Falling Out of Love…With a TV Show

It’s happened to the best of us. We find something we really like, fall for its charms, stick by it even when others say bad stuff about it, and then the day comes that you realize it just wasn’t what you thought it would be – your relationship with your favourite TV shows can end up being heartbreaking. As a TV addict, I have a number of shows that I LOVE and a whole lot more shows that I really like. Now, regardless of the degree of adoration, it hurts all the same when a TV show I regularly watch starts losing its way or begins to disappoint me with its quality, or possibly worse, bores me. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I watch SO. MUCH. TV, but I seemingly have a certain standard to what I want out of my TV shows (except for when I don’t – I know that makes no sense, just roll with it). It was made all the more clear after I came back from a two-week vacation. As soon as I got back, I started working on the backlog of TV shows I had missed while I was away. It dawned on me not only the extent to which my TV obsession lay, but I also couldn’t believe what shows I was still watching that I should’ve given up a long time ago.

Quitting a show that I once loved to watch isn’t anything particularly new. Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars – shows that are still on the air that I have pulled the plug on for some time. A lot of times, once I start feeling the inclination that things are going south, I still finish out their current season in the hopes that they will renew my interest by the finale. Let me tell you, that hasn’t happened. Only Glee has been able to reel me back in for a couple episodes after I decided to break up with it – namely the Cory Monteith tribute (for how they were going to deal with his passing) and the 100th episode (just to see the returnees). Otherwise, once I made the decision to stop watching a show, I stopped.

Things get a little more complicated for shows that I know for a fact are ending. I binge-watched Dexter halfway through its run, after hearing pretty great things about it. It was really good but somewhere between the end of season 5 and the entirety of season 6, I wasn’t so sure. Religion’s an iffy topic for me, and with S6 being so focused on it, the show started losing me. The final minute of S6 kept me going for S7, which was an improvement on the previous season, and then knowing that S8 was going to be the last I figured I would just finish it off. I kind of regret that decision now, knowing how they decided to end things. True Blood is heading into its seventh and final season, and as I sit here, I’m still debating whether or not I care enough to watch how it all ends.

Anybody still watching or anticipating the new season?

Anybody still watching or anticipating the final season? For the record, S7 premieres June 22nd.

At the beginning of this year, when the mid-season shows began premiering, that was when my epiphany (of sorts) came to me. It started with the return of The Following – a show that while very flawed, I very much enjoyed its first season and cared enough about it to go to its SDCC panel. That panel gave me hope that they had fixed their issues and were going to come back better and stronger to prove those naysayers wrong. I lasted about six episodes before I called it quits. The show started feeling like it was going to be repetitive and going in circles until the time comes at the end of the series where (SPOILER ALERT?) Ryan Hardy finally kills Joe Carroll for good and frankly, I don’t have the energy to follow along. The same can be said for Revenge, which needs an end date so the writers/producers can work towards it, because again, it’s a big cat and mouse chase right now. Sure, they’ve made great improvements over the convoluted mess of season 2, but I’m not sure it has all been enough. There are only a few episodes left, so I’ll finish it off, but if the show returns for a fourth season, I’m not coming back. I stopped caring about it and realize now that I probably should’ve stopped watching it this time last year.

L-R: James Purefoy (who made a "surprise" appearance), Valorie Curry, EP Marcos Siega, Kevin Bacon, EP Kevin Williamson, Shawn Ashmore

Oh how quickly things change – less than a year ago, sitting in Ballroom 20 at SDCC to excitedly hear about S2 of The Following. Now? Got bored with it.

While catching up on the shows I missed while I was away, not to mention knowing all the shows that were premiering April, it kind of made me realize that there are some shows I watch mostly because they are part of the pop culture zeitgeist and thus as a pop culture fan/enthusiast I have a weird sense of obligation to stay on top of what’s “in” or “popular.” The purpose of that run-on sentence is to say that, when it comes to shows like Scandal and Game of Thrones, I’m quite conflicted on how I truly feel. When I first heard about Scandal, I thought it was an intriguing premise (and definitely a departure from the medical shows we know of from Shonda Rhimes). I binge-watched the first season on Netflix and caught up with S2 part way through, before I was able to watch it week to week. I loved that they were going all out with the writing, giving a cliffhanger pretty much every week, just burning through stories, and then there was this soapy quality to it that made it almost like a guilty pleasure. Partway through this past season, I started thinking that everything I loved about the show was turning into the things I didn’t like about it. They keep raising the stakes so much and are so focused on giving “OMG” moments in EVERY regular episode (so that people will want to talk about it on social media), that the finale fell a little flat. Really, how long can they continue going at high speeds before they start to crash and burn? For all intents and purposes, Game of Thrones really does appeal to me with the fantasy, almost medieval genre that it is. What I came to realize over the years though is that while I do enjoy watching the show, my retention of what actually happens during an episode is remarkably low. So much going on, so many characters to keep track of, I’m at a point where I’m ready to stop, and not because it’s bad, just that I’m not that into it.

TV is super competitive these days; I get it. I also know that I can’t watch everything, particularly live or same day, because that’s just ridiculous. Plus, some shows – regardless of rave reviews by critics and the general population – just aren’t for me. As the regular TV season winds down, I’m preparing myself to cut ties with a lot of shows, be it through network cancellation or by my own accord. After all, come September, there’s probably going to be some new shows for me to obsess over and not have time for.

So friends/readers, how many of you have had to stop watching a show because it simply wasn’t the same as it used to be? What other things factor into your decision to break up with a show?

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Upfronts 2012: ABC Announces Schedule for 2012-13 TV Season

Broadcast networks upfronts day 3 – on board for today is ABC. The network renewed most of its current slate, while picking up a total of 9 pilots – 5 dramas and 4 comedies. Like last season, ABC continues to try their hand at different types of shows, particularly on the drama side.

    • 666 PARK AVENUE [Drama – Sundays @ 10]: Without a doubt, one of the pilots that I am most looking forward to. Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor play a young couple taking up the opportunity to manage the titular ominous building, owned by Terry O’Quinn and Vanessa Williams. With an address like that, nothing is definitely as it seems and supernatural forces come into play. The cast alone (which also includes Robert Buckley and Helena Mattsson) makes me want to watch it. But then you have executive producers Matthew Miller, Leslie Morgenstein, Gina Girolamo, and Alex Graves, who have come from shows like Chuck, The Vampire Diaries, and Fringe (ie. some of my favourite shows)? SOLD. Allow me to slightly fangirl here…SO. DAMN. EXCITED.
    • HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE [Comedy – Midseason, Tuesdays @ 8]: Well ain’t that a mouthful of a title (and we thought How I Met Your Mother was long). Sarah Chalke stars as a single mom, who moves back in with her parents after a divorce. I think Sarah Chalke is pretty cool so I’m willing to give the show a try, but I really do wish they come up with a shorter title.
    • THE NEIGHBORS [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 9:30]: First of all, it took all of me to spell “neighbours” the American way. Anyways, the show is about the Weaver family who just moved into a gated community called Hidden Hills. They soon learn that their oddball neighbours are actually aliens. Yes, aliens…because clearly, ABC hadn’t learned their lesson from Cavemen. I highly doubt this one’s going to last.
    • NASHVILLE [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Focusing on the country music scene, the show follows Connie Britton’s Rayna James, a successful star in country music who is losing popularity, and Hayden Panettiere’s Juliette Barnes, an up-and-comer. As usual, I’m always up for some more music on my TV screen. I’m not usually a country music fan, though I am fascinated by it, so hopefully this show turns out well.

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    • LAST RESORT [Drama – Thursdays @ 8]: Taken straight from Entertainment Weekly, the show is about “a U.S. nuclear sub crew refuses orders to fire their missiles and escapes to a NATO outpost and declares themselves the smallest nuclear nation.” Yeah, there was no way for me to explain it any other way. I’m kind of interested in the show based on the cast alone (Andre Braugher, Scott Speedman, Autumn Reeser), but I’m not so sure if I’m going to like this. I’ll probably watch the pilot episode, at the very least, just to see how all this gets played out, and then I’ll make judgment from there. However, this timeslot hasn’t particularly been kind to its former occupants in the past few years, so it’s going to be a tough one.
    • MALIBU COUNTRY [Comedy – Fridays @ 8:30 starting November]: Country music singer Reba returns to television in this new series, playing a woman who moves from Nashville to Malibu with her kids after she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. I somewhat enjoyed her last TV venture, but I don’t think I’ll go out of my way to watch this show. It doesn’t seem like my type of show.
    • ZERO HOUR [Drama – Midseason]: Anthony Edwards plays a publisher of a skeptics magazine, who gets pulled into a big conspiracy of his own when his wife is abducted. Sounds interesting to say the least, plus Scott Michael Foster (aka Cappie!) is in it too!

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  • RED WIDOW [Drama – Midseason]: Marta Walraven (played by Radha Mitchell) discovers that in order to protect her family and uncover the truth of her late husband’s death, she must take on her husband’s former role as part of an organized crime syndicate. I think this is another one of those “we’ll have to wait and see” to really decide whether it is worth my time or not.
  • FAMILY TOOLS [Comedy – Midseason, Tuesdays @ 8:30]: Kyle Bornheimer stars as Jack Shea, who takes over his father’s handyman business. Bornheimer seems like a funny guy, but he just hasn’t found the right project yet, maybe this will be the one to turn it around for him.

Other notable changes in the schedule:

  • Revenge moves from its current Wednesday slot to Desperate Housewives former slot @ 9 on Sundays. I actually don’t mind the move at all because that means ABC’s got me for the entire night on Sunday. Once Upon A Time, Revenge, 666 Park Avenue = perfect Sunday night.
  • Last Man Standing moves to Fridays @ 8, pairing it perfectly with Reba’s Malibu Country (even though I don’t watch LMS and I don’t really intend on watching MC).
  • Unsurprisingly, following NBC moving The Voice‘s Tuesday telecast to 8, ABC has also moved the Dancing With the Stars results show to 8.  While we’re on the topic of DWTS, it was announced that next season will be an all-star edition, featuring fan-favourites from past seasons.
  • Happy Endings and Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 are now paired up on Tuesdays following the DWTS results show. Seriously, how perfect is this pairing?
  • Body of Proof is being held off until midseason.
  • Cougar Town has officially moved to TBS for next season.

All in all, I must say ABC has done some good things to its schedule for next season. They’ve made some pairings and line-ups that should really work out in the long run. For a complete look at what the schedule will look like and a more detailed description of the new shows, head on over to Deadline.

Tomorrow, it is CBS’ turn.

Favourites of 2011

It is December 31st, last day of 2011 – I’d say it’s about time I do my favourites list for the year.

FAVOURITE ALBUMS

  • Adele – 21: This was Adele’s year, you can’t argue with that. I had already liked her from her debut album, but her sophomore effort made me a bonafide fan. Not to mention, hearing her perform live is absolutely INCREDIBLE.
  • Kelly Clarkson – Stronger: Right, because Kelly Clarkson comes out with a new album and I wasn’t going to put it among my favourites? HA! I don’t know what to really say about Kelly Clarkson. She has always been one of my favourite artists, and with each album she releases, there’s a quality about them that makes you connect to it. ‘Stronger’ is no exception; I’ll be listening to it well into 2012.
  • Matt Nathanson – Modern Love: Funny thing about Matt Nathanson, I didn’t really listen to his music before. I mean I had his music on my hard drive but I didn’t listen to it all that often to consider myself a fan. Then I went to see him in concert before his new album got released and now I listen to him all the time. And I saw him in concert a 2nd time, and hopefully a 3rd time in 2012 when he opens up for Kelly Clarkson’s tour. ‘Modern Love’ is just a really good album, with great songs and lots of memories.
  • Lady Antebellum – Own the Night: Last year, I talked about how I loved Lady Antebellum’s song “Need You Now.” This year, my appreciation for them went up another level with their latest album. I’ve never been a big country music fan, but I really love ‘Own the Night.’ It’s an album that definitely has that crossover appeal, but not so much where it’s like Taylor Swift (not that there’s anything wrong with Swift.)
  • The Script – Science and Faith: Technically, this album got released in late 2010 but that was only in Europe. Us North Americans didn’t get the album  until early 2011, so it makes the cut. They pretty much took what was great about their first album and did it again, with bigger hooks.
  • James Morrison – The Awakening: A three-year wait for this follow-up of ‘Songs for You, Truths for Me’ seemed like AGES, but totally worth it. James Morrison just does not disappoint.

FAVOURITE MOVIES

Admittedly, I didn’t see that many movies this year, especially in theatres, and so I’ve been catching up as they’ve gotten released on DVD (or I watched it on the plane during my vacation). I’m sure this list would’ve been more extensive had I seen more movie, but this will do.

  • Crazy Stupid Love: Cast alone – Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone – I’m pretty sure we were guaranteed a good movie experience. Also, let’s not forget the line that hooked us all – “It’s like you’re photoshopped!” What could’ve easily been a cliche-filled chick flick, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ was everything a romantic comedy should be –  a comedy about love with a lot of heart.
  • Like Crazy: Saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival, and absolutely loved it. It’s a heartbreaking story about 2 people who are trying to keep a long-distance relationship alive, and all these obstacles that come with their situation. You might’ve seen something like this portrayed in other movies, but not in the same way that it was done here. Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin made you believe every moment, every struggle. It felt so real, you forgot you were watching a movie.
  • Midnight in Paris: A Woody Allen movie that seemed to appeal to a much wider audience. I myself can’t even pinpoint exactly why I liked the movie so much. It could’ve been the whole modern look at the 1920s and the culture of the 1920s, mixed along with the fact that it was set in Paris, which has its own magical quality to it.
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene: After hearing such great things about it from Sundance, when I found out they were playing it at TIFF, I knew I had to go see it. I remember after seeing the movie, not knowing exactly how I felt about, which I think is what makes it such a good movie. It’s a different kind of movie. It’s sort of a psychological thriller but not. It kept you on edge. Also, Elizabeth Olsen is a wonder playing the title character(s). She’s definitely got a bright future ahead of her.
  • The Adjustment Bureau: A smart sci-fi type of thriller. From beginning to end, the movie hooks you. Although I must admit from time to time, I did compare the movie to a mix of ‘Fringe’ and ‘Monsters, Inc. ‘ (the Bureau is like the Fringe Observers, and get around town using doors like the monsters from Monsters, Inc.).
  • X-Men First Class: With the exception of January Jones, the rest of the cast was great. Going back to the beginning of the X-Men storyline was a breath of fresh air in the series.
  • Super 8: J.J. Abrams. Steven Spielberg. Alien invasion type movie. Do you really need more? Yes? Well, how about the fact that the movie is carried by a group of kids and it works? Kids acting that well at that age just make the rest of us look bad. Oh well, still a really good movie.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2: This list wouldn’t be complete without Harry Potter. It’s the end of an era! And there’s nothing else to say about it.

FAVOURITE TV SHOWS

  • Nikita: The show was good when it started and slowly found its footing getting to its winter finale in 2010. When 2011 came, the show came back kicking ass. I was already a fan, but I became an obsessive nerd about the show, always on the lookout for where they were filming in hopes of meeting Maggie Q and Shane West. I hope that despite its Friday timeslot, the show continues to thrive and be picked up for another season because I can’t imagine a Nikita-less TV world.
  • Once Upon A Time: They got me hooked at the mention of fairy-tales. Fairy-tale characters cursed to live their lives as normal people, with no recollection of their other life? Genius. Obviously, the trick is balancing the fairy-tale world with the real world, and so far it’s working.
  • Revenge: I figured I would like this show when I first heard about it/saw previews, I didn’t realize how much I would love it. ABC bringing back the primetime soap? Good call. Emily Van Camp is wonderful in her role as Emily Thorne, out to get payback for her father. Madeleine Stowe as Victoria Grayson is flat out perfect. Twists, turns, backstabbings, cliffhangers – the show’s got it all.
  • Happy Endings: So many shows have come and gone, trying to do the whole comedy about a group of friends, which inevitably lead to being compared to ‘Friends,’ yet somehow ‘Happy Endings’ stood out. The hook of the show was that 2 within the group were getting married but then Dave gets left at the altar by Alex, and the friends trying to deal with having to pick sides. But the show’s grown so much from that. They still bring up the Dave-Alex relationship here and there, but the show is now really about this group of friends. Also, they have endless amounts of pop culture references which is really all I need to stay tuned!
  • Hart of Dixie: Regardless of the fact of whether you believe Rachel Bilson as a doctor or not, this show is so full of charm. With a cast that includes Rachel, Scott Porter, Wilson Bethel, Jaime King, and Cress Williams, the chemistry is endless. Once you start watching, you can’t help but like it.
  • How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Community, So You Think You Can Dance, Modern Family, The Vampire Diaries: Because I still really love these shows, and there’s nothing else to say about it.

Upfronts 2011: ABC Releases Its Schedule for Next Season

As Upfronts Week continues, today we get ABC’s planned schedule for the next TV season. In total, the network picked up 13 shows: 8 dramas and 5 comedies. Here’s a rundown of the new shows and where they’ll sit in the new schedule:

  • Last Man Standing [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8]: Starring Tim Allen, the show revolves around a “man’s man” who finds his life being dominated by women and attempts to put men back into their  “rightful place in society.” I know Tim Allen coming back to television is kind of a big deal, but they couldn’t give him something better? A show about men trying to dominate society because they now feel threatened by women? Come on, what year is this? And I know it’s a comedy but still.
  • Man Up [Comedy – Tuesdays @ 8:30]: Three guys wonder about what it really means to be a man in today’s world. Really? I think the only thing I find hilarious in all of this is that the network is showing 2 comedies about being men, right before they air the DWTS results show.
  • Suburgatory [Comedy – Wednesdays @ 8:30]: A single father with a teenage daughter decides to move from NYC to the suburbs, much to her horror. If done right (meaning not playing on the stereotypes of city life + suburb life for too long) this could work very well with the current Wednesday night comedy lineup. Although I’m still a little pissed they cancelled Better With You.
  • Revenge [Drama – Wednesdays @ 10]: Supposedly a female and modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, the show stars Emily Van Camp as a woman who moves to the Hamptons to get revenge on the people who ruined her family. Also stars Connor Paolo from Gossip Girl (guess we know where Eric won’t be next season…) The show sounds intriguing to say the least and I love a good mystery thriller, so we’ve got something here.
  • Charlie’s Angels [Drama – Thursdays @ 8]: Without a doubt one of the more high profile shows of the new season, we get a reboot/adaptation(?) of the original Charlie’s Angels series, produced by Drew Barrymore (who of course brought the Angels to the big screen.) For the brand name alone, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people will tune in to the premiere at least and figure their interest from there. And anyways, I’m all for girls kicking ass on TV. But Thursdays? As if my Thursdays aren’t packed enough. Although, if CW does the right thing and renews Nikita for a second season and keeps it in its current timeslot, that would certainly make for a totally awesome 2 hour block of television.
  • Once Upon A Time [Drama – Sundays @ 8]: Similar to NBC’s new show Grimm, we’ve got another show where we are to believe that fairy tales and fairy tale characters exist in our world. Both similar in the fairy tale aspect, but obviously their takes on it will be different. Question is will viewers watch both shows despite similarities? Or will one prevail over the other, which I feel might be the case? I mean we’re not talking about the same issue as True Blood vs. The Vampire Diaries, which really isn’t an issue but just a matter of comparison’s sake. TVD is on CW, mainly for teens; TB is on HBO, for older audiences – there’s little overlap, unless you’re someone like me who does watch both. But both Once Upon A Time and Grimm are broadcast network shows, and they’re more than likely aiming for the same type of viewers. At this point, I think I’ll give both a shot, but ultimately, I’m sure I’ll be choosing one over the other.
  • Pan Am [Drama – Sundays @ 10]: A 1960s-set soap following the pilots and flight attendants of Pan Am Airlines. People are looking at this as broadcast network’s attempt at a Mad Men type of show. Doesn’t really interest me all that much, not sure why.
  • Good Christian Belles [Drama – Midseason]: Leslie Bibb stars as Amanda, once a “mean girl”, who moves back to her hometown after a scandalous divorce. Amanda’s a different person than she used to be, but will her former classmates accept her now? The idea of Leslie Bibb (who I still love from her days on Popular) and Kristin Chenoweth (who is just awesome, let’s be real) in one show is more than enough reason for me to watch.
  • Missing [Drama – Midseason]: Ashley Judd plays Becca Winstone, a mother who finds out her son has disappeared while studying abroad, and is now on a mission to find him. To me, this sounds like the movie Taken, but with gender reversal. It’s another one of those shows where I feel like how long could this possibly go? Once she finds her son, it’s end game. It’s like Prison Break – the broke out of prison after season 1, and yet somehow the show went on for an additional 3 seasons. But who knows? They could do like Lost and give this whole mythological background to it and her son was missing for a reason, and so on. Could be interesting, but I feel like I could lose interest real fast too.
  • The River [Drama – Midseason]: A wildlife expert/TV personality goes missing in the Amazon, and his family, friends, and camera crew go on a hunt to find him. Meh.
  • Scandal [Drama – Midseason]: Another show from Shonda Rhimes, this one revolves around the lives of a group of crisis management consultants. For one thing, at least its not another medical drama from Rhimes. Personally, I’m intrigued by the idea of crisis management, so the show might be worth giving a shot. I’m just afraid of the show getting too soapy.
  • Apartment 23 [Comedy – Midseason]: A show about a Midwestern girl moving to the big city, who is then forced to share an apartment with a party girl of a roommate. The whole odd couple thing is always fun, plus add to that James Van der Beek playing a caricature of himself? I think we’ve got ourselves a winner here.
  • Work It [Comedy – Midseason]: Two guys can’t seem to find a job, so they decide to dress in drag and get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Again, really?! I’ve got a feeling that this won’t last long.

Other scheduling news:

  • Cougar Town has been pushed to midseason. Happy Endings will take its 9:30 slot on Wednesdays.
  • Extreme Makeover Home Edition moves from Sunday to Fridays @ 8.
  • Officially Cancelled Shows – Better With You, Brothers & Sisters, Detroit 187, Mr. Sunshine, No Ordinary Family, V, Off the Map

ABC’s new shows are definitely a mixed bag. Many of the dramas show a lot of promise, the comedies not so much. But of course, we’ll just have to wait and see. Tomorrow, we get CBS’ schedule for next season.