly for me). I recently rewatched all of The Sopranos and enjoyed it ... I'm kind of stuck on Spiral (the French police show I found on Netflix) ... and I am looking forward to their season 4 release.

Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...

GAME OF THRONES just looked so overfamiliar and dull from jump for me, despite a good cast and production design (I've never managed to not fall asleep while watching an episode for more than fifteen minutes, despite Lena Headey); despite its unevenness, VEGAS was rather good on balance and I will miss it now that it's cancelled (it had most of the virtues and flaws of its producer/creators' (minus the late Stephen Cannell) previous WISEGUY with a better cast and a somewhat more interesting setting, Las Vegas at the turn of the '60s).

NORTHERN EXPOSURE, as I've mentioned before, had that extremely unfortunate dynamic of the sane (if obnoxious) outsider coming into the local insane rustics' territory and the rustics always being right that blighted both GREEN ACRES and NEWHART, even if NEWHART did that with comparative subtlety; it is a tribute to some wit on the part of NE's scripters that I stuck with it for a season (and it made a nice familial trifecta, wherein ACRES had insulted my mother's birthplace region, NEWHART my father's, and NE mine).

One sane person dealing with the loonies from his own background and life is a less condescending dynamic, and it was what made ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT sing for its first season or so, till they decided Michael Bluth should be just another idiot among the fools, and most of the juice went out of it.

And, of course, HAPPY DAYS was vastly better in the first season, when it was about Richie, than it would ever be again. I suspect I would like even that first season if I was to watch it again, but still better than the worship of Fonzarelli.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So true about Happy Days.

Todd Mason said...
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Todd Mason said...

I meant to write I probably wouldn't be as happy with the first season of HAPPY DAYS as when a sprat, but it still would be a less bad series than it ever was again...can't imagine that anyone thought it Jumped the Shark when the shark was jumped...

Todd Mason said...

I was wrong...I though Pileggi worked on WISEGUY, but he wrote the nonfiction book WISEGUY instead.

Todd Mason said...

So true about all of them, of course! Rather sad that Newhart and all thought so little of the series NEWHART that they genuflected toward the second BOB NEWHART SHOW...which was vastly, vastly better.