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Author Topic: Great shows that shouldn't continue
Lisa
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We talk a lot here about shows that get cancelled before their time. Firefly, Wonderfalls, Freaks and Geeks, etc. But there are shows that are incredibly good, and get renewed, but shouldn't.

The last couple of seasons of M*A*S*H, for example, shouldn't have happened. With a very few exceptions, they were forgettable at best and unforgettable at worst.

Witchblade. The first season was incredible. But then they did a second season that made me want to rip my eyes out. Thankfully, they didn't go for a third.

And now... Damages. I can hardly express how much I love this show. It is the best thing on TV. I think it even edges Dexter and Battlestar Galactica, which have held that place up until now. I watch a lot of TV, and there are shows I like a lot. But I can't wait until the next episode of Damages. Which in this case... I think is the finale.

The bad news is, I just heard it's been picked up for a second season. But they can't do that. Not well. The whole dynamic... when this season ends, the story is over as far as I'm concerned. And yet I know I'll watch it next year. It's going to be a slow-motion train crash, but I'll watch it anyway.

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Morbo
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I like Damages a lot too.

Where did you hear it's going into a second season? Both main stars (Glenn Close and Rose Byrne) have said they only want to do one season. I thought it was settled that it was basically a mini-series.

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Zalmoxis
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24
X-Files

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imogen
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Lost.

That show was a great idea that just got stretched past the point of incredulity.

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Saephon
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The Simpsons should have ended at least five years ago.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Morbo:
I like Damages a lot too.

Where did you hear it's going into a second season? Both main stars (Glenn Close and Rose Byrne) have said they only want to do one season. I thought it was settled that it was basically a mini-series.

That was what I thought. But then I saw this. Ausiello isn't always right, but he usually is.
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Puffy Treat
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From what I hear, the potential second season will be a stronger possibility if it wins any of those prestigious awards. The ratings have been middling at best.

[ October 11, 2007, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: Puffy Treat ]

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Zalmoxis:
24
X-Files

Xfiles, definetly. I crindge when I see later episodes of it... They dynamics are all wrong.

I agree with the Simpsons, it should have ended several seasons ago.

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adfectio
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quote:
Originally posted by Zalmoxis:
24
X-Files

I managed to quit watching X-Files before it got bad. The few season are still great to watch, but I never have been a huge fan of 24. I'll be glad when it's ended.
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ketchupqueen
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The X-files could have been so much better if Chris Carter hadn't, you know, gone crazy the last season or so. Although he said that he had had the ending in mind since the beginning a couple of times before it ended, so I have to wonder how much of the early greatness was a fluke and how much that statement was untrue.
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pooka
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I've heard 10 years on the Simpsons. I think one of the things that made Firefly great was its short, brilliant lifespan. It never had the chance to sell out. It was pure honeymoon.
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Saephon
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Alright, alright!!! I'm gonna pick up Firefly and watch it all this weekend. I can't take it anymore, the hype is haunting my dreams [Smile]
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adfectio
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It's worth it. Firefly is the sci-fi show that tops my list. Even above BSG
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PSI Teleport
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This is sort of a "jump the shark" discussion. It makes me think about all the shows that you can look back on and find the exact point where they jumped the shark. It makes me wish the producers had seen it too, or at least done something about it.
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lem
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quote:
24
X-Files

Good Call!
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Lyrhawn
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Looking back at a lot of these jump the shark moments really only works with hindsight I think. Kind of like the story about the frog in hot water and slowly heating it up. It's easy to see that a show started sucking when it's horrible by Season 8 and it started sucking in Season 6, but I think that makes it harder to realize what's going on in Season 6 until you get to Season 8 and look back.

Hypothetically.

I think in hindsight Stargate SG1 could have stopped in Season 8. Star Trek Enterprise could have stopped before it started. LOST could have stopped after Season 1. I tend to hang on to shows even after they start sucking a little bit, as I enjoy them from the occasional episodes that are good here and there in spite of the mass of suck.

M*A*S*H could have stopped a few seasons earlier, but, they still had massively high ratings even into the 11th season, and could have easily greenlit a 12th season if they had wanted to, but they wanted to go out on a high, and they did, with the most watched episode of television in history. Which I think is still a stunning record.

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Launchywiggin
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I had good memories of Family Guy until the second batch came out.

Though I *LOVE* The Office, I'm worried about this season.

Agreed on 24, X-Files, and The Simpsons

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Olivet
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X-files, Lost, 24, Prison Break

Maybe Alias, but I don't know. I lost interest very early in that one, because I never cared about Vaughn. I wanted to punch him every time he made that whipped puppy face. It could have ended much sooner than it did.

I never connected with Family Guy in the first place. The Simpsons still has moments of brilliance. Though it is definitely not what it once was, I still find it enjoyable.

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Icarus
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I agree on Simpsons, X Files, and 24.

I don't think this is a jump the shark discussion, actually. I think you can have a show just wear itself out without a jump the shark moment.

Every ABC television show of this century comes to mind. Apparently, that network doesn't know how to cancel shows.

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Jon Boy
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I'll second Prison Break. The first season was great and the second was pretty good (though it got off to a rough start). The third season, so far, does not interest me in the slightest. It feels like a rather hollow rehash of the first two seasons.
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adfectio
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Friends was another one for me. They should have ended it several seasons before they did. It started out funny and original, but by the time they were finally done, it had just become boring. To me, at least.

I'll add another vote in for Prison Break as well. Not a bad show, but not sure it deserved another sequal.

I'm glad BSG is ending. Though it has been fantastic up to this point, they should end it before it becomes something it was never meant to be.

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KarlEd
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There's a lot I really liked about Charmed, but it clearly went a season too long. It definitely felt like the main cast were tired of doing the series and they were half-heartedly trying to set up new characters to take over.
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Vyrus
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I'm personally glad they ended Buffy when they did, and ended Angel on the "apocalypse" so that you know that there's no room for a sequel.

And it leaves just enough unsaid to leave lots of lonely fangirls room for lemony fan fiction.

Good Lord if Buffy had done another season you know that Buffy would be pregnant with Spike's baby and Tara would come back to have a lesbian threesome with whatever her new girlfriend's name was.

As for Prison Break it had a beautifully brilliant first season, I loved it, but I didn't bother to watch the second as past the escape episode there was really no poin.

and now: The season premiere of Prison Break season eight: Find out the verdict from their third appeal!

[dun dun dun...]

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Vyrus:
I'm personally glad they ended Buffy when they did, and ended Angel on the "apocalypse" so that you know that there's no room for a sequel.

Says who?
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Avatar300
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quote:
Originally posted by Vyrus:

Good Lord if Buffy had done another season you know that Buffy would be pregnant with Spike's baby and Tara would come back to have a lesbian threesome with whatever her new girlfriend's name was.


Demonstrably false. Dawn did have a bit of a growth spurt, however.
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ketchupqueen
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quote:
I think you can have a show just wear itself out without a jump the shark moment.

I think The X-Files definitely jumped, though.
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Jon Boy
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Multiple times, no less.
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docmagik
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Can I be honest?

I really don't believe in the concept that a show "goes on too long."

We've got a half dozen daytime soaps that have been on since the days of radio, and are still going strong. Just because I'm not enjoying them doesn't mean somebody's not enjoying them.

And just because a show's gone into decline, doesn't mean that the show is barrelling towards an inevitable doom.

I am most certainly not denying that it can happen. Entropy is real, and unless energy is put into something, it will naturally devolve into chaos. And often, it's that attempt to infuse the show with new energy that leads to the shark-jumping events that are much maligned.

But I do not believe it is inevitable. I think that in the same way it can gradually decline, it can also ebb and flow, rising and falling in quality as the creators try things, realize they don't work, try other things, realize they do work, etc.

24 is a good example of this. They'd had some bad seaons, and most of their fans dissagree about which ones were the bad ones. Personally, I didn't like season 5. Other people loved it, and that was the season that won it all its emmys. The only exception is last season, which people in general didn't care for, but one season where they screw up due to their own overconfidence after their big emmy wins--well, that's to be expected.

However, they've gone into panic mode after one bad season. Now, they're so busy now trying to "revamp" the show, that I think they're making a bunch of decisions that will equate to a season of potential shark jumps.

I don't know how many of you have read the books "Built to Last" or "Good to Great." They're business books. They are about how to take existing companies and either help keep them at the top of their field through the changes that inevitably happen over the years or about how to take a company that hasn't been at the top of the heap, and get it there.

One example is that shows need to have some kind of core concept or ideal they're delivering, and stick with it.

For example, when "Family Ties" was becoming a suprise hit, and Micheal J Fox was becoming the suprise standout character, NBC decided to put in an order for an hour long Family Ties episode about him to air during sweeps. The producers delivered an episode that was unlike anything they'd done before. It was low on comedy, and even low on lighting. Most of it was flashbacks that took place on darkened stages with just a few set peices. It was heavy on the drama.

As you can imagine, it wasn't all that well received. This wasn't what people were tuning in to Family Ties to see. It weirded a lot of people out.

Did some people like it? Sure. But it was a fundamentally different product than what most people were tuning in to Family Ties to see, and that dissapointed most viewers.

Same thing here--Shark Jumps are the moments when the show stops being the product that viewers are looking for. When the A-Team starts working for the government instead of running from them.

What change could have been made that could have infused that show with more energy, but not changed the direction? Increased the stakes of their fugitive status. That Colnel that was chasing them should have turned up dead, murdered in his own office, in a way that made it look like the A-Team did it. So then, that Colnel's bigger, tougher, smarter mentor is coming after the A-Team, and he's using more of the military's might to do it.

And this time, it's played out in the media, so while people before were hearing good things about the A-team from rumors, now they're seeing the A-team as criminals, much more reluctant to trust them. Which means that the only people turning to them now are people even more desperate, willing to go in with the murderers they believe the A-Team to be.

Which also means that the A-Team is being hired by people who turn out to be really bad, but who think that the A-Team are, too. Which means that sometimes the team is finding itself in the middle of a fight where both sides need to be brought down.

To me, this idea would have revitalized the show without betraying what it was so much that viewers felt like they weren't watching the same show.

So I guess my point is, it isn't having a show simply exist for a long time that ruins it. It's having a show mishandled over time that ruins it.

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Orincoro
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Deep space Nine.

Third through 5th seasons were brilliant. 6th season started to drag, then we got Ezri Dax and vulcan baseball, and that was, well, it.

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enjeeo
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'Lost' got increasingly ridiculous due to the attempt to drag it out way longer than it should have gone on.

Family guy would have stayed funnier if they hadn't used up all their material in the first few seasons. But that's what happens when one person's humour is spread into three main characters and most of the other characters are treated as an animted backdrop. Now if I catch a new episode it feeling like I'm watching a rerun.

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IanO
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Smallville.

Please, just let it end. Please.

[SPOILERS/RANT]

  • Kara- I'm a Kryptonian girl who grew up in another society, and yet still act like a spoiled teenage American girl.
  • A new crystal -McGuffin #1. 'Gee, this is such an important search, let's....let's enter a beauty pageant! That makes sense!'
  • A new Kyrptonian on earth for the last 100 years -can anyone say McGuffin #2? Did he not notice all the high-pitched Kryptonian stones calling out to Clark in Season 4? The search for them and their power? The Kryptonian symbols scattered around Smallville and the worlds computers during the doomsday thing (whatever it was at the end of season 5 that Brainiac set off with earth's computers)? 2 Kryptonian ships and 2 Kryptonians? Phantoms? None of that? Really?
  • The Clana -7 Seasons, and we're back to season 2. Clark has to, finally (right.....), realize it wont work with Lana no matter what (and never mind his Father was killed in Lana's place, so she wouldn't know his his secret. This new situation makes all of that meaningless.) AlMiles just need to make a new show all about Lana and her perpetual pink perfection. They want to anyway. They've turned Smallville into that anyway. Why beat around the bush? (And dont forget the brilliant 'Don't tell Chloe I'm alive...But I'll walk with Clark at a the local fair in front of everyone in a town I grew up in, after I married a billionaire and was in a tabloids and newspapers after I was presumed murdered')
  • The wussification/stupidity of Lex. 7 Seasons in, and he's still a good guy with a checkered past, trying to do the right thing. Read that again. Season 7, not 1,2,or 3 or even 4. Season 7. And so stupid he hasn't figured out Clark is an alien. Geez, Jason Teague did in with a months research in season 4 (and what a lame character he was)
  • And Clark is just a Big Dumb Alien who reacts to everything and pro-actively DOES nothing. The proto-JLA has its act together, acting on a Global scale. Clark is still working on farm equipment, even when there are important world threats out there.
  • And the same #%#@#$%#@#@$#@ kryptonite freaks of the week (this time, from America's Top Model)

The continuity sucks so bad. Gee, anyone remember another girl claiming to be Clark's cousin named Kara? And other than Clark's question to Jor-El AI, not an eyelash is batted.

So. angry....
Just...
Let it end. Just.let.it.end.

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Lisa
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Well, actually, they did mention the previous "Kara" (who would have made a much better Kara than this one, btw). Which is better than they did in the comics, where not one single word has been said about Linda Danvers (Matrix/Supergirl) now that Kara has arrived.

Supergirl has always been my favorite superhero. I grew up with her, and gave up on comics for decades after they killed her off. But I hate, hate, hate this version of her (on Smallville). It makes me want to go back and watch the movie, which, while it was incredibly dumb, at least had a Kara with a sense of wonder who was heroic.

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IanO
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Yeah, caught the reference Clark made to the Jor-El AI. But Lana? Lex? Anyone else? Nope. She arrives 4 years ago, disappears suddenly, and then a new blondie named Kara shows up. Lex (who can't even seem to remember he has a brother, so I shouldn't be surprised) doesn't go, 'hey, wait a minute. Didn't you have a different cousin named Kara, a few years back...').

What do I expect? AlMiles to do good continuity? They make up each season as it goes along, drop anything they didn't like, including entire plot threads, and then give us crap like Kryptonite Vampires (Thirst) or Witches (Spell) or Lucy or High School photographers with a fake school, or exploding babies, or tv/movie rip offs (Nip/Tuck-Kryp-Tuck, Saw, Wax Museum). Why they bother to act like they know what they're doing is beyond me. Read this interview. What a pompous moron.

But....Love TWOPS review. Probably best part about the show.

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