One woman’s list here. She forgot L.A. Law and NYPD Blue – and whaddya mean, reality TV should be taken out and shot?
The woman’s an idiot. Yes, Cheers is the obvious example and the first show that came to mind when I saw the thread title, but Lost?
And her “reasoning” behind a couple of her choices indicates to me that she didn’t actually watch some of the programs that she panned. Her lame “mystified millions” and “each a weaker clone of the last” critiques of the Star Trek franchise show me that she didn’t watch DS9 (and was Next Gen the highest-rated syndicated series ever?), and her summary of season two of Twin Peaks is completely wrong. Most of the things she pans about S2 as happening after we find out who killed Laura Palmer actually happened before that mystery was solved.
How about having some balls and going after actual controversial targets like, say, The 700 Club?
And as long as she’s going after entire genres, how about the “fat guy with hot wife sitcom” genre? I can go the rest of my life without seeing another one of those, and with a bit of luck I will.
And no list like this is complete without mention of The Practice, which jumped the shark on no less than three occasions (the George Vogelman plot resolution, the Hannibal Lecter storyline and, being generous, counting all the masturbatory crossovers with every other David R Kelly show as one).
…that she’d leave off Happy Days, the show that originated the very phrase “jump the shark.”
The Peanuts cartoons? Nonsense. Sure, none of the subsequent cartoons lived up to the charm of A Charlie Brown Christmas, but what do you expect? That was a tough act to follow, after all. Most of the subsequent shows were still pretty decent by cartoon standards, and many of them were charming enough in their own right.
Besides, the Peanuts shows came out infrequently enough to be a rare treat. I’d hardly say that they “lived past their expiration date.”
She has Lost on there after one freaking season? What a complete idiot.
People who say things should be taken out and shot should be taken out and shot.
I looked up the Charlie Brown and Peanuts specials and found almost as many exist as do legs on a centipede. Surprised me.
So she does have a bit of a point about some shows. (In addition to the polybrownism cited above, ENT almost ruined any future for Trek.)
You’ve obviously never seen It’s the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown! - quite possibly the least interesting 20 minutes of children’s programming in history. It was still an abomination that should never be spoken of except as a warning.
As to other shows that lived too long:
[li]That 70s Show: Should have ended when they graduated. Everything since has been forced.[/li][li]Northern Exposure: Though it didn’t last much long after this happened, if your focal character leaves the show it’s time for that show to end.[/li][li]Buffy the Vampire Slayer: See explanation for That 70s Show, above.[/li][/ul]
Beautiful, NCB. Just plain beautiful.
I’m not saying that there weren’t any clunkers, mind you. I’m just saying that the occasional abomination should not be taken as a sign that the franchise has outlived its purpose.
And asking the Peanuts cartoons to live up to A Charlie Brown Christmas is just grossly unfair.
True enough, but some of the later ones haven’t even lived up to the standards of the Star Wars Christmas Special.
You think everything from S4 on in Buffy was “forced”? Truly, you are beyond redemption.
Cheers wasn’t as good when it ended but it was still pretty good. I don’t think it’s a good example of show that lived past it’s expiration date because it was still funny right up to the last episode.
X-Files lived about 4-5 years past it’s expiration date. Once you figured out that Chris Carter could not, or would not, resolve the alien conspiracy it just wasn’t worth watching.
It seemed to be limping along there at the end, and I found it impossible to watch.
Murphy Brown. Should have ended when Miles left, as they originally intended it to. The shows made afterwards were unwatchable, and contribute to the fact that hardly anyone remembers this show fondly. In its heydey, it was wildly great.
I agree with most of the ones above. I’ll add:
QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY- the first few episodes were great, I love Carson, by season two it was out of steam and by season three it was on fire by the side of the road. Pull the tube, it’s done. Let Kyan get on to his porn career, Ted to restaurant reviewing, Thom to private practice, Carson to greatness and Jai to making eye contact.
Inside the Actor’s Studio- even with Lipton’s ass kissing interview style they’ve had some moments, but when you’re fawning over the cast of Will & Grace (and actually having them answer the questions “in character”!) it’s time to pull the plug. Tobey Maguire/Will Ferrell’s interview with Dustin “Screech” Diamond sketch on SNL is gonna come to pass.
Saturday Night Live- too many sharks to count. Weekend Update has its moments but the The Daily Show does it so much better, so much more intelligently and for thirty minutes four nights a week rather than for 10 minutes once a week half the year. Go away.
Primetime Live and its clones: it’s not that they’re a bad idea in and of themselves, but there are 32 of them. They can’t all be interesting. I don’t give a damn about Jennifer Wilbanks eyeballing the camera for sixty minutes, and she’s about as hard hitting an interview as they get.
Can I use an entire genre? If so,
Twenty-Four Hour News- I honestly think it’s the worst thing ever to happen to media. The scrounging to fill the airwaves by interviewing Valerie Holloway’s mother time after time after time when there’s been no development or replaying segments from one channel to the other all day long or having the most controversial talking head or whatever- enough already! A few good hours per day would be far preferable to the however-many-hundreds of hours are now on through CNN, CNBC, CNN2, FOX, MSNBC, etc etc.
Some dead sitcoms that oulived their expiration date are covered in this thread.
Ok, I’m a complete idiot too, then. I totally agree. I really liked Lost in the beginning, “But now we’re getting that jerked-around feeling”; I couldn’t have put it better myself. The kid gets kidnapped by pirates? The evil numbers are on the side of the hatch room? The season ender brought the word “contrived” into an entirely new realm.
Actually, looking back over that list, I agree with her about all ten. I mean, if “My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance” wasn’t the shark-jumping knell of reality TV, I don’t know what could be.
Cool, I’m a complete idiot and I’m beyond redemption, because I agree with that, too. I loved Buffy in the beginning, it was a cool show. But I stopped watching around season 4, it just became, well, “forced” is a good word for it. They had nothing new to say, so they just went for artificial shock, like that abomination of an episode that was the death of Buffy’s mom.
I agree. There’s a difference between “past its expiration date” and “past its prime, but still well worth watching,” and post-Diane Cheers was still good TV.
Sampiro, Saturday Night Live has certainly had its ups and downs, but if they’d pulled the plug on it every time it looked like it had run out of steam, we’d have missed some very funny stuff. Even if the show hits rock bottom (and some would say it already has, more than once), there’s still a chance for new cast members or writers to come along and breathe new life into it.
Spending time with CNN International during a visit overseas recently reminded me just how much of a tawdry circus US cable news has degenerated into. CNNI actually runs stories, even followups on stories, with correspondents reporting in from real places, not just one analyst after another racking up Q-points for his or her next book deal. And the dead-horse missing-person or legal-handicapping stories just don’t make it on.
I might also point out that US cable news is “24-hour” only in the sense that there’s one person at a desk during the wee hours, who’s there just in case some real news happens. Otherwise they’re there to reinforce what the network considers “the” big stories, whether there’s news or not. The bulk of overnight is of course reruns of primetime.
I have no doubt the public would appreciate and tune in to old-fashioned, hard-news coverage. At this point, however, the networks are too much in the pocket of Big Media to be anything but formulaic revenue-maximizing machines.
Sorry, but News Radio bit the dust after the unfortunate death of Phil Hartman. Jon Lovitz sucks anyway, but he made that amazing show completely unwatchable.