I am sad. I just realized that Running Wilde has been canceled, making this the third Mitch Hurwitz show to be prematurely killed by Fox, following Arrested Development in 2006 and the lesser-known and even shorter-lived animated series Sit Down, Shut Up in 2008. Some people never learn. Wilde admittedly got off to a rocky, inconsistent start, but it showed promise and was funny in that absurd way mildly reminiscent of Arrested. Besides, I will watch almost anything Will Arnett touches. I won’t mourn it for very long, but this cancellation did get me thinking about shows that have truly reached their expiration dates and should be put out of their misery, along with the poor saps who would otherwise still wish
Yes, I still watch this, cue the shaking of a thousand heads, but judging by the fact that I’ve been writing this post while the latest episode has been playing in the background, it’s obvious that this show’s guilty pleasure flame has fully been extinguished along with its humor, originality, and feminine appeal. The conflicts have been getting recycled for the past two or three seasons, and when they aren’t, the complications the writers think up are embarrassingly outlandish. I mean, how much villainy can take place on the same damn street in a gated community of East Borington, Middle America? I know that’s the schtick here, but it has gotten so seriously old that I’d rather watch Project Runway. The timeline of this show is already so screwed up that current events are supposed to be taking place 10 years or so after the first season’s; let’s not try to go for Desperate Housewives: The Golden Years here.
2. Big Love
It’s hard for me to go back to a time when I thoroughly enjoyed and obsessively followed this show. Over the years it’s been pretty fascinating to observe the evolution of the three “sister wives,” the compelling stories of myriad supporting characters, and sometimes, the humanity of even the vilest of the lot. The high point came circa Season 3, but ever since then I’ve had an increasingly harder time becoming invested in the characters, in large part because the central one, the polygamous patriarch himself, has not seemed to develop past his general blandness. Moreover, driven by Bill’s political aspirations, the complications for his family have shifted from the private to the public sphere, where before, what made the show interesting was its focus on the secrecy of it all and the intricately nuanced questions of morality, freedom, and faith that emanated therefrom. By bringing the Henricksons’s polygamy out in the open this season, the writers have provided nothing more than a deus ex machina device to bring about obstacles and perhaps, in the end, the family’s destruction; I don’t know about others, but I would much rather have seen these relationships unravel from the inside out.
3. The Office
This is actually really difficult because I still enjoy this show a good amount. Still, ever since the whole Jim and Pam will-they-won’t-they mystery has been off the table, we’ve been treated to a gradual decline into sameness over the years. Now that Steve Carrell is leaving and taking the sublime character Michael Scott with him, I have doubts that the Dunder Mifflin gang will retain its viewership and special something that made it one of the great comedy wild cards of the last decade. Let’s not give this show a chance to get stale and accept that it may be time to resign it and allow its successor, Parks and Recreation aka the other NBC documentary-style sitcom, to really flourish.
OK, I’ve never watched an entire episode, but based on what I’ve seen of it on The Soup, this show neeeeeds to end, like, yesterday.
This one is really starting to grasp at straws now, as evidenced by the parade of characters, each of them more attractive than the last, that have made their way on and off the show since its premiere, and I’m not just referring to those few forced and voluntary resignations that take place every now and then. The problem is that the only new thing that ever happens among the Seattle Gracies is sex with someone different, and now that most of the possible couplings have already happened, the producers keep introducing new players to an already numerous ensemble cast in hopes of creating new stories. It’s more than a little desperate. Who the eff is Lucy Fields and why should I care about her… other than the obligatory sob story that every character in a Shonda Rhimes production seems to be walking around with (also see: Practice, Private and Map, Off the)? Since the three central couples are now well-established and happy together, why not just wrap it up neatly and call it a day? Give MerDer a damn baby, Alex a non-crazy girlfriend, and Lexie an age-appropriate boyfriend, and get out with a shred of dignity before it’s too late.
Have I missed anything? What other shows are mercilessly keeping us hooked in spite of our better judgment?