When Should TV Shows End?: Thoughts of a Concerned TV Fan

When to end TV shows – it’s a topic that gets brought up quite a fair bit. Some shows get cancelled rather prematurely or without notice. Other shows go on for what seems like a REALLY long time.

Last week, when it was announced that NBC’s The Office will be ending after its upcoming 9th season, the topic got brought up again. The Office, while quite successful in the beginning began to falter somewhere between seasons 5+6, and then season 8 was just not there. It led many to question why the show hadn’t just ended when Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left at the end of season 7. Heck, when Carrell announced he was going to be leaving, people were already saying they should end it and wondered if the show could even survive such a big cast departure. So all of it got me thinking (as tends to happens): what other shows on the air right now need an end date? What shows are shockingly still on the air?

SHOWS THAT NEED AN END DATE

[Warning: Spoilers may be ahead if you haven’t caught up on the most recent seasons.]

1.) HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

Don’t get me wrong, I love HIMYM. I’m still a huge fan of the show, even if season 7 was a little iffy for me. But if there ever was a show that needed an end date (like Lost when it was on the air), it’d be HIMYM. Yeah, yeah, it’s about the journey, not the destination – but the journey is going into its 8th season, with no real indication as to when we’re actually meeting said ‘mother’. We’ve gotten breadcrumbs along the way: the yellow umbrella, Rachel Bilson as the mother’s former roommate Cindy, Barney & Robin’s wedding. It’s great and all but I think we can all agree that all people involved in the show need a precise end date to work towards.

2.) PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

It could be a side effect of me growing up or just the fact that I watch too much television, but the teen drama could use an end date. I’ve watched PLL from the beginning and saw it as a guilty pleasure. However, somewhere in the midst of watching this 3rd season, I found myself incredibly bored watching this teen mystery unfold. For some reason, their season splits have made it seem as though the show has been on way longer than it has and one would think that after the reveal that Mona was ‘A’ (or technically, part of an ‘A’ Team) at the end of season 2, things would really kick into gear. Unfortunately, most of season 3 thus far just seems like it was a rehash or like they were cycling around the same prospects of season 1 before revealing that Toby was another member of the ‘A’ team during the summer finale.

3.) DEXTER

I recently caught up on season 6, and at the end of it, all I kept on thinking was: “It seriously took them 6 seasons to get to this point of someone else finding out about what Dexter does?!” I suppose if you put it in perspective, it is the equivalent of 3 seasons on a broadcast network show, which isn’t THAT bad. But 6 seasons with their own story arc and going into season 7 with Deb knowing the big secret, you really can’t help but go “IT TOOK THEM THIS LONG?!” To be fair though, the show was announced late last year to be renewed through an eighth season, and they later announced that season 8 will be the last. So we know the end game is near (sort of).

SHOWS THAT DON’T SEEM TO WANT TO END

Grey’s Anatomy. 90210. NCIS. CSI. Two and a Half Men.

To be honest, I’ve never watched an episode of NCIS and I was never really fond of ‘Men’ so I can’t diss them too much. But seriously, how long have these shows been on the air?! I know, I know…ratings are apparently everything to the studio networks. Though at some point, shouldn’t someone just stand up and say “Ya know, we’ve had a good run. Let’s end the show before we run out of stories to tell, go downhill and start becoming a joke” (or something like that).

BONUS: REALITY EDITION

I love my fair share of reality shows, but even I have to admit that having 2 editions of some shows in one season is starting to take its toll. The Amazing Race. Survivor. Dancing With The Stars. Heck, I’m even so inclined to already include The Voice in here. After watching these shows for SO many years and SO many seasons, I honestly don’t know how the producers of the shows can try to keep it fresh. Obviously I still watch the shows, but I’ve found myself sort of indifferent to what happens, like it’s not as exciting as it used to be. Part of it has to do with casting and who they get to compete, though sometimes you don’t know what kind of “reality personality” you’re gonna get until you start filming. They probably would never do this, but the networks should begin to consider maybe only doing one cycle a season. This is where The Voice comes in and of course, did the opposite and is now airing 2 cycles a season. Just a bad idea…

My general thought is that once a show gets past season 5, talks should be going as to how much longer the show should really be on the air. Yeah, everyone always says on-the-record,  “We’ll keep going as long as the fans and the networks wants us to. We have so many more stories to tell” Let’s be real though, the networks have a bigger say than the fans, and if a show is still bringing in the ratings (and subsequent ad dollars), they’re going to keep the show going until who knows when. Think about it, 5 seasons of a show isn’t bad at all, and do they REALLY have more GOOD stories to tell after that point? Questions to ponder about.

So thoughts on what shows should be given an end date? Which shows are inexplicably still on the air after what seems like forever?

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