December 31, 2012

Top 5 TV Let-Downs of 2012

Over the last couple of years I've put together a top five list of both my TV surprises and let-downs of the year since I don't watch enough television (or allegedly good television) to compile a top ten list like everyone else. While I don't know if this is indicative of the year as a whole, it was easier for me to come up with five let-downs, so let's start with them.

5. Justified
Now, let me start off by saying that I don't think that Justified's a bad show or that it even had a bad season, but I will admit that I was somewhat disappointed by Season 3. My experience with the show's probably different than most. I never really had much interest in it when it debuted, but I heard nothing but good things about it especially after Season 2, so I caught up and bought the hype. I was so excited to be watching live for the first time, but I could never get into Season 3. Quarles and Limehouse were too over the top and couldn't fill the void left by Mags, so the show was at an automatic disadvantage and it never really recovered in my opinion. I was by no means put off by the show because I'm still pumped for the Season 4 premiere. I just wish I was more excited for it.

4. The Finder's Cancellation
FOX's The Finder was one of my favorite new shows last season (more on that later), so I was a little irked by how poorly it was treated by the network. Sure, it got a cushy post-Idol timeslot and did OK there, but it was clear that it was not the hit that it needed to be, so cue its move to the dreaded Friday Night Deathslot where of course it was doomed. From a business standpoint, I cannot blame FOX because it did what it thought was right but it just sucked that they had to do it to one of the few new shows that resonated with me. In the end, The Finder's cancellation may have been a blessing in disguise since I don't think it would've worked without the late Michael Clarke Duncan, but it's premature death was a hard one to take.

3. Spartacus Ending After Season 3
Spartacus went from a show that I really didn't care for to one of my favorite guilty pleasures to a solid drama all within two short seasons. I was by no means surprised when Starz renewed the swords-and-sandals epic for a third season, but I was blindsided when the network along with the showrunner announced that Season 3 would be its last. Logistically, only telling a finite amount of stories makes sense because that meant that Spartacus will not run the risk of wearing out its welcome, but I cannot shake the feeling that a 10-episode final run will not be enough. I'm not even asking for a fourth season, but I would not be opposed to say an additional five episodes. There's always a chance that Starz will order a few extra hours, but I won't hold my breath.

2. The Homeland Backlash
I cannot dictate how or why people watch certain television shows, but the amount of backlash that Showtime's Homeland had to put up with during its sophomore season made me want to because I felt that so many disgruntled viewers were watching the show for all of the wrong reasons. Personally, I think that its Emmy win for Outstanding Drama (and thus beating out Mad Men and Breaking Bad) made people raise their expectations and they couldn't help but be letdown when Homeland showed its true colors. I for one never thought that it was the highbrow drama that people were claiming but a genre-defying thriller, so I was flabbergasted by how much whining and complaining took place when certain plot machinations were deployed. Admittedly, I didn't think that Season 2 was all that great when it was all said and done but it was far from the worst show on television and didn't betray anybody.

1. Cougar Town and Modern Family
A few years ago, Cougar Town was one of my pleasant surprises, but boy how the mighty have fallen. To be honest, I don't even know if Season 3 was any better or worse than those that preceded it (OK, it was definitely better than Season 1), but I just found that my tolerance levels for Jules and the rest of the Cul-De-Sac Crew dropped and I no longer found them funny. Add to that the fact that I absolutely hated the whole Travis and Lori non-sense, and Cougar Town had no choice but to disappoint me. As for Modern Family, I've felt that it's been overrated since Season 2 and it has yet to prove me wrong. 9 times out of 10, I only find about a third of the show funny and that ratio has dropped during Season 4. Now, I'm still going to be watching these shows, but there's no way that I'm not going to waste any more time writing about them.

So there are my Top Five TV Let-downs of 2012. Stick around for the positive stuff, which should be coming up shortly.

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