American TV shows last too long. The British do it too well — “Fawlty Towers” has like twelve episodes. Their shows have a specific expiration date, and they don’t go on because of ratings. You ought to cut it off at its peak, or you get what happened to “The Office,” “X-Files,” “Scrubs” or (shudders) “Dexter.”
You have to finish the show to get closure, but it never comes. Having the product is better than not having the product. Legends like “Breaking Bad,” “Twin Peaks,” “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” did it right. They knew when to quit because they had a plan. This is a list of shows I love, shows I liked for awhile and came to loathe and shows I’ve seen sparingly enough to know that they need to end. Today.
*Note:”The Simpsons” and “South Park” are eternal.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FXX)
So many perfect moments from our five favorite Philadelphian bartending sociopaths. The Nightman Cometh, the McPoyle twins, The D.E.N.N.I.S system, Danny DeVito naked in the couch, the oddly serene, yet misplaced theme song. The FX staple is now getting moved over FXX where twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth season were announced. Length doesn’t necessarily equal a decline in comedy, but I think it’s time. Saying goodbye to this show is going to hurt like putting down Old Yeller.
Law and Order SVU (NBC)
It’s not a bad show, but its formula is overdone. Here’s how it goes — writers find current event and create a crime around current event and fill with sensational portrayals. Every third line of dialogue is hokey. Eighteen seasons of this guys, c’mon.
Arrested Development (Netflix)
I was thrilled when Netflix announced they had acquired the rights of Fox’s beloved comedy. We felt robbed when FOX canceled the first iteration, so the show deserved a second chance. “Arrested Development” made the careers of Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. But the fourth season couldn’t quite recapture what made the initial run great. The organic absurdity of the original run seemed more contrived. Like “The X-Files” remake, I think it’s time to put it to rest.
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
I’m not the first person to say that The Lonely Island (who left in 2012) were the only thing keeping “Saturday Night Live” relevant. They’re dropping talent and not adequately replacing it because for a sketch show on network television, it’s pretty constraining. Putting SNL on your resume isn’t a career-maker anymore. They’ve lost the ability to create original and memorable skits that aren’t topical. The decline of SNL makes you wonder if there is even a place for a live sketch show on TV anymore.
Supernatural (The CW)
Full disclosure, I’ve seen one episode of the show. I told someone I know about this article and an hour later she sent me a frantic text about Supernatural. “The thing with ‘Supernatural’ is that it can’t f***ing die by killing the characters because that’s all the show is now. It literally has to be mercy killed because no one will take it seriously. Sam and Dean die and stay dead because seasons six through 12 have all been ‘Sam and Dean are dead but not really.’” So, that’s it then.
Spongebob Squarepants (Nickelodeon)
It’s weird looking back on this show as an adult. I can watch the 1999-2004 run the same way I used to. Right after the movie (2004), series creator Stephen Hillenburg and all the talented writers left the show. Nickelodeon made Spongebob too safe, they made jokes less subtle and they turned the main characters into one-dimensional caricatures of themselves. Oh, and there were just too many damn songs. At least this show will live on in memes.
When the interviewer says “besides money, why do you want to work here?” pic.twitter.com/vwNK3WRLes
— 1-0 (@IAmSteezus) March 14, 2016
Fox and Friends (Fox News)/ Morning Joe (MSNBC)
The politically themed morning talk show, two my favorite things. These terrible shows try to humanize their ideological beliefs. Watch Fox and Friends, with a history of sexism, fight political correctness or the War on (insert eroding tradition here). Watch Morning Joe’s the manufactured debate with an insufferable, unaware panel. Both shows are equally repugnant.
Fuller House (Netflix)
All I can ask is in the form of why, “Why Netflix?” Why would anybody be interested in this? Why are you bringing back only part of the cast? Why was this the ’90s show you brought back? Why? Why? Why? We need to throw ’90s nostalgia headfirst into a wood chipper.
“Survivor” had a decent run of about seven seasons. After that, the premise for “Survivor” challenges got pretty repetitive and the forced drama between contestants grew stale. So, what’s the new gimmick in season 33? LET’S MAKE IT A BATTLE OF GENERATIONS, JEFF.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Here’s an example of a show that attempts to make subculture (HAHA NERDS) palatable for a mainstream audience. Everything producer Chuck Lorre creates should be cast into an abyss.