Question of the week: have you ever abandoned TV shows during the final seasons?

Dexter

Dexter has been going on for seven seasons and has just started on its eighth. Now I loved the first season – it was great. The second season was excellent, too, after a faltering start. Then came the Jimmy Smits season and the first sense that maybe the show was losing its edge. Season four gave us John Lithgow as Trinity, which was a much more promising affair.

All seemed to be good.

But then along came season five, with Julia Stiles as an abuse victim who turned the tables on her abusers with Dexter’s help. Despite the presence of Stiles, Chris Vance and Jonny Lee Miller, it was very Mamite-y: you either loved it or hated it. I loved it… right up until the end of the season, which had possibly the stupidest ending imaginable.

After that, things just got ridiculous, with Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks as the Big Bads of season six, with a twist you probably saw coming, but even if you didn’t, you wondered how Dexter got so stupid the rest of the time. And then Debs decided she fancied Dexter. Ugh.

Then last year gave us season seven, the stupidest of them all, which despite a good start, gave us Dexter shagging one of his victims while she was still on his ‘table’, all the while Debs was trying to wean Dexter off this murdering thing. Before murdering someone herself.

So Dexter‘s eighth season started last night. I hear it had some good elements. Yet despite having watched seven seasons already, I find myself not wanting to watch it. At all. I just can’t see, short of Dexter being killed or stuck in prison, how they could make it interesting enough and smart enough again for me to want to watch it. Not even Charlotte Rampling can do that.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve bailed on a show at the last moment, as a result of a show’s increasingly insipid nature. I gave up on Chuck for much the same reason. So this week’s question is:

Have you ever given up on a long-running TV show just as it’s hit its final season? If so, why?

As always, leave your answers below or on your own blog.

  • Mark Carroll

    I don't know about “just as it's hit its final season”, maybe not. I gave up on Dexter earlier. I should have given up on Earth: FInal Conflict a lot earlier, but its first season seemed promising. More commonly, I've seen shows go through a poorer phase then get better too late, ranging from X-Files to Terminator: TSCC, so others gave up on them before I did.

    More commonly, I give up on shows not because they're any worse but because they're just more of the same. Law & Order would probably be a good example of that.

    Some shows, I'm glad they ended when they did. Finishing Breaking Bad after five seasons feels about right.

  • tobyob

    Memory's failing me because I know there are a lot more, but definitely 'Merln' and 'Burn Notice'. The fire just flickered out on my interest in those……

  • Gareth Williams

    I gave up on Community in what I hoped was its last series, but has turned out not to be. I don't even feel like watching it when Dan Harmon's back.

    I tend to stick programmes out to the bitter end though, whilst not enjoying them at all. I watched all of Lost, despite never enjoying it at all after about six episodes.

    I gave up on Merlin halfway through the penultimate series; who'd have thought that killing off the best character, in the dullest way possible, too, would impact on the programme?!

    As to Dexter? I enjoyed series 1, 2 & 4. Series 6 was appalling, and I 'guessed' the 'twist' during episode 1, and they dragged it out, making it more, and more obvious every time. I actually enjoyed certain parts of the last series, but they ruined that for me too. I thought Isaack was a good character, and I was looking forward to a 'the hunter becomes the hunted' type storyline becoming the main theme of the series. Alas, it wasn't to be. I'll still watch the last series though.

  • Mark Carroll

    Yeah, I'm glad I broke free from Lost, probably during the second season. Individual episodes were actually quite entertaining, it just made no sense overall so became quite missable.

  • Earth: Final Conflict suffered showrunner and lead change at the end of the first season, IIRC, which is almost always a sign of impending quality change.

  • Burn Notice I gave up on midway through the last season, because it was the same old, same old, too many times.

  • Yes, Isaack was very good. Such a shame that they effectively made the season one of two halves, rather than sticking with him

  • Lost really picked up towards the end of its penultimate season and it looked like it was going to deliver with an epic plan. It wasn't until the “glowing light under the island” episode with Alison Janney that we all realised that we'd been duped and that was all the answers we were going to get.