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March 21st, 2008


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11:56 am - Insert Obligatory Brokeback Mountain Reference Here
Last night, while washing dishes, I came to the following conclusion:

Come this fall, I really have to quit Prison Break and Smallville.

The reasons for this are numerous:
  1. They are the two worst shows I continue to watch. Why am I wasting hours of my life watching shows that aren't even that good? What am I really getting out of them? I've watched the first four episodes of Deadwood, and they're probably better than all of Smallville. Right?
  2. No one else is watching them anyway! I have embraced television as a social medium, but Prison Break and Smallville don't bring me closer to anyone since no one talks about them. Not specifically and not generally: they're not a big enough part of the cultural zeitgeist to matter.
  3. I don't really CARE what happens to these people anymore! I mean, I kind of do, but that's what recaplets are for. Smallville as filtered through Omar is better anyway.
  4. Prison Break is a problem because my Mondays are getting more and more crowded, and, after seeing an ad in Entertainment Weekly that showed me that Cobie Smulders is stupid hot, I have the urge to finally get into How I Met Your Mother.
  5. Smallville is a problem because my Thursdays are also crowded, even moreso with the Lost move.
  6. There are already a handful of new shows from writers I like (Cupid, Dollhouse, Fringe, Mythological X, The Middleman) that I'm going to want to try out, and new is fun! Everyone likes new shows!
But I'm not good at this, you guys! I've been watching these shows for years, and I'm such an anal completist that it will niggle at me that I'm missing the rest of the story. That it's out there and I'm not getting it. I mean, it's for that reason that I at least have to watch Smallville until the end of the season just to give it a nice close-out point (except they'll probably have some awesome cliffhanger that will reel me back in). I managed to skip most of the last season of The X-Files back in the day, but I've become far more obsessive about my television-viewing habits since then. I don't know how to let go of TV shows! They're long stories! You can't just put a book down in the middle and never come back to it! How do you people do it? I need a support group.

I was able to quit Jericho and Studio 60, but those were new shows I didn't really have an investment in. Normally, I stick with shows to a fault. It's who I am.

But yesterday, I ordered a Threadless T-shirt L instead of XL! And I'm eating fish and seafood! I don't know what I'm changing into! (A MACHIIIIIIINE?!)
Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Current Music: The Bravery - Split Me Wide Open

(78 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


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From:wee_warrior
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
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I've been watching these shows for years, and I'm such an anal completist that it will niggle at me that I'm missing the rest of the story. That it's out there and I'm not getting it. I mean, it's for that reason that I at least have to watch Smallville until the end of the season just to give it a nice close-out point (except they'll probably have some awesome cliffhanger that will reel me back in). I managed to skip most of the last season of The X-Files back in the day, but I've become far more obsessive about my television-viewing habits since then. I don't know how to let go of TV shows! They're long stories! You can't just put a book down in the middle and never come back to it! How do you people do it? I need a support group.

You could try a DVD player first. I'm sure all of PB and SV will inevitably get put on DVD.

Either way, good luck with quitting them, they're worth it... ;)
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From:punzerel
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
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You can just watch them on DVD when they come out - or download them and watch a few episodes at a time when you have a free afternoon.

ALSO, you definitely should be watching HIMYM. Yay!
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
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You can just watch them on DVD when they come out - or download them and watch a few episodes at a time when you have a free afternoon.
Yeah, I feel like this might be a good compromise. Just so I can stop being so...tied to them. I could always mainline the season afterward if I hear it's worth it, or I just can't take Not Knowing anymore. And if I don't have anything else I'm in the mood to mainline at the time.
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From:sneaker328
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
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There are very few shows I have ever watched through to the end. Even my all-time favorite old sitcoms like Murphy Brown, Designing Women, and The Nanny (shut up- it was so underrated) eventually had to be cut off, and it was a quick, clean cut. I've always held that most shows- unless they're so episodic they're almost anthologies, like Law and Order, can't maintain quality past 4-5 seasons. The only shows I forced myself to keep watching despite terrible quality in the later seasons were Buffy and Angel, and that was more to do with an addiction to TWoP than anything else. Part of me really regrets it, because my memories have been tainted, whereas I still hold on to pure, happy memories of X-Files and The West Wing, etc. The only other shows I saw in their entirety were the ones that were cut off during their prime.

Oh, and I'm still watching Scrubs because I zoomed through that entire show in one month and it got bad, but not offensively so. This season so far is better than the previous two had been.
From:ikcelaks
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
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TV-land would be a much better place if there was a five year term limit for serial dramas. Shows would get closure that was actually meaningful, fans wouldn't be dragged along by a sense of hopeless loyalty, and the talented people who make shows good enough to survive past their due date would be freed to work on something exciting, new, and interesting.

Hopefully the play-hard-and-die-young formula of Battlestar Galactica will work out well enough that others are inspired to try something similar, but I doubt it. Not enough people watch BSG and way too many people continue to watch old stale shows.
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From:raelee
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
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You can do it, P-C!! (But I feel your pain... why do you think I'm still watching One Tree Hill despite hating pretty much all of the current storylines?) Even when you don't really care about the characters, it's hard to just walk away from them. Plus, I suffer from the paranoia that I'll give up and two or three more episodes down the line the show will suddenly get GREAT again.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
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EXACTLY. I mean, look at Lost. It's a perfect example of a show that many people were getting frustrated with and dropping...and then in the second half of the third season, it came back with a vengeance, and now it's awesome again. (Lost, however, is part of the cultural zeitgeist.)

(Hell, even Jericho is a good example. Halfway through the first season, it suddenly turned into a good, interesting show I might have liked.)
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From:amadyce
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
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I don't watch Prison Break but I think I know how you feel about Smallville. I don't really like the show much these days though I still have character favorites (i.e, Chloe, Lois, bad!Lana). Seriously, the only reason I'm hanging on is to see the end. What I mean by that is I really want to see the end of the Clark Kent story, as in his transition into the Superman role. I want to see that last season where he gets the job at the Daily Planet, starts to get confused about his feelings for Lois, and makes that change where he decides to take on the supehero role. I know that'll mean the end of the show but at this point I kind of want it to end. And the possible ending sounds more interesting than anything I've seen in the past few seasons.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
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Good God, yes, I've just been wanting it to END forever. And even if I break away from it, I would definitely tune in for the last few episodes, just like I did for XF. Got to see how it ends!

(Chloeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.)
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From:chasethestars
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
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2. No one else is watching them anyway!


I watch Smallville!
Ok, not really and not religiously. I just caught up on this season a few weeks ago, and have fallen behind on the new one(s?) again. I watch it because well, just to see what they do next, but it's not like I'll die if I don't have my Smallville fix. And also 'cause Clark Kent = hot.

I can't wait for Dollhouse! Is that slated for this coming Fall?

Also, have you been to advanced screenings at the Metreon (if yes, how early should one show up?), and are you going to the 21 screening on Monday?
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
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21 screening?? I want to go! Curse you, Film Metro! Do you have an extra ticket? I don't know where people find the physical tickets; I've been getting mine from Film Metro. As for how early to show up, it looks like in San Francisco, people start lining up two hours in advance; I normally get there at least an hour in advance.

And Dollhouse is going into production this summer, I think, but I don't know whether they're giving it a fall premiere or a midseason premiere.
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From:gymble
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
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I think that we need to form a "quitting Smallville" support group. I don't watch it live anymore and that certainly helps (thank you, writers, for making Lana and Lex get married and thus inspiring me to abandon your show for a whole 6 months).

And yes, you should watch HIMYM! It's legend ... wait for it ... dary. Be warned, the first episodes aren't as fantastic as later ones. They're not bad, just more standard sitcom and less wacky and original. Being the compulsively completist you are, I'm sure you'll watch from the beginning, so don't give up too soon.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
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Oh, yes, I will definitely start from the beginning, and I won't give up because I know it must eventually get better.

And we do need to start a support group. I'm going to finish out the season, though, because I can't leave the show at Product Placement Pete and His Amazing Kryptonite Gum.
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From:schnappycat
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
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I actually still watch both for some reason. Especially Smallville--why I still watch that is a mystery. Now that baby is here, I definitely have to cut back. After this season, I have some hard decisions to make. Or I might have to start DLing more.
From:sainfoin_fields
Date:March 21st, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)
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HIMYM! *\o/*

A maCHIIIINE! *\o/*

Quitting a show is not really as scary as all that, Cow. I know you'll feel disoriented at first, but then you'll have this great sense of freedom as you realize you just saved yourself an hour or more of wasted life. And then you'll wonder how you did that to yourself for so long.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
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I'm scared anyway, buttons! But I like freedom!
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From:bigboobedcanuck
Date:March 21st, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
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I quit PB cold turkey after S2, and when I later heard about Sara's head in a box, I was SO glad I did. Good riddance! Seriously, you will not regret it.

I gave up SV in S3 after the episode where Clark met that girl who had her own powers, and she knew about his, and it was really cool, and then halfway through she turned into the show's 3454634987 crazy stalker who kidnaps Lana. I've caught episodes here and there over the years (usually if I'm with someone who wants to watch), but that show just perpetually doesn't meet its potential.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, so not pleased about Dr. Sara. At all. I need my pretty doctor!

Smallville has one or two really good episodes every season, and they only highlight how bad it is the rest of the time. It's irritating because it could be so much better.
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From:lodessa
Date:March 21st, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
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Congratulations on this big step. Remember, if you feel really wrong about it later you can always watch them on dvd or download at your leisure... but I think you'll find there are always other things you'd rather watch.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I'm glad there's a backup plan. But you're right, there are so many other shows I haven't seen that I'd be more interested in spending time watching instead.
(Deleted comment)
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From:incidentist
Date:March 21st, 2008 08:54 pm (UTC)
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Maybe you could wean yourself off Prison Break by watching Prison Prison Break instead.

Not to complicate things, but I hear Jericho got really awesome this season.
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From:amadyce
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
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Wahh! Prison Prison Break. I don't even watch PB, but that was hilarious.
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From:miniglik
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Ha!

I can't help you. I don't understand your kind. :p
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From:the_narration
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
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I've got some experience at quitting shows when they turn to rubbish, and believe me when I say you won't regret it. It's very freeing to no longer be wasting an hour of your life on a bad work of fiction. Usually how it'll happen is that the show will go on break and when it comes back I'll realize that I don't really care enough to resume watching. And if by some strange twist of fate the show winds up sucking less later on, you can catch up with DVDs and the internet, or just jump back in at the point where it got good and skip the suck.

Over the years I've quit... jeez, it's a lot... JAG, Star Trek: Voyager (went back for the final episodes and it still sucked), Smallville (fairly early on, that show was weak to begin with), Star Trek: Enterprise (went back for the final season, which was good), 24, Lost, probably some others that aren't coming to mind, and I'm about this close to throwing in the towel on Law and Order: SVU. And you know what? Haven't regretted a single one of 'em. Even when I went back to Enterprise, I knew that leaving for a couple years had allowed me to skip over a lot of suck to get to the good stuff.

In essence, I say quit 'em. You'll be glad you did.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:March 21st, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
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I'd totally recommend coming back to Lost, by the way. They reinvented the show with the S3 finale, and now that they have an endgame in mind, everything is way more exciting and interesting.

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