CliqueClack TV

Good shows gone bad

It's hard to break up with a show that once gave you everything you could ever want. You think, 'Have we just hit a rough patch? We've been through so much together!' Still, it may be time to pull the plug with these shows that were once really good -- even great -- and now, well ... kinda suck. Join our roundtable discussion.

Do you ever stop in the middle of one of your once-adored shows and think, “Wait. Why am I still watching this again?” And you promise yourself you’ll stop … next week. And you may or may not actually stop.

I’ve been doing this a lot lately. Maybe I keep watching out of habit, or loyalty. Maybe it’s because I’m hoping things will take a turn for the better. Or maybe I’m just afraid of letting go. Because I won’t have my security blanket of shows to fall back on, and I’ll have to start again will all new ones!

Join the CliqueClack team as we discuss those shows about which we just aren’t feeling the same excitement these days.

Rachel: Have we ever done a “Shows that used to be great and now sorta suck” post?

My top choice would be Gossip Girl. It used to be fresh and kind of funny. Now it’s just getting repetitive. The characters have always acted “like adults” — more like overgrown children — but now that they’re not in high school anymore, they just look like people who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions as opposed to kids who can pretend they don’t know any better. Plus all those parties are getting really annoying. I guess the novelty has worn off. I did a post called “Ten thing I miss about Gossip Girl which kind of sums it up.

Deb: Glee is definitely the one for me. I haven’t abandoned a show in a very long time … probably because they all get canceled before I’m done with them. With Glee, I made it 10 minutes into the Christmas episode this season and decided I wanted my self-respect back. I’m embarrassed that my son knew the Glee version of Don’t Stop Believin’ before he heard the Journey classic. We have since righted the planet.

[The Glee discussion, at this point, took off and generated tons of responses from the Clackers … so I told Ivey he could have ‘em for his upcoming post on what on earth happened to Glee. Look out for it!]

Julia: I gave up on a record number of shows this year: Bones (became contrived), Glee (I have written about my feelings) and Modern Family (that has turned into a total snorefest).

An: Can I add in shows that used to not suck, that started to suck and now no longer suck? If so, Smallville is at the top of my list. However, there are shows that I still believe are good, but I no longer have the passionate fervor in watching such as Burn Notice, Psych or Castle.

Chuck: I agree, Smallville did have a nice recovery to wrap things up.

Ivey: Smallville would experience those same type of arcs during a season sometimes, too. They did great premieres and finales (and surrounding episodes), but man they’d get bored midseason. I think I wrote a post about it once.

Rachel: Add Idol to the list of “Good shows gone bad.” It’s just painful! I think Simon’s leaving had a lot to do with it. All the judges are boring softies now. Was it ever good? I think it was … right? … Michael?

Michael: I came in on American Idol during Season 5. I was instantly taken with Taylor Hicks, someone who seemed to “have the music in him” from the very start, his audition. You could see it ooze out of him. Simon didn’t give him a chance during that audition; irony of ironies, he won that year.

We lost Casey Abrams this past week, the only other person I’ve witnessed to “have the music in him” on Idol.

For these two reasons alone I dig Idol.

I’ve expounded on tons of things good and bad about the show, but has it gone downhill? Yes. The introduction of Kara DioGuardi, Ellen DeGeneres, the secrecy in the voting numbers, the continual and constant filler, the craptastic formats, the mind-numbing guests and mentors. Is it still close to my heart? Yes. Because, every once in awhile there is a Taylor Hicks or Casey Abrams that comes out of the woodwork.

Now? I’m keeping my eye on The Voice and its amalgam of formulas that have been pilfered from every game and reality show out there. Amazingly, it’s fresh, engaging and worthy of view. No clue if it could give Idol a run for its money, but remember Idol is an institution that ushered in the format and became the juggernaut it is today, regardless of all the sniping, derogatory remarks and whining folks aim at it.

[Here are two pieces Michael wrote recently about Idol: one describing how the judges don’t really judge anymore, and another after this Wednesday’s show entitled, simply, “The worst episode of American Idol ever.”]

Chuck: I gave up on Idol during the season with Danny Gokey. He auditioned with his friend who was really good but they cut the friend and kept the insane del Toro girl with the crazy laugh and eyes. It became a joke at that point and I never watched after that episode. I got tired of the lazy production of the show as well, with it always running overtime and the producers blaming it on the uncertainties of a live broadcast. Meanwhile, Dancing With The Stars is bringing a live broadcast in on time every week — even when Marie Osmond fainted!

An: Actually, I’ll add Idol to the list of it was good (first 3 seasons), became bad (almost all seasons after 3), became good (the top 20-25 selection process this season) and became bad again (when this season wen into full-blown competition).

Meredith: As my reviews of Private Practice have grown more and more negative,  I’ve come to the realization that I now despise [it] and no longer want to watch it. I’m disappointed that the writers squandered the character of Addison Montgomery and took the quirkiness of some of the other characters and sullied them by saddling them with silly, outrageous and unbelievable storylines. It’s a shame.

Chuck: Another show I watched because it had a lot of humor along with the drama, but then about midway through Season 3 all the fun got sucked out of it, is Brothers and Sisters. Once Calista Flockhart’s character got cancer, the winery was in danger of going belly up, and Rob Lowe’s character became really unbearable, I just had to give up. Even the weekly family dinner scenes got to be too much of the same thing. It stopped being a fun, guilty pleasure.

Ivey: Along those same lines, too, is Desperate Housewives for me. I enjoyed the hell out of the first season, but gave up like an episode or two into the second season, where it lost all of its appeal almost instantly.

Deb: Oh, yes, definitely. Keith and I stopped watching after the second season, which was a bit insufferable but still had its moments.

Chuck: Yeah, I guess I have to agree that they lost something along the way, but I stick with it out of loyalty I guess. The five-year jump was kind of interesting, but they squandered Dana Delaney and now they’re squandering Vanessa Williams. The minute they killed Edie they really lost the humor of the show. Williams’ character could be the new Edie because she can deliver one-liners like nobody’s business, but they still haven’t figured out how to really incorporate her into the core group. Maybe Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman should call it quits this season, as was speculated and denied earlier in the season, so they can bring in some fresh blood and give Williams a chance to shine. Bring in someone younger like Erica Durance to handle more of the funny business and a mysterious older woman to spice things up. I hear Susan Lucci might be looking for work soon.

Tara: *slinking away after reading 60-some comments about shows I actually like*

But seriously. You have to suspend disbelief with Glee. I still stand by the fact that the writing is excellent, and it’s so great to see the “semi-return” of something I loved as a child — the variety show. It’s meant to be fun and often makes fun of itself. The guest stars are a plus also. It’s meant to be light entertainment. As are Idol and Housewives.

*now slinking as promised*

Tara, don’t slink away! And that goes the same for you, readers. We’d love to hear your opinions on this subject. What are some other good shows gone bad? (Feel free to defend your shows, too, if you  disagree with us …)

Photo Credit: The CW / Andrew Eccles

Categories: | Clack | General | TV Shows |

21 Responses to “Good shows gone bad”

April 30, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Sadly, House joined those ranks. It got so dumb, I’m not even sure it’s on the air anymore. I still love Hugh, but once they decided it was a good idea for he and Cuddy to actually hook up instead of torture each other, and once the diagnoses reached the point of ridiculousness that now all you have to do is say LOLAMYLOIDSIS and everyone knows what show you’re making fun of, it’s probably time to hang it up.

April 30, 2011 at 7:49 PM

My favorite is TACHYCHARDIA!

April 30, 2011 at 9:28 PM

This season on Bones has been painful, as I watched the lead character returned to levels of social dysfunction beyond even the first season. You know when your two favorite characters are the pregnant woman and her conspiracy theory junkie husband that something has gone wrong somewhere.

Seriously considering House-cleaning my DVR. Let’s see if Body of Proof can avoid the apparent shortage of rare and difficult to diagnose things that kill. Quincy couldn’t.

I too came into Idol at Season 5, and the contestants this year have been the most entertaining since that season. However, with amazing reluctance, I admit one episode of The Voice has shown me all my discontent with Idol’s process has validity. Maybe it is time for Idol to end on a good season.

I wish I could support you, Tara, but there isn’t another show nominated that I still have on my record list. I quit watching All My Children before Susan Lucci’s second facelift, and Stargate Universe is the first of the Stargate collection to NOT have a single DVD on my shelf. Sadly, some things just need to end.

April 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Many shows I have watched in the past or determined were “not for me” were in the CliqueClack team’s discussion. I have been less hesitant to “break up” with shows this year than in years past.

Sometimes I think my tastes have greatly changed. More frequently I just re-evaluated what I viewed as the potential of a show, and whether the show, fully realized or in its current state, would be satisfying. For me, each of the shows I “quit” this year either declined to or leveled off at a level of quality or consistency lower than necessary to my continued viewing.

– Glee (was it all an illusion?)
– Burn Notice (I miss Sam, and maybe Fiona)
– Big Bang Theory
– The Office
– Modern Family

I’m also on the fence about returning next year for House and Bones. Each of those shows seem to find a way to shake things up at the end of the season, making me look forward to the resolution and continuing action in the Fall. The last several years that momentum has not been sustained. I bet I will get sucked in again; it doesn’t hurt that I like the actors, even when the characters and stories fail.

Thanks for this post. I think arguments can be made that Psych, Chuck and Supernatural are reaching the end of their runs; I almost hope for one last season on those, so we can part amicably.

April 30, 2011 at 10:52 PM

Add “The Office” and — I hate to say this — “30 Rock.” Bones and House became so formulaicly predictable that I stopped watching them. I still love “Modern Family” though.

May 1, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I still love Modern Family too! I have stopped watching The Office and 30 Rock, not really because I started to dislike them, but because there didn’t seem to be enough motivating me to watch. I have about five 30 Rock episodes on the DVR but I haven’t wanted to watch them.

April 30, 2011 at 11:27 PM

I don’t watch too much TV! :o)

April 30, 2011 at 11:58 PM

I admit to loving idol and DWTS. Also, loved and at the same time was driven crazy by LOST and even after saying why do I keep watching this show, was sad when it ended.

May 1, 2011 at 12:14 AM

I’m very perplexed by the couple of anti-Modern Family comments here. The show is still as funny as ever, and I think 30 Rock is still doing funny, creative and sometimes completely surreal and off-the-wall episodes. As much as I enjoy The Middle, the plots are becoming predictable and I wonder how much longer they can continue with the premise, and I fear that Raising Hope, which I love, may fall into the same trap … and what happens as baby Hope gets older?

As for Supernatural, they were only supposed to run for five years so putting together a new arc for the series may have been a little rocky at the start of the season, but I think they’ve recovered and are on solid footing again and I think they have another couple of seasons in them to tell this new story. Luckily, it just got renewed for next season!

May 1, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Implying no precipitous decline in the quality of Modern Family, the show almost started too strong to keep me interested — an admittedly ridiculous criticism. (Though this seems to be the thinking behind some of the MF backlash this season.)

Supernatural is still a hoot to watch, and I will not judge this season before seeing the final three episodes. Still, after saving the world … a lot* … averting an apocalypse or two … and at least twice being stuck between ultimate clashes of good and evil … a final season of development and resolution for these characters would be fine with me. How many times can the world fail to end until nothing more can be learned from the tragic heroes’ journey?

*Some Buffy references, to parallel Mr. McDuffee’s angle in his latest Supernatural post.

May 2, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I am completely unaware of any MF backlash this season. It’s still the number one comedy on TV, no? I’m more disappointed with The Middle falling into a routine – how many times can Sue try out for something and fail – and have not lost any admiration for MF. Maybe because it took me a while to get into the first season before I truly found it to be funny and now, for me, it’s hit its stride.

May 1, 2011 at 12:46 AM

No, not just the first 3 seasons of Idol. No way. I was an off and on watcher of Idol, not that crazy about their pitting contestants that were nothing alike againist each other. Not really my cup of tea. But then there was Season 5 and I saw this guy who could really sing and move and perform and played a great blues harp when he got the chance. It was the Taylor Hicks show and summer tour that year with a great cast of characters. It was magic and they have never been able to get the magic back.

May 1, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Season 5 was the Taylor Hicks Show. After the first few shows of season 6 I have not watched Idol, unless they have Taylor on the show.
Getting tired of DWTS too.

May 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM

I definitely think Taylor was great, but for me the best contestant was and still is Kelly. I felt that the “magic” was back last season with Crystal Bowersox — she was authentic and didn’t seem to really care what anyone thought.

As people have mentioned before, the production seems to have gotten over-the-top cheesy with each passing season. Ryan used to irritate me but I kinda like him now. Still, I don’t know if I’ll watch after this season, especially not if The Voice continues to provide something better.

May 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Another show that was never actually “good,” but which I used to enjoy watching, was The Biggest Loser. Now, I cringe whenever I watch it. It has gotten so disgustingly predictable and dramatic. I can’t stand it anymore. The new trainers were probably brought in to enliven the show and provide more “twists,” but it just turned into an even dumber season than usual. And the product placement is so out of control!!!

May 1, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I didn’t start watching Idol until the very end of Season 2 and I have watched since. The only Idol whose career I follow and who I have any interest in seeing live in concert (with a couple of exceptions) is Taylor Hicks. He had me from the start. You have to admit, he gets your attention. He simply just has it musically and entertainment-wise. If you have only seen him on Idol but not in a live show, you are missing out on some great fun. He is uber-talented, being a great musician, entertainer, and band leader, generously giving props to his band and allowing them to shine individually.

May 1, 2011 at 1:34 PM

House and Bones for sure and the mini pilot for “The Finder” or whatever it will be called proves the writers have no ideas.

All I have to say with House is….


May 1, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Smallville was awful season’s 6-8 and somehow I managed to sit through all of them thanks to the massive holy crap cliffhangers they used to have, but after 8’s awful finale I gave up on it, and then it somehow got good so I had to start back up and play catch up before this season.

House just got boring after the mental hospital episode.

I lost interest in Burn Notice after the new guy showed up.

I may not return to watching True Blood after the mess that was last season.

I considered giving up on The Office after this season, but as long as I don’t find it as awful as Paul Reiser or Outsourced I’ll probably continue to DVR it anyway since I watch all the other sitcoms in its lineup already.

May 3, 2011 at 10:40 PM

I also started watching AI toward the end of Season 2. However the season that “had me” was Season 5. Loved Taylor Hicks! He has not stopped working since AI although some say he dropped off the face of the earth. Want some happiness? Attend a TH concert. REAL DEAL entertainer and musicians. You will walk out smiling!

They stopped putting Taylor’s “poster” up during the auditions – guess they couldn’t remember how many “winners” they had. The year Simon walked out of the room and stuck gum on Taylor’s poster (one of the few seasons it was up)was a total put-down. Nigel was informed that Taylor’s poster was not up again this year. “Why we surely have it up” said Nigel. AH! Watch AI? Not since Season 5. The ONLY time I will ever watch that Nigel Lithgoe charade is if TAYLOR Hicks is on!

May 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I stopped watching “True Blood” in its 2nd season, and have started putting “Bones” on VCR tape to watch someday. I notice that FOX has renewed it, yet several shows, “Chicago Code” and “Human Target”, as examples, are still on the bubble. No wonder basic cable keeps getting stronger. Although I agree with the several comments about “Idol”, many personal friends think that this has been one of its better seasons. They like the depth of the talent this season vs previous ones. The same is true with DWTS, only in the opposite direction, they are running out of “Stars”, and many think its days are numbered.

July 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM

I had kept watching E.R. for years after it got bad, I guess out of loyalty or habit. I finally called it quits, and it continued for years after that. So bad.

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