We should probably just go right ahead and put it out there. We like TV. We like TV a lot, perhaps a little too much at times. But lately, it is getting harder and harder to find a show we want to continue watching after one season.
Some of you may share our pain, and as the news comes out that shows are either being cancelled or renewed, it becomes hard to justify continuing to watch many of them. Some of the shows on our list were once great, but some were never great. As exemplified by the finally over CBS hit So I Married a Bass Player But Then She Died and I Got Back Together with my Ex (you might know it as How I Met Your Mother), some shows really do overstay their welcome.
See also: 5 TV Spin-Offs We Want to See
Either way, we're about to dissect, albeit grudgingly in some cases, the following 10 shows that should not have been renewed for 2014-15.
We don't even know what to say here. We really don't. The first episode was sort of interesting and showed promise, but every subsequent episode we attempted to wade through was more and more a snoozefest. The one sort of cool thing about this SyFy channel series was the relative anonymity of the cast. As a viewer, we were able to see the characters as exactly who they were supposed to be and not whatever character they had been in previous shows. When informed that this show was coming back for another year, the prevailing thought was, "Why? Nobody watches this show."
9. Two and a Half Men
Is Ashton Kutcher even a real person? Of course he is, and based on a few high-profile interviews he's given over the past few years, he's a thoughtful and down-to-earth guy. Having said that, though, if you watch even five minutes of this comedy black hole brought to us by the good folks at CBS, you can easily forget anything interesting that's ever come out of his mouth. Actor Jon Cryer has always carried this show as the odd, little sycophant who seems to have zero luck, except for the fact that he lives in an amazing house on the ocean for nothing.
This season, they introduced the lesbian daughter (Amber Tamblyn) of Charlie Sheen's dearly departed character. Can we officially call this "Jumping the Gay Shark?" We can't believe it was on this year, let alone coming back for another pass at numbing the public's collective mind. Kudos, though, are deserved for convincing Carl Reiner to appear in selected episodes. We hope he did it so he could get in a few dick jokes and not because he needed the money.
This one is almost too easy, and Glee, Fox's fantasyland musical mess-terpiece, should have been canceled years ago. There was a point when it was mildly enjoyable if you fast-forwarded through 95 percent of the musical numbers. Some folks probably had some sort of morbid curiosity about how Ryan Murphy would handle last year's untimely death of actor Cory Monteith this season, but we'll leave that type of deconstruction to the folks at People Magazine.
Murphy, who developed this show and will always get a pass for his much more interesting show, American Horror Story, infused Glee in past seasons with a fairly adept mix of clever humor and relatively important statements about the struggles of teens who see themselves as "others." Several of the cast members have turned in compelling performances over the years, and there is no denying there has been some actual talent displayed, but the reality of this sad show is that it has more than run its course. Luckily, Jane Lynch, who portrays the villain-with-a-heart cliché, has the potential to do more Christopher Guest movies. Go away, Glee, the song is over.
7. Black Sails
We are bitter about this show because we had high hopes for it. The previews looked so good, but we really should have remembered that Starz is adept at making dramas look good initially (Kelsey Grammer's Boss, anyone?), but then turning on the suck factor quickly. But what can you do other than take a chance that maybe someday they'll make a drama worth watching for more than one season?
Historically, we suppose, pirates (and movies or shows about them) aren't safe bets in terms of consistent entertainment. Even though we've always been a sucker for them after discovering Treasure Island on the shelf in our grandparent's living room circa 1978, we remain reluctant to get too excited about their portrayal onscreen. This particular offering, unfortunately, is more blunder than blunderbuss, and it's chock-full of bimbos and mimbos. Seeing Zach McGowan (awesome as the idiotic sex addict "Jody" in Showtime's fantastic dramedy Shameless) play it straight as a ruthless pirate is as unbelievable as the premise of the first three or four episodes. This show should have been sunk after one season. But shiver me timbers, it'll be back next year.
6. The Following
More like six degrees of ruining Kevin Bacon's already floundering career. Go back to making a veritable crap load of movies, Mr. Bacon, please. At least when you had a new movie coming out almost every other week. there was a chance of one of them being good. Personally, we found this show unwatchable during the its first season, and this latest season should have been its swan song, but like the villains on this dung heap of a show, it's getting another chance to feature Bacon wincing 1,341 times next fall and spring. What sadist writes this garbage, and where do we apply?
5. Family Guy
No one will be shocked when they read this next sentence. Seth MacFarlane has run something into the ground. Like most of the jokes, story lines, and pop culture references on this show, or any of his shows, Family Guy has gotten old. At one point, it was one of the funnier things on TV. Super-wrong sometimes, sure, but the way it absolutely skewered anything and everything we held dear as generation after generation of people whose primary babysitter was a talking box was often cutting, but also brilliant.
Now, though, it is stale. The influence it has swayed over many of the comedies currently on TV is apparent, but unfortunately, the imitations that abound only make it seem even more trite. Perhaps we are over-saturated with MacFarlane and not his animated alter-egos? Lois, it's time to smother Peter in his sleep (and that is not a euphemism).
We've tried. To be honest, we tried because we loved Seinfeld. When it went away, we wanted all the actors on the show to be successful in their next shows because they were so great as an ensemble that we figured they could each carry a show of their own. We wanted to see more of them, even Julia Louis-Dreyfus, arguably the most narrowly drawn of the four main characters. We are also on a seemingly lonely island with this one, as critics and awards slingers love this show.
Considering HBO has more hits than misses and the hysterical Tony Hale (of Arrested Development fame) is in it, we thought, "Excellent, this show can't miss." But sadly, it does. Our mother has a theory that this show is on the air because Louis-Dreyfus, who is an heiress to an incredibly large amount of money, secretly bankrolls it in some way. We are inclined to agree with that theory due to the excruciatingly hollow performance of Louis-Dreyfuss. There is absurd, absurdly funny, and then there's absurd for the sake of being absurd. This is the latter. We get the joke, really, but it is not that funny. No votes for Selina (Louis-Dreyfus' character) in this house and, honestly, we have never heard anyone say, "I can't wait for the next episode of Veep."
3. Grey's Anatomy
While at times being a somewhat entertaining story masking a nighttime soap opera, this ABC staple is the brainchild of Shonda Rhimes, and has grown to be just plain annoying. The characters grate on your soul, literally, as they intertwine themselves among each other like rejects from the movie Deliverance. If any show has ever been a greater salute to the dangers of incest, we don't know of one. Shonda Rhimes must believe that to truly learn medicine, one must sleep with as many of their co-workers as possible. Paging Dr. Kevorkian.
2. New Girl
What once was quirky and cool is now just lame. This past season's "big breakup" after the "big hook-up" and all the silly goings-on in between was just way too predictable. The breakup of Nick and Jess, for example, was always a matter of when, and not how, because we all knew it would happen. We also knew it would be quirky and different-ish. Zooey Deschanel, who is on her 19th or 20th minute of fame by now, played Jess this season with all the zeal of someone marching toward certain disembowelment.
As for the rest of the cast, the addition of Damon Wayans Jr. as Coach was a waste of a talented comedic actor and really didn't add anything remotely positive to the show. Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris, as Schmidt and Winston, respectively, still had some good moments, but each of their collective shticks is running a tad thin. Jake Johnson's "Nick" has really bottomed out and that's unfortunate, because he was definitely a bright spot over the first two seasons. It is clear that the writing for New Girl has suffered greatly as it limped through an unimpressive third season. So what is Fox's answer? Bring on a fourth season while people will still watch and try to rekindle the ironic goofiness. Yay.
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Perhaps we are just really tired of seeing writer, director, actor, and exhibitionist Lena Dunham naked. We don't know. The first season of this show was truly one of our favorite seasons of TV ever. It was fresh, awkward in a great way, and really, really funny. Now it is just an exercise in some sort of self-Dunhamication that can only be described as hipster gibberish, or hibsterish (copyright pending). Dunham's Hannah Horvath was, at one point, a well-acted character you could feel slightly sympathetic toward. We tend to think, however, that Dunham has, at least temporarily, exhausted her talent.
We wonder, is there even a character on this show you can still root for? Is there supposed to be? We kind of like Ray (Alex Karpovsky), but beyond him, it is hard to tolerate any of them anymore. Maybe it is by design and Dunham is truly an old soul who understands that these characters she's created are too stupid to realize they are privileged beyond belief to live the lives they are living. Maybe she wants us to be annoyed by their folly and repulsed by their stubborn selfishness? They went from being young folks you sort of wanted to see succeed to young folks you just want to go away.