In the last few months, Sam and I have abandoned several TV series we were watching mid-season simply because we had just got bored with the ‘commitment’ they needed. The two most recent examples are ‘Homeland‘ and ‘Downton Abbey‘; The latter we stopped watching after one of the most dramatic episodes seen in some time (Series 4, Episode 3). We were shocked by the episode but couldn’t summon the enthusiasm to sit through more hours of Upper Class moping to see what happens to those suffering more shocking fates below-stairs.
It made me realise that we both, me particularly, lack the patience for hour long series which run for 12 – 24 episodes with no final end in sight. I’ll admit, back-in-the-day, I was an absolute ‘Friends‘ addict. However, I will also admit that the quality of the shows really started to drop as we passed season 6 and headed onwards to the eventual end in season 10. I guess I had slightly more dispensable time back then than; Less housework! Taking something too far can, in my view, ruin a good thing. You only have to look at the ‘Sex and the City‘ franchise to know that pushing it too far can be damaging – the TV series had a brilliant end in series 5 but lured by the big-bucks, it was resurrected for not one but two films. The first was so mediocre that I heeded the poor reviews and gave the second a wide-berth.
Perhaps I am in a minority, but I really wish that the TV industry would stop churning out season after season of a TV show just because it is popular. Of course I know why they do this – money, obviously. But it’s saddening that quality is no longer a consideration. In the last twelve months I have seen several really high quality three-part dramas on the BBC (such as ‘The Escape Artist‘ and ‘The Politician’s Husband‘) which were really worth the time to watch. Instead of just ‘seeing how it goes’ though, the industry starts assuming they will get a die-hard fan base; Afraid perhaps of stars doing a bunk or demanding the Earth, production companies sign stars up for numerous seasons before even the pilot airs. I am told that the stars of ‘New Girl‘ are signed-up for seven seasons…SEVEN! I love season one but felt it was losing it’s edge even a few episodes in to the second.
Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy. Or maybe I value my time and want to spend it on something worth my time and attention. Most likely it’s a bit of both. I do think that the TV industry need to re-consider the concept of ‘ending on a high’ though.