Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jumping the Shark Part 2: Attack of the Shows

In the last edition a while back I cited the the following shows that are past their prime: The Office, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, Grey's Anatomy, Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit, and Weeds.  Here are some shows that should hedge their bets and either end at the end of this year or wrap things up pretty soon.  I will say I agree with all of these shows needing to end, although I think How I Met Your Mother needs to just stop playing games and move the purpose of the story forward.

Glee (2009-Present) FOX-This singing show started out as a fresh take on outcasts at a high school who wanted to just sing.  There was a small group of students who came together through a strong powerful ballad and they did not want to stop believing that anything could be possible.  Glee's pilot aired at the end of May sweeps and built the up the excitement and interest throughout the entire summer for viewers.  This was a great move.  While as a fan I was frustrated, I applaud the creative way this show garnered strong word of mouth.  I am surprised they have not done this with any other show.  There is also the hopeful teacher who wanted to help his students.  In the the beginning Lea Michelle was not annoying, Mr. Schue's hopeful ways were endearing, and the antagonist Sue Sylvester had some of the best one liners.  The show hit a major creative wall in season two adding too many characters and not being able to juggle the different stories.  The show became so popular numerous famous people wanted guest star and their appearances took away from the the main characters.  The show also decided to do tribute episodes to Madonna, Britney Spears, and these episodes were more problematic because they seemed to force songs and performances into the thread of the show.  In season three these problems have slowly been fixed, but the damage is done.  Jane Lynch is barely around, and her character is one note.  Lea Michelle is shrill, and Mr. Schue is good guy teacher is bordering on annoying.  With most of the shows cast graduating this year, including the best part of the show Santana, the show is at a pivotal cross roads and needs to decided a path to take.  While many of the graduating students will surely go off into the sunset many are sticking around, and while this is great I think it will create dead weight.  I think the show should end this year, but it won't.

30 Rock (2006-2013) NBC-Let me start this with the statement, I love this show and these characters.  Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are the present day Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant.  The supporting cast which includes Jane Krakowski, Tracey Morgan, Jack McBrayer, and Judah Friedlander is also brilliant.  This show has slowly lost its edge, and while there are still funny moments I want this show to end while its ahead.  I am almost one hundred percent sure that this will not be the last season.  I think when the show comes back next year it should end next year with a shortened season.  So far the shows most recent season has lacked focus, and does not have as strong of a comic edge.  This started throughout seasons four four and five.  While seasons four and five were had many flawed moments this season flaws have been the most apparent that the show is losing steam.  Time to end on top.  I love you Tina!

Dexter (2006-2013) Showtime-This is going to contain spoilers so reader beware.  My friend said something intriguing about how this show should have ended.  My friend said this show should have ended at the end of season five with Rita in the bath tub and Harrison in her blood.  Dexter comes in to see his son sitting in his mother's blood the way he was found by his step father.  Dexter then says "What next" and the show cuts to black.  I like this idea, and exploring this concept is too late because the show has lasted two more seasons.  Season 6 and 7 both have created a problematic downturn in quality.  This past seasons episode entitled "Nebraska" where Dexter hallucinates his brother and talks to him instead of his step father Harry, and leaves his sister behind was the worst episode of the series and one of the worst episodes of television this year.  I was beyond disappointed.  Showtime has a hit on their hand, like they do with Weeds, and when they realize they can make money they keep going.  I need Michael C. Hall to say enough is enough and move on the way it sounded like he wanted to a few years ago.  The next season needs to be the last but this show should have ended a few years ago.

True Blood (2008-2014) HBO- This is another one of my favorite shows, but sometimes you have to let go of the things you love most.  Season 4 had a creative resurgence, but this show has proven to be uneven.  Season 3 was all over the map, and I had lost faith in this show.  Even though season 4 restored my faith (a little) I think this show needs to end when Alan Ball steps away after season 5.  While I realize there are way more than five books in the series this show is based on, the show needs to focus and move forward to the end game.  Alan Ball ended his series first series Six Feet Under after 5 seasons, and did so with grace, class, and dignity.  Six Feet Under had one of (if not the best) series finales of all time.  The end of season 4 seemed to be an explosion of character deaths in order to clean house.  My advice is to plan the final days, and end on top the way Six Feet Under did.

CSI (2000-Present) CSI: Miami (2002-2012) CSI: NY (2004-2013)-Let me make this perfectly clear.  I have only watched the original, and by watched I mean I saw an episode or two on Spike because my friend wanted to watch.  These shows appear to be fine procedural dramas but as CBS announces more and more shows for their new fall lineup it appears that its time to retire these procedurals.  CBS has two successful bankable shows in NCIS, which I think LA should go, but do not watch that one either, so I have a hard time commenting.  These shows have followed the path of the Law & Order series.  At the end of this season one or two of these may be off the air for the first time.  I think CBS is coming up with better more creative programming, and clearing these three shows from their lineup would show their commitment to rejuvenating their schedule.

The Killing (2011-2014)-AMC-The season finale of season one was a big middle finger to the viewers who watched this show.  The premise of this show was that young girl named Rosie Larson was killed, and the plot was meant to be a whodunit that avoided the procedural.  The exact opposite happened.  Week after week we were given a red herring rather than allowing the detectives piece together the clues.  This show should have been a mini series rather than a series, or solved the crime in season one and focused on different characters like they are doing with American Horror Story.  The only reason I am returning to watch this show will be to see the mystery play out, I want an answer.


CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Dexter and 30 Rock have ended.  True Blood will end in Summer 2014, The Killing was axed, but then brought back to life for a successful third season on AMC.

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