Shows that still got it and shows that lost it (like Lost) [by will]
It’s just a fact that season by season the vast majority of shows go downhill. Sometimes TV shows age and improve like wine. The percentage of shows that actually do this, however, is probably comparable to the small minority of beverages among thousands that DO improve with age. I’m stuck at only wine… any help here? These shows are so rare that I can’t think of any right now.
So why is it that most shows start to suck after the first few seasons? Well, one of my theories is that starting a new show is like starting a new relationship. You’re in it for that initial chase, and it’s fun to learn about this person (or characters). Once they’ve been around for a while you can re-evaluate this person to see it’s working out or not. And if it’s not, well, that ends that. Probably the more prominent and realistic theory I have is that writers just run out of ideas. Most TV shows that actually make it are probably only GOOD ENOUGH to last one, two, or maybe three seasons. It’s sad to see a show you once enjoyed being helplessly butchered, but that is the way of things.
There is, however, a third status of TV shows. If they aren’t dying, and they aren’t improving, they’re staying consistent. Shows that are remaining consistent are probably the shows that you’ve been watching for years that you still get pumped up for every time there’s a new season. Shows like The Sopranos or Seinfeld, for instance, are shows that maintained their quality.
Now that we’re still in January and the TV holiday hiatus is coming to an end, now is as good a time as any to discuss shows that are still on air that are going strong and shows that aren’t. If you’re thinking of picking up a new show with your Netflix, I’ll list my personal recommendations and opinions on six shows I care, or once cared about.
Still got it: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Take this one with a BIG grain of salt since I’m not entirely up to date. I was late on the ‘It’s Always Sunny’ train as I just started watching it episode by episode in December. I’ve seen all but the most recent season (which I actually heard is a little worse, but I can’t confirm/deny) but through the first three seasons, the show is hilarious. It’s gotta be saying something about the quality of a show if it usually has me laughing BEFORE the episode title card even appears.
Curb Your Enthusiasm – There’s no doubt in my mind that this isn’t the funniest show on television today. It is. I don’t care if you loved or hated Seinfeld, there’s no reason not to appreciate Curb. When I first started watching the first season, I felt more uncomfortable by the awkward situations Larry got himself into than amused. But that’s because Curb isn’t a show you instantly ‘get.’ You need to watch a few episodes to understand Larry and his personality. Once you’re a few episodes deep into this series… you’ll be hooked. Larry David and his writers are genius. If you have a sense of humor, watch this show.
Dexter – This is my favorite show. After three awesome seasons of Dexter, there’s no remote indication for decline. If you appreciate complex characters (Tony Soprano anyone?), then this is a series for you. It’s extremely well written and well acted, and the main character’s (Dexter’s) voice over is always great and allows you to step inside his head. The head of a serial killer. As it’s a show about a blood spatter expert for the Miami police department, you gotta expect some violence and gruesome themes. If you like, or can handle, a dark show… this is a must-watch.
Lost it: Lost: It’s really a shame. The first season of Lost is some of the best television I’ve ever seen. I could re-watch entire episodes back to back and still be entertained. The second season was a well-done and worthy supersession (is that a word?) to the first season. Not quite as good, but nearly there. By the time the third season began… thing were getting grim. The fourth was an atrocity. The sad thing is, I’m so vested in this show that I’m probably going to watch it until it’s off the air. Plus, it’ll be hard to sink lower than it is.
Heroes: I never wanted to watch this show to begin with. It just seemed like an X-Men ripoff. A few of my friends were highly recommending it to me, so when I finally got around to watching the first season I was expecting mediocrity. I was wrong. The first season was amazing. Really an entertaining show with so much promise. Unfortunately the second season wasn’t able to keep up. I gave the third season a chance since the second was held short by the writer’s strike, but after just finishing it… this show is now dead to me. I refuse to watch it when the new season starts. Dammit Hiro Nakamura, you take something good, and you spoil it.
The Office: Alright, stop being offended. I realize that a lot of people might disagree with me on this. First of all, The Office isn’t a BAD show. It’s just gone downhill progressively since the second season. (Save Andy Bernard who is the best) Secondly, unlike Lost and Heroes, I’d still recommend this show, but know that it’s on it’s way out. If you turned on this show having never seen it before and watched an episode, you’d say to yourself, “Gee, who in this show isn’t in a relationship with someone else in the office?” It’s taking away from the simple way things used to be when 90% of the conflicts in the show center around relationship issues. This is a comedy show not a drama. It’s still funny, but plot-wise, man they need to kill off some characters or something to get this show back to the way it was.