TV shows come in three varieties around my house. There are the “never miss” shows like Numb3rs and Supernatural. There are the “I’ll watch if when the mood hits shows” such as Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock and then there’s the “no interest in watching” shows such as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Jersey Shore.
Occasionally, a TV show movies from one category to another and thus we have 4 Shows I’ve Given Up On and 2 I’m Watching Again.
Friday Night Lights
When this show first premiered, it was on my “never miss,” list. I was completely caught up in the emotion of this simple story about a high school football coach and the kids on his team. The unusual camera work and the seemingly ad libbed dialouge made the show unlike anything I’d ever seen before. And where I’d start off laughing, I’d be crying by the end of each episode. I even went so far as to drop a load of cash on an autographed script in a charity auction. Yes, I was a die hard Friday Night Lights fan until the second season.
I didn’t stop watching right away. I tuned in for the first few months but found that the storylines weren’t grabbing me as they used to and so much of it felt like a rehash of what had gone before. Then the show was pulled off the air and moved to Direct TV and that was the end for me. Soon, those Direct TV episodes will be airing on NBC but I’m not looking forward to them. It’s still a good show, but I don’t think they can rekindle the magic of that first season.
NCIS is one of those shows that I’ve wavered in and out of for years. I always enjoyed it when I watched it but I never really made it a point to tune in each week until the second season. I enjoyed the easy banter and natural humor the writers always wove into the weekly mystery. And the storytelling was always top notch. Then things began to change. From the time Ziva joined the crew, I began losing interest. I don’t find her cultural faux pas funny anymore and finding ways to make murder fit into the Navy’s realm has been stretched beyond belief. The few times I have tuned in since tuning out, I felt like I was missing information. In the early years, the episodes stood alone but now I feel they’re bogged down with backstory that I’m not familiar with. It’s funny. NCIS has always been there, chugging along under the radar and maybe this summer, when the rest of my shows are reruns, I’ll tune in to see what everyone is up to.
I remember watching the very first episode of Smallville. It’s hard to believe that was nine years ago. It was a great idea, Superman as a teenager. A coming of age story as both a superhero and a typical teen. I loved seeing him face off against a variety of comic book villains and I forgave them all the stretches that were needed to make the plots work — for five years. After that, things went down hill for me. The episodes felt like they were rehashing the same plots over and over and there was no real sense of danger for any of the major characters. We did get thrown a few curves like Clark’s father dying and Lex and Lana leaving and Jimmy is “the Jimmy” so he’s expendable, too. But seriously, when Jason came back after being shot and falling off a cliff, that was straining credulity even for a series such as this. I’ve popped back in from time to time. I’ve enjoyed the move to Metropolis and I liked the darker storylines that came in last season but I haven’t even turned it on these last six months. I just miss Clark Kent as a high school student trying to figure out how to play football and save the world at the same time.
Quirky is the perfect word to describe this forensic mystery series with a heavy dose of sexual tension. I started watching with the first episode, drawn in by my love of police procedurals and my interest in David Boreanaz (Big Buffy fan!). I was captivated by the unusual twists and turns in the plot, the forensic education I received in each episode and the downright (gotta say it again) quirky nature of the series. While it’s certainly not a comedy, it does have more laughs than your usual crime show but it also has more gore. Early on, the writers established the fact that they deaths would be as unusual as possible and they’ve never failed to deliver on that point. But when you said out to be out of the box, you often have to push the credibility envelope and that’s where the show began to fail for me. It started around the time of that horrendous turn of events with the serial killer Gormogan and it ended with Booth and Bones living out a hallucination in Booth’s brain. I like quirky, but this show hasn’t gotten too quirky and it’s no longer fun.
On the other hand, there are two shows that I gave up on but now have on my “never miss” list, 24 and FlashForward.
I gave up on 24 for much the reason I gave up on Bones – it simply became too wild to believe. They also turned up the violence quotient in a way that made me feel like they were simply pushing it because they could. I can deal with violence that advances the storyline but there was a point where it was the dictionary definition of gratuitous. I stopped watching somewhere in the middle of the fourth season. I tried some of season five and gave up. I skipped Redemption and Seven all together. But now, I’m back and I’m in for the long haul. I came back for Katee Sackhoff and Freddie Prinze Jr but I stayed for everyone else. The whole Dana storyline is incredibly stupid but the show makes up for it with the main plot. Yes, 24 is on my “never miss” list and I’m sure it will stay there for the rest of the season.
FlashForward was a show I was really looking “forward” to watching but failed me a few weeks in. I was extremely impressed and excited by the first episode but by episode three I was lost. I’m not sure why. It may have been on against other shows that I watch or maybe I didn’t give it enough attention, but for whatever reason, I walked out after three. Then I was given the first half of the season DVD to review and I couldn’t believe it! This show is great. The twists keep on coming and I’m a huge fan of stories where you have to figure out how the plot points are going to intersect. Everyone in the cast on this show does an excellent job and now, with the addition of the new bad guys, the stakes are even higher than ever. Sadly, I think they had a few missteps when the show returned last week, but I’m not abandoning hope yet. I’m pretty sure there will be a lot more FlashForward in my future.