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Breaking Up With A Show Can Be Hard To Do
Why dumping a TV show is a lot like dumping a man
I always hear people ask when you complain about a show why you keep watching it if you no longer like it. Well, depending on the emotional investment you have in the show and its characters, it may not be that easy to kick it to the curb.
It may sound silly but watching a show is a lot like having a relationship with a man. You spend time with them. You get to know them. You become attached to them. So when things start to go bad you hope it's only a minor glitch and it'll get better again. Only it doesn't. It just keeps getting worse and the joy you once got out of it is gone. It becomes a trial to even spend time with them. You even start dreading when it's time to be with them. And that's when you know you need to break up with them.
I've broken up with three shows this year. The hardest one was The Vampire Diaries. I'd watched that for several seasons and the character of Damon was my favorite character. Things had been going downhill since season three. But I kept hoping things would get better. Damon kept me watching longer than I should have. I thought maybe things would get better when Julie Plec left the building and took her Originals with her, but she left in her place a worse hack than herself. When I realized nothing was left of Damon Salvatore. That he no longer even had genuine emotions of his own and everything he felt was filtered through how Elena felt, the character became dead to me. Added to the fact that the new hack in charge was going to resurrect the worst couple to ever be on this show, Stefan and Katherine, and I couldn't stop watching fast enough. I've had a few twinges wondering if I made the right decision but everything I've read only has confirmed for me I made the right choice. This show is a lost cause and will never get back to what it was in the first two seasons when it was really good.
I also broke up with Once Upon A Time. I'd watched it for two seasons, but halfway through the first season I become disenchanted with it. The Lost writers writing in started inflicting Lost disease on it. Lost disease is when an ensemble show is turned into a vanity play propping up one character as the be all and end all of everything. All their rotten behavior is white washed as all the characters are forced to sing the praises of one character. Only on Once it was quadrupled as the Charming family became the be all and end all of everything and all the characters acted like lovesick groupies who would willing die just so they could live and strive. The second season was even worst than the first when they started tearing down their two best characters to prop this loser family up. I managed to make it through to the end of the second season, but when the third season came around I had absolutely no desire to watch it. And I didn't even miss not watching it.
Hostages is the last one I've broken up with. I'd only watched a few episodes. However, when the daughter started defending the kidnappers who killed her boyfriend for killing him and the mother was about to suck face with the kidnapper who forced her to dig the grave for her best friend who they killed and that was it for me. This show was just too toxic to subject myself to a moment longer. I didn't care there was only a few more episodes until the end. I didn't want to pollute myself by watching one more minute of it.
Breaking up with a show may not always mean the end. There's been a few times I've gone back to a show I'd previously broken up with believing things had changed and gotten better. I was lured back into watching Revenge because the toxic monster herself, Emily Thorne, was going to get shot. I'd quit watching because the storylines became ludicrous and watching Thorne going after victims she'd already gotten revenge on was one big bore. But I hoped things might change. That her getting shot meant someone finally found out the truth about her. Only after she got shot things got worse and I couldn't stand the vermin that make up Team Clarke. So it's bye-bye again, only this time for good.
I think with the shooting of Thorne the show had a chance to turn the show around. To make the Thorne character take a hard look at herself and realize she was no better than the people she was targeting. But the writers apparently think because she's supposed to be the lead character of the show is enough so she and her vermin will be rooted for even though they're the real villains of the show.
Lost is another show I dumped halfway through the second season but one I eventually got back together with. It happened because of the writers strike and there was nothing better to watch. It seemed like the show had changed and the show and characters were no longer sacrificed on the altar of Jack Shephard. This time when things started going bad, I stuck with the show since it was it's last season. Even if the show had to be sacrificed to glorify Jack Shephard, I at least hoped that the other characters would get some kind of justice and closure. What happened? The only character to get any closure was Jack Shephard and the rest of them got a big giant middle finger.
When the show's final credits rolled I was filled with such anger that if those two boobs Darlton had been in front of me I would had smashed their heads in with a bat. To this day I won't rewatch the show which I have on DVD. The final season was nothing but a love letter to Jack Shephard and they made it virtually pointless to ever rewatch it again, because they couldn't even be bothered to come up with halfway decent answers to all the mysteries. To say I regret being lured back to this show and staying with it til the end is the understatement of the century.
But as you can see breaking up with a favorite show isn't easy. You can be lured back to it thinking it's changed only to discover it's still the same bad toxic boyfriend you broke up with to begin with. And you can stay in a bad relationship far longer than you should. Bottom line, if a show you once loved is no longer giving you any pleasure, you need to break up with it. It won't be easy, but afterwards all you'll feel is a sense of relief that you're free of it. However, that doesn't mean you won't feel the lure to go back in hopes things have gotten better. And only when you feel no pull left towards the show will you truly be free of it.