Thursday, February 03, 2022

Breaking Up Is(n't) Hard to Do

I don't have time to properly flesh this out -- I'm still taking care of my ailing parents in Arizona. But Damian and I were talking on the phone the other night about the backlog on our DVR since I've been away and it got me thinking about which shows I had watched religiously but then abruptly quit. For normal people, this probably isn't all that unusual -- especially with ones that stay on the air way too long. But I have a bit of OCD -- obsessive completist disorder -- so it takes a lot for me to not see something through. So here are a few that came to mind. Would love to hear from you in the comments if you've ever done this.

P.S. This list will look misogynistic, but in fact it's just the opposite. Most forms of entertainment I enjoy tend to revolve around females -- shocker, I'm gay -- so of course the ones I dropped were also bound to lean that way.  

1. "Better Things" (FX)

Loved everything about Pamela Adlon during her stints on two Louis C.K. shows, so was over the moon when she got her own gig (and I wouldn't have to look at him to see her). First couple of seasons were charming -- I enjoyed that she played a struggling actress and had interesting friends. And while I normally despise shows with children, hers were OK, although the inexplicable dropping of the whole "Is Frankie trans/nonbinary or not" plot was curious. But then suddenly Pamela became so heavy-handed with her wokeness and coolness -- was the fact that the actress playing Frankie isn't nonbinary in real life why she felt the need to drop that storyline? -- that Damian and I, almost like in a scene from a movie, both turned to each other at the end of one particularly cringe-inducting episode and without saying anything, he knew the time had come to cancel the season pass on our DVR.

2. "Younger" (TV Land)

I was completely taken with the premise, yet immediately knew felt that Sutton Foster was the worst part of this series. But with Debi Mazar and Miriam Shor stealing every scene and Nico Tortorella and Peter Hermann providing substantial eye candy -- plus that Darren Star NYC magic -- we generally enjoyed watching this series, even if we found ourselves dreading returning to Liza each week. Then the pandemic hit and I believe there was another season or two but we just never bothered.

3. "Grace and Frankie" (Netflix)

This is a slightly different situation in that I was underwhelmed from the get-go yet I tried to solder on because the pedigree and premise of the show were so good. (I can still remember how excited I was when I first read about it!) Lily Tomlin is one of my all-time faves, but I quickly found myself dreading every Frankie scene because they were inevitably just too much. (And her children were the absolute worst.) Still, I adored Jane Fonda's character so much that I kept watching. But then we got behind a season, which we watched a year later when another was already out. And now I think we're behind two -- including I believe the final season -- yet I've never given it another thought until right now.

4. "Teachers" (TV Land)

I think we started watching this after seeing commercials during "Younger" and it started out kind of cute. (It is based on the web series of the same name by the improv group The Katydids.) Katy Colloton played the Blair Warner type -- always my favorite archetype. (See also: Chase, Victoria.) And I loved that Larry from "Will & Grace" was the principal. But then Season 2 began and one of teachers left -- I'm assuming because she was embarrassed at how bad the writing became, perhaps after running out of all the good stuff they had from the web -- and like "Better Things," Damian knew exactly when to pull the plug, and apparently so did the network. (Ouch.)

5. "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
I don't need to be reminded of the sickeningly misogynistic world we live in, fueled our completely undemocratic Supreme Court. 

6. "Killing Eve" (AMC)
Wanted to love this show -- the two female leads are wonderful. But have never been a fan of violence gratuitous that is played with no ramifications whatsoever. 

7. "Another Period" (Comedy Central)
I adore Natasha Leggero and smiled through Season One. But when it was unexpectedly renewed for a second and third, I never went back. 


"Search Party" (TBS/HBO Max)

OK, this hasn't officially happened yet. But after LOVING the first season -- talk about clever! -- and tolerating the second, the show completely jumped the shark when Cole Escola joined the cast. (Correction: The show technically first jumped the shark in Season 2, but I enjoyed Season 1 so much I was willing to look the other way.) I believe there's a new season out now and I might watch two more seasons of "Grace and Frankie'" before I revisit this one.

"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Ditto for this one, which I am up to date on but find myself dreading each new episode even though I generally like them! New season is coming very soon.

"Euphoria" (HBO)
Please don't make me watch the new episodes.

"Doll & Em" (HBO)

This series lasted two seasons and my inclusion of it here is strictly revisionist -- and a warning to future visitors: Season 1 was enjoyable enough, but I have never seen a worse second season of a promising show than this one. (God, it was unbearable!) What I would give to have NOT watched Season 2.


JimmyD said...

The only one on this list I’ve watched is SEARCH PARTY. I say finish it! You’ll realize that it hasn’t jumped the shark until the last few episodes of this final season. It’s so bat shit crazy!! I just stared at it thinking, “Sure… why not…”
And… the seasons are not very long.

Unknown said...

I had a similar experience with these shows, other than BETTER THINGS (which I admire and enjoy for its innovative/artistic/lyrical story-telling). I did stick with YOUNGER until the end, but didn't find much pleasure in it after the early seasons. I liked every season of SEARCH PARTY less than the previous one (what was clever at first became absurd and unpleasant). I didn't get far into TEACHERS.

Lee4rdg said...

I’ve done that with Search Party, and many others - Survivor, Law and Order:SUV, several HBO shows… I’m so glad you talked about this, because I was afraid I was the only one who did this!

Blobby said...

I found Grace & Frankie to become more and more unwatchable. Honestly, they can 100% do without the horrible storylines that include their ex-husbands. I made it through 2.35 episodes of this current(?) season. I couldn't take anymore.