Series Suicide


By Jillian D'Onfro Dealing with the downhill slope of a favorite television show is like taking a swig of ice-cold H2O at the gym only to discover that the bottle was filled with leftover vodka from the weekend before. A final season is far worse when you expected it to be great.

Like an accidental alcoholic mishap, a once-loved show that dissolves into a shadow of its former self leaves even the most devout TV fans with a terrible taste in their mouths. Some indications that a show has jumped, is jumping, or will “jump the shark” include: the addition of a lame new character (or the murder of a crucial one, à la Marissa’s dramatic departure from The OC), the use of stale gimmicks (sending the cast on an outrageous vacation, like when The Brady Bunch took a Hawaiian holiday), a change of writers (RIP witty dialogue upon Amy Sherman-Palladino’s departure from Gilmore Girls), or a pointless relationship (c’mon, Grey’s Anatomy. Ghost sex?). Sometimes, squeezing out that eighth season just isn’t worth it.

The cause of my most painful show-induced depression is the current downward spiral of House. I used to feel guiltless bingeing on five episodes in a row—each one making me smarter. But the last two seasons have transformed the show from edgy medical mystery to typical TV soap opera, with actual cases taking up less than half an episode. For another particularly distressing deterioration, cue the American version of The Office. Recent Thursday night antics from the Dunder Mifflin crew are so over the top that they’ve lost the realistic awkwardness that once made them so hilarious. And screw that stupid baby.

Steve Carell’s last episode was on April 28, and I predict the disappointment will continue as NBC tries to keep the sinking show afloat. Networks need to realize that keeping a struggling series alive for some extra cash disrespects audiences. Instead of listlessly sitting through a show turned to shit, let’s spit out that stale vodka and search for something new.

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