When To Stop Watching That TV Series

seriesThere are many series that I’ve watched and loved from beginning to end. Breaking Bad is the multi-season series by which all current series will be judged. I also loved all of House MD (although as a nurse I did get tired of the same rare diseases and treatments all the time, and the laughable notion of a doctor transporting a patient to the omnipresent MRI scanner. I don’t think anyone left that hospital without an MRI. But this is not about our one- or two-season loves (Firefly, Smash) or even the ongoing fabulous shows (Walking Dead, Sherlock, Doctor Who). It’s about those series that went on for years, but one year – usually the first or second episode of the season, a majority of the viewers began to recognize the stench of failure. I won’t discuss the reasons why. That would be like trying to explain why the slice of tomato on your hamburger at a restaurant is not a good tomato. But we can all recognize a good slice of tomato and, sadly, a bad slice of tomato instantly.


— Buffy The Vampire Slayer —

I never got to watch this when it was on (I think I was working night shift) but I fell in love with it immediately. My Buffy memories are stained, though, because I watched it too long. Stop at the end of Season 4. After things get really sad, then really stupid.

— Angel —

I know it’s tempting, if you likes Buffy, to try the spin-off. Don’t do it. It’s like watching grass grow.

— Dexter —

What a fabulous concept for a series. And I loved the actors. I had been warned ahead of time to stop watching at the end of Season 7, or possibly even Season 6, but I accidentally hit ‘play’ and watched a few minutes of the first episode of Season 8. Horrific.

— Lost —

This is one of those that was so over-hyped I refused to watch just to be different. Then once I started I loved it. I am a beach addict, and I haven’t been for many years, so just the scenery was enough to keep me watching most day. But don’t watch the final episode. Just don’t do it. It’s the most stupid ending for a series I’ve ever heard, and I was actually angry after watching it. It doesn’t answer any of your questions, so just while the whole rest of the series and make up your own ending.

— Real Housewives of New Jersey —

I’m a die-hard Real Housewives of Orange County fan – I’ve never missed an episode. I thought I’d be the sane way with RHNJ, but I could only stand one season with Melissa and Joe Gorga in the mix. Everything is so much more fake (as if it wasn’t fake enough before).

— Weeds —

There are two viable options here. You can stop at the end of Season 6 if you only want episodes with the original feel of the show. After that it goes in another direction, but I still enjoyed it and I’m glad I watched all the way through.

— Once Upon a Time —

Stop at the end of Season 2. By that time they’ve run out of new fairytale characters to introduce decide to spend a whole Season on the Island of Lose Boys, where Peter Pan is a sociopathic leader of vicious tweens. No thanks, I can go downtown and catch the live version of that any night of the week.

Here’s where you come in and this really gets to be a useful post: Let me know not just if you agree or disagree with me, but why. And tell me about other series you’ve watched and where the Stop sign should go. And if you have watched Mad Men or True Blood please let me know when you stopped! no one seems to agree on exactly when these two shows jumped the shark. I think it was when Don dropped acid on Mad Men, and when Bill declared himself a God on True Blood (but I confess I kept watching for the gratuitous male nudity until Sookie became the Fairie Princess Vampire or WTF ever.)

Hey! watch this . . .

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3 thoughts on “When To Stop Watching That TV Series”

  1. I STILL haven’t finished Lost. Once the flash forwards started happening, I just couldn’t keep up. Maybe we’ll try again (just not the last episode)! That show reminds me of our first apartment, where we watched (almost) the entire series. Happy times 🙂

    1. Yeah, that’s the point when I considered dropping it, too. I spent too much time figuring out “when” they were than what was going on plot-wise.

  2. I only got to the end of season 1 with Once Upon A Time and season 5 with Dexter. And I got half way through the last season of Desperate Housewives before I gave up.

    It always seems to be the shows I absolutely love only make it as far as 2 or 3 seasons and then they get cancelled 🙁

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