You know them. Those shows that have overstayed their welcome. Countless episodes are piling up on your DVR because you just can't bring yourself to sit through even just one more. And if you do get around to watching them, you're half-paying attention or daydreaming. Some of them were once good, great even, but eventually the story either got stale or went off-track.
At one point, I could binge-watch entire seasons of "The Office," but somewhere around the time of the shitty gas station proposal and the announcement of Pam and Jim's second kid, I lost interest in the series. I know it was a workplace comedy about a quirky extended family of oddballs who worked at a paper company, but I was only tuning in for one of the greatest love stories in television history. No, not Michael and Holly. Pam and Jim. Jam. I'm gonna miss my Jam. I'm even gonna miss the hilarious shenanigans of the brothers-from-separate-mothers, Jim and Dwight. But I'm happy they're going out with what dignity they have left, something "How I Met Your Mother" cannot possibly boast of. I'm not quite sure how many seasons ago they should've wrapped it up, and I am perfectly aware that the title did imply a serious amount of suspense, but I no longer have any sort of interest in Ted's romantic life. I can't even tell you that I ever did. That show was never interesting to me because of "the mystery." I just loved the gang. And watching Ted and Barney repeatedly fall for the wrong women became mind-numbingly boring. At this point I would rather watch a spinoff called "How I Slept With Half of New York and Never Got A Permanent STD" starring Barney and his stripper ex-fiance Quinn. "Burn Notice" also ran its concept into the ground. If I had to listen to Michael explain ONE. MORE. THING. I was gonna watch the show on mute. And, honestly, I completely forgot "Rules of Engagement" was about a newly engaged couple learning about marriage from a married couple. I think they actually forgot too. It became the David Spade and his British Indian sidekick show.
Thankfully, the networks are doing their annual spring cleaning this month and a ton of shows are getting the ax. I am overjoyed that "The Office" ended, "How I Met Your Mother" and "Burn Notice" have been renewed for one final season, and "Rules of Engagement" is no more. Unfortunately, a ton of duds are sticking around.
"The Mentalist" (CBS)
I love Patrick Jane. I think he's one of the best of the clever-quirky investigators on TV. But this series needs to end ASAP. I could care less about Rigsby and Van Pelt. Cho should already have a girlfriend. Lisbon and Patrick should've had a least a handful of awkward romantic moments looping on Youtube by now. And this "narrowed down" list of Red John suspects should've happened at the beginning of the season.
While I do think that this series has managed to showcase an impressive amount of innovative storytelling techniques on a modest budget, I think the personal struggles of the characters and their setting is getting old.
This series is like the Barbara Walters of dramas. Never a dry eye. Even when you're at the 3/4 mark and you think you're going to make it through without needing a tissue or a sleeve, boom! something sweet or tragic or heartbreaking happens. It's a wonderful mix of true-to-life stories, but how many more do they have left? This could very well be neverending since there are several generations on the show, but after a while, it just feels like they're going through the motions.
Many blogs have dedicated every Friday morning to griping about the massive plot holes and inconsistency this series has developed over the years. And I don't know if it's because its showrunner has divided his attentions amongst so many other shows ("American Horror Story" and "The New Normal") or if they never really got the tone down. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? In which scenes is it ok to be both? I only watched half of this season because of the singing. And now I can't even bring myself to fastforward to those scenes.
Oh my god, don't even get me started on how pissed I was when I realized they glazed over the declaration of love and courting scenes. They made me watch the rejection scene, but the weeks of sleeping together, dating, and general romanticism were just swept under the rug? Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting for that frigid brainiac to finally admit she likes Booth. The best romantic scene in your series cannot be a mistletoe scene when your main characters weren't even together. Un-fucking-cool.
The singing is great. The premise was very original. The execution, not so much. There are one-too-many subplots and not enough personal victories. They should rename it "No One Can Ever Be Happy."
USA's "Psych," "Royal Pains," and "Necessary Roughness," FX's "Justified," HBO's "True Blood," Showtime's "Dexter," AMC's "Mad Men," and PBS's "Downton Abbey" are like hamsters in a cage, just running in circles.