This recent GQ article, “The Secret to Success is Saying ‘I Quit,'” made me feel better about the number of television shows that I have completely abandoned attempting to watch. I decided to compile a list of these. Now, I decided to only include television shows that are generally considered “good.” I also chose to only include ones that have some kind of an overarching narrative, meaning that things like South Park and Family Guy don’t make the list.
1. The Office. I loved this television show. It might actually be the first show that I ever really liked. But then it became the thing that you are holding onto some loyalty for and you don’t know why. And then it just wouldn’t go away. That person lingering at the party, telling the same jokes, hoping for the same laughs.
2. House of Cards. I wrote an entire separate blog post about why I think this show is dumb, but I was still excited for Season Three. Until I got two episodes into it and realized, you know what? What’s the point of suffering through this? I don’t care about these people. I don’t like the storytelling techniques. It’s not even that I want the characters in it to fail. I just don’t care at all what happens. Claire has a hearing to be an ambassador or something? Don’t care. Doug is in a hospital bed and might have amnesia? Don’t care. Frank is president and he killed a terrorist or something? Don’t care. Everyone is bisexual? Well, that caught me off guard, but I still don’t care.
3. Homeland I dislike Homeland for the same reasons I dislike House of Cards. We see lots of scenes in which we don’t have any idea what is going on. The character Brody is only an enigma to us because 50% of his story is omitted for the majority of Season One. And then it felt like they were going for a Thinking Man’s 24 vibe in Season Two, which is where I completely bailed. Because it was bad.
4. The Walking Dead This started to feel like a chore. “Okay, I have to remember where all these people are, what they care about, their tepid backstories, and their dramatic inter-personal conflicts? Wouldn’t it be easier to just not keep watching?”
5. Weeds. Yikes. All I wanted was for Nancy to die. I bailed somewhere in the penultimate season, I think. I started to wonder: how many times can they keep doing the same thing? How many times can the writers write themselves into such a corner that the only option is to murder the antagonist and then start from scratch in the following season? And how can those kids keep getting so much bigger when each new season seems to pick up one second after the last one ended?
6.Sons of Anarchy. This one is a struggle. Part of me thinks it might be the worst television show that I have seen three seasons of, but another part of me really wants to find out what happens. I just can’t get to the end of that kidnapped-Irish-baby plotline, and I am getting sick of a show that has at least one music montage per episode.
7. Arrested Development This one actually makes me sad. You can never go home again, as the disastrous fourth season of this show proved. Which is sad, because I loved the first three seasons. That, and their tagline for Season Four was something about proving that you can go home again.
I’m not saying that all of these are bad shows, and I’m not certain that I have permanently given up one every one of them. But I would like to think that my time is valuable enough to, you know, not give another thirty hours to something that makes me sigh and shake my head. Suffering through one season just to get to the next… well, maybe that’s a good thing to not do.
Of course, I say all this, despite that I’ve seen every episode of Peep Show at least three times. Because man, that’s an amazing show.
That, and anyone who quit watching Game of Thrones? No. You’re wrong.
Enjoy this? Check out Why House of Cards is Dumb or Why All the Bad News About Game of Thrones is Actually Good News