I watched the series finale of "The Office" last night, but before I did, I had to blow through the previous five episodes gathering dust on my DVR. In the end, it was worth the night of marathon television, but when I think about the entire final season of "30 Rock," also unwatched on my DVR, I wonder when Iâ€™ll get around to it.
Honestly, Iâ€™ve lost interest in "30 Rock," and "The Office" didnâ€™t make me laugh out loud anymore. But these shows â€“ like most shows I watch â€“ Iâ€™ve seen every episode in order. I feel like the least I can do is see them through to the end.
These arenâ€™t the only two series that Iâ€™ve watched in their entirety. "Big Love," "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men," "Hung," "True Blood" and "LOST" come to mind. "LOST" was, as I recall, the first show that every episode was unmissable. I certainly donâ€™t remember feeling this way about "Threeâ€™s Company."
The problem is that almost every show "jumps the shark" near the end of its run. Some much sooner, like "The Simpsons." A few donâ€™t, like "Breaking Bad," which continues to get better until its series finale this summer.
But if Iâ€™ve invested years in watching a show like "The Office," I feel the need for television closure. Iâ€™m not sure if itâ€™s loyalty or stubbornness, really.
Fortunately, in the case of "The Office," its writers thanked my loyalty/stubbornness with an excellent final two episodes. The last one was really, really great, reminding me of why I started watching this show in first place.
I like the long-form storytelling that comes with a serial show, in which episodes can be strung together to form a long, long movie. But I wouldnâ€™t mind throwing in a few more shows like "Always Sunny In Philadelphia" into my roster, in which I could watch when I feel like it, and skip when I donâ€™t.
I just donâ€™t have that much time to devote to my TV, and my DVR is still pretty full.
LOST is a great example of TV loyalty that went bad. The series started to go off the rails about season 3. At that point I felt so invested I stuck around for the last 3 seasons, even though interest had diminished a ton. By the last season I was tuning in hoping they'd redeem themselves at some point. Never really happened.
The only series I can think of that went wire to wire and was great the whole time: The Shield on FX. Breaking Bad is likely getting on that list as well. Can't wait to see how that ends.
Bobby | May 17, 2013 at 9:49 a.m. (report)
I prefer the BBC version of The Office for this very reason. It knew when to quit. It got in, did two awesome seasons and a pair of specials and was done. American TV never knows when to stop. They beat every good thing to death.
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