TV Report: The cut list

So, the 2015-16 TV season is winding down, and I failed to post through most of it. Sorry, I was binge watching Leverage, Criminal Minds and now Star Trek: TNG/DS9 on Netflix. But as for live TV, a third of the shows I’m still watching have an episode left to go, so let’s look at a different aspect: The things I quit watching.

All told, I started the season expecting to watch or try out 15 shows.  Of those, I saw (or intend to see) six to the end. Three of the rest were nonstarters (Once Upon a Time, Scream Queens and Best Night Ever with Neil Patrick Harris). I thought I’d watch them and then just didn’t.  The other six, I stopped watching for a variety of reasons that run the gamut of “I just fell behind” to “I can’t devote one more second of my time to you, you horrible, shadow of  yourself show.”

So let’s talk about those.

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When do you quit a show?

As I was trying to condense my thoughts on Tuesday’s Teen Wolf into a tweet, I realized they weren’t terribly positive thoughts. Because let’s be real, this week’s episode was basically 44 minutes of nothing happening. Or at least 44 minutes of nothing happening that moved the story beyond a point we already knew existed because we saw it in an ill-advised flash forward weeks ago.

Which raises the question: At what point do you give up on a show and stop watching it?

I’ve learned over my lifetime of TV watching that a show has to do two things to make me leave:

  1.  Give me stories that I hate.
  2.  Ruin or underuse characters I love to the point that they can’t make up for the stories that I hate.

Teen Wolf, while I haven’t been wild about the stories or the telling of them in the past two years, hasn’t done both of those yet. Sadly, ABC’s Castle has.

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Fall TV is almost upon us

Last year I made this post ridiculously early, so I suppose its only fitting it comes ridiculously late this year. After perusing TV Guide’s fall schedule and premiere calendar, I’ve worked up my own weekly list of of things to watch. My eye is mostly on returning shows and those of a superheroic bent, but a few new comedies caught my attention, too.

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The Twitter Collection

In keeping with my plan to do at least a weekly update but also recognizing that the things I’m working on need more time to simmer, I give you the inaugural Twitter Collection post. Part of my Twitter stream is devoted to post updates, but sometimes I just have small, random thoughts or things to share that just aren’t fitting (or just not quite ready) for a full blog post. So here are a few older things you missed if you’re not following @TheLTtweet (for newer things, just look to the right).

It's a good system.
It’s a good system.

 

The post for this movie is still getting more hits per month than anything else.
The post for this movie is still getting more hits per month than anything else.

 

I found this out while doing "research" for my "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" review.
I found this out while doing “research” for my Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter review.

 

Even when I get bored of Caskett and all the obstacles related to that 'ship, I never get bored of Ryan. Or Perlmutter, who should be on the show more often. (I was really tired of Ryan's floppy hair though. If you're not Hugh Grant, you probably can't do the floppy hair.)
Even when I get bored of Caskett and all the obstacles related to that ‘ship, I never get bored of Ryan. Or Perlmutter, who should be on the show more often. (I was really tired of Ryan’s floppy hair though. If you’re not Hugh Grant, you probably can’t do the floppy hair.)

 

It's such a good show. Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Ty Burrell, Fred Willard and Josh Gad all work at a TV news station.
It’s such a good show. Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Ty Burrell, Fred Willard and Josh Gad all work at a TV news station.

 

And sometimes I join the masses with a good retweet:

LTtweet006

My finales did dumb things, how about yours?

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that about 10 minutes after expressing my general approval of the Grimm season 3 finale (despite a development that I will not be in favor of, if it results in a certain somebody dying), I realized something.

All the finales and penultimate episodes I’ve seen over the past few weeks have shared two common threads: Somebody did something stupid, and something bad happened. Not necessarily in that order. And while that doesn’t always result in a bad episode, it’s my least favorite way for stories to progress.

Let’s break it down by show. Spoilers, obviously:

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All is revealed as the lights go out

Cable has become a costly nightmare, so I’m cutting the cord (again). In these final days before turning in my DVR, the mad dash to watch everything I care about has revealed some interesting things.

I love Teen Wolf
I just do, and you can judge all you want, because I don’t care.  For a soapy action/supernatural MTV show, it’s a lot of fun, still a little suspenseful, and surprisingly poignant. Sure, it has more loose threads than a broken loom and maybe gets a tiny bit less good with each season, but I’ll be disappointed to lose all 24 episodes of season 3 that I couldn’t bear to delete. Season 4 this June!

Trophy Wife is my second-favorite new show of the season
At first, I just liked having more Bradley Whitford on my TV, but honestly, this show about a thrice-married guy, his new younger wife, three kids and zany relationships with the exes just tickles my feel-good family funny-bone, even if it did take a massive build-up and binge-watch to realize. Sadly, The Cancelation Bear is also predicting its demise. I will not be a happy camper if this season eats Trophy Wife and The Crazy Ones.

Castle isn’t what it used to be
There was a time when, thanks to my wacky work schedule, I’d get home at 11:30 Monday night and immediately watch the Castle episode that aired a few hours earlier and then start my weekend. I don’t do that so much anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because the quality never quite came back from the lows of season four or it’s because of all the Teen Wolf I rushed home to watch instead, but I seemed to be perpetually three or four episodes behind this season. But once I start watching, I’m more than happy to be doing so! It’s kind of like get-togethers: I never really want to go until I get there.

Dads, Mom and Michael J. Fox just couldn’t cut it
Don’t get me wrong: I was also really happy to have Seth Green, Allison Janney and Michael J. Fox back on my TV in their respective shows, but there just wasn’t enough to care about here. I didn’t delete these shows unless I desperately needed space, but once I stopped watching them, I never picked them back up and probably won’t now. The Michael J. Fox Show already ate it (and for a while I wasn’t sure if it had been canceled or if I had just stopped recording it to save room for other things), the future looks grim for Dads, and Mom has already been renewed. Send some of that West Wing alum mojo Brad Whitford’s way, Allison!

Nothing escaped the occasional episode build-up, but sometimes it’s just because I was busy
I don’t really have anything bad to say about Grimm, The Middle, Modern Family, Raising Hope, The Americans or Ink Master. Well, Ink Master’s a trainwreck, but I can’t seem to stop watching it.  The rest are comfort shows well into their runs. (Except The Americans which is only in its second season, but I hope sticks around).

I will (probably) never watch Early Edition
Last year, I was introduced to Friday Night Lights and when I was done, decided I needed more Kyle Chandler in my life. Right about the time I was wishing for that, The TV Guide Channel started airing two back-to-back episodes of Early Edition five days a week, and I recorded almost all of them. It’s a fun show full of 90s nostalgia (a cat delivers tomorrow’s newspaper today to a guy who then stops all the bad things from happening while not giving up his secret paper), but it’s not so good for binge watching. I still have something like 15 episodes, and I’m not going to watch them. Maybe someday they’ll stream somewhere or all seasons will hit DVD. But until that day, goodbye “Gary, Gary Hobson.”

Some things just need picking up next season
I have no idea why I stopped watching Parks & Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I just did, and even though I still have them, I seriously doubt I’ll get through them before my time runs out.  But hopefully the stars will align, and they’ll all be streaming in time to get caught up  before next season (which will also be at the mercy of the streaming gods) gets too far under way. I’m hoping for the same thing with Agents of SHIELD, except I know exactly why I stopped watching (and recording) that: It just wasn’t that great. But on a whim, I thought I’d try to catch up on Hulu, and *just when it was starting to get good* I hit a block of missing episodes.

So there it is. That’s what the last two years of cable hath wrought for me. In related news, I’m also watching  Arrow for the first time and have just hit the last season I saw of Supernatural (season six) on Netflix, so I might try to get caught up for them, too. Arrow definitely, but maybe not Supernatural, especially since I hear it gets pretty bad.

Leisure Time is on Twitter! Get post updates and smaller fannish thoughts @TheLTtweet.