Tuesday, November 27, 2012

End Before It’s Too Late

Sometimes one of the few TV shows I actually love comes to a point where it feels like they’re prolonging the inevitable end. American TV shows tend to strive for many seasons—which can be good and bad. With multiple seasons, characters can develop and stories can deepen, but it also means that a good series can last too long and start to decline, and you know things are going down when they add The Interloper.

Perhaps after a few seasons the ratings have dipped, so the writers or the higher ups decide they need to add someone new to “spice things up” and so The Interloper appears. A common Interloper is a relative—like a whiny child or teenager or a cranky elder. And while The Interloper can take many other forms as well (e.g. friend, co-worker, adversary, etc.), one thing is clear: they’re not welcome.

The Interloper is often one (if not all) of the following: stupid, annoying, inept, immature and just plain unlikable. They bring everyone and everything down around them. Every time The Interloper comes on the screen you just want to sigh in disapproval at the dumb things that come to pass because of The Interloper. And you keep hoping that The Interloper will just die (or at the very least move away), but for whatever reason The Interloper just won’t go away. [Sigh.]

The Interloper puts a stain on an otherwise great series and often becomes a marker between the “good seasons” and the “bad seasons”. Instead of having that unwanted distinction, a good series should just end before Interlopers appear and ruin everything. Let a good show end on a high note rather than a low one by ending things in a timely fashion. All good things must come to an end...unless you wait so long that it’s not even good any more.

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