American produced TV shows have traditionally been about the bottom line. Create a sustainable show with no real end goal or purpose, and run it into the ground. The BBC has typically been on the other side of the coin, with shorter seasons produced until the story has run its course, reaching a natural end. While things have been changing with shows like Breaking Bad and Justified, left to tell their story on their own terms while being hits, plenty have overstayed their welcome. This is my top 5 list of shows that were at one point good, even great, but lasted well beyond their prime.
The premise was simple, a suburbanite woman’s husband drops dead, leaving her to provide for her family. She turns to selling marijuana to pay the bills. At least, that’s how it was for the first 3 seasons (which were fantastic). After that, I’d be hard pressed to describe the show. Lasting a total of 8 seasons, every year past 3, the show reinvented itself. I enjoyed it, but by season 8 I just wanted it to be over.
Regardless of what came after, the first season of Heroes was fantastic. Hiro and the flashforwards were amazing. The show built to a very specific end for the first season, but the writers, or producers, or whoever, were too scared to pull the trigger, and changed everything last minute. This undermined everything that came before. From there, it was a downward spiral. After suffering through season 2, I was out. This went another 2 years before NBC pulled the plug. And rumblings say their bringing it back. Yay.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Supernatural, but this was only meant to be 5 seasons. Heading into it’s tenth season, the show’s lost most of its luster. Sure, there’s still some solid ideas and the brothers are just as fun to watch as ever, but they’ve run out of anything worth watching for their case of the week episodes. And honestly, even their season arcs are becoming weaker. Hopefully, this will be the end.
If Dexter was only 1 season, it would have been remembered as a perfect show. If it lasted 4, it would have been an amazing arc from beginning to end. Going 6 would have been pushing it. Lasting 8 completely ruined the show. With only half the season worth watching, I’d say not to bother. I was done after 6. Morbid curiosity brought me back for 7. Quickly, 8 made me regret my decisions.
1. The Office
The first season, if you could call it that, was a classic example of show deciding its direction. The next two years is still the best comedy I’ve seen on TV, and will still be relevant 20 years from now, much like Seinfeld. After, the show started going down hill as reality broke. People would not stay in dead end jobs like this, at least not Jim. Once Steve Carell left in season 7 (which was well done), they should have called it quits. Sadly, they trudged on for two more years. I watched every episode, mostly because I hate myself.
There you have, three shows that went on longer than they should, and admission to the time I wasted on them. Damn my type A personality. I would have said Lost, but that’s too easy.
What shows do you think went on too long? Were you smarter than me and jumped ship? Comment below!
Attended an Office themed wedding. It was weird.