Good reasons to stop watching TV shows
If the industry is right, and we’ve hit peak TV level, that means it’s impossible for a human to watch everything interesting that’s on the air. With a greater amount of good television shows comes greater responsibility for us viewers to learn when to call it quits. Personally we have struggled to quit certain shows – in the hopes it would all amount to something when we got the finale – only to waste even more hours of our short, short lives as a result.
To prevent you from making the same mistakes, we’ve put together a list of good reasons to stop watching TV shows. If you’re in doubt about whether or not something is worth your time, have a read through our list to see if it confirms your doubts.
1. You’re bored from the start
Our choice: Treme
Our reasoning: It sounds very self-explanatory, but we’ve all suffered through weak TV episodes to only see a show pick up again. This is different from being bored from the start, however. Sure, sometimes this pays off (The Wire is a good example), but most of the time it doesn’t. If you can’t find anything in the first episode of a show to latch on too, just drop it.
We sat through all seasons of Treme, and although we tried telling ourselves it was all worth it because of the music and how well it captured New Orleans, we know this isn’t true. We’ve never been to New Orleans, and we’re very white people who prefer listening to grumpy musicians like The National and Bon Iver.
2. You’re watching a cancelled show
Our choice: Awake
Our reasoning: Calm down, Firefly fans. It’s true that there’s a plethora of great shows cancelled before their time (see also Freaks and Geeks & Terriers) but if you’re already on the fence about a show (as we were about Awake, in which a cop lives in two realities, unsure which is real) there’s no point in sticking with something that doesn’t have an ending anyway. Such was the case with Awake, and although some shows are good enough to end on an open note, a lot of them are not.
When in doubt, just use Google to find out if a cancelled show had a satisfying ending or not.
3. A show turned bad is not ending soon
Our choice: Homeland
Our reasoning: Some shows storm out of the gate, and hook you so intensely you can’t even think about dropping them eventually. Just think about the first seasons of Dexter and Homeland. Both shows are up there for having some of the best first seasons in recent history, and at that point we couldn’t consider not sticking with them till the end of their run.
With Dexter that’s just what we did, and it proved to be a huge mistake. We learned from this and dropped Homeland after season 4, never looking back. From what we heard, this was a smart decision.
Even if it’s a show you love, if it’s had a bad season: just drop it from your queue. If all of a sudden you hear great buzz around a later season you can always pick it up again and read a re-cap on Wikipedia about what you missed.
There is however a case to be made for shows that are nearing the end of their run. The last season of The Fall was a complete bust, but at least we got some closure. The same can not be said about something like Homeland or The Walking Dead, both of which seem destined to outlive us.
4. The main actor is a monster
Our choice: House of Cards
Our reasoning: As our updates on celebrity sexual harassment allegations prove, there’s a lot of rot under the glitzy surface of Hollywood. We use TV as a way to unwind, and it’s difficult to keep that disconnect going when a main actor – as opposed to a main character – turns out to be morally corrupt.
House of Cards is a show we took a break from last season, but if these allegations around Kevin Spacey turn out to be true we will just leave things be. It’s not like The Cosby Show is as amusing as it used to be after we found out the truth about Bill Cosby.
5. You don’t have time to watch everything
Our choice: Brooklyn Nine Nine
Our reasoning: Sometimes you have to get rid of a show you actually still like. Such is life. As we mentioned in a previous post, there are other things than television out there. In the region of culture there are books and films, in terms of life changes there are partners, family, and friends. When it becomes too much of a hassle to keep up with a certain show, perhaps it’s time to drop it.
Any reasons we missed? Let us know in the comments.