Television is not an artistic medium. Yes, sometimes art does make its way into the form, but by and large most television is dictated by financial concerns. If a show doesn’t rate, it can’t charge a high rate for advertising, and thus its pulled. Likewise, if a show is highly profitable, it is rare to see the show be cancelled because the show has gone stale.

There are many TV shows that simply need to be ripped from the airwaves and have a bullet put in it. Here are five shows that need to be brought to an end as soon as possible:

WEEDS

weedsWhere are they up to?

Season 6.

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What’s happening on the show?

At the beginning of season six, the family are on the run after Shane murders a drug kingpins ex. They’ve assumed fake identities and are trying to make a go at life living in Seattle, Washington.

When did it all go wrong?

After an un-engaging start, Weeds quickly developed into must-see television. It was sharper and wittier than most shows, with a cast that delivered week in, week out.

At the end of season three, the show took a turn. In burning down the gated community that served as a function of the (literal) bedrock of the show both in location and thematically, the show then made the move to Ren Mar, on the San Diego/Tijuana border. It appeared to be a brave decision.

Much like the characters on the show, Weeds became aimless. The show no longer had anything to say, nor did the narrative structure of the show feel like it had any real purpose. Stories and character arcs now felt as though they were being made up as the show went along. And the greatest crime was simply that the show was no longer anywhere near as funny.

Also, did I mention how contemptible the main character of Nancy had become. At first the character had taken to selling pot simply as a means to an end. We were able to support her as she found herself getting into trouble and unable to escape this world. But, come season four where she was given a fresh start, Nancy just dives straight back in to the world of drugs and dealers. I appreciate the show needs a hook, but it has come completely at the expense of a character who now seems downright ugly.

The risky creative decision to uproot the show unbalanced it significantly. Season six has them shifting location once more, but unless it finds a sense of purpose this season, the time may be nigh to bring the show to an end.

Need for a bullet?

Very high. The show has been wonky for several seasons now with little sign of improvement.

THE OFFICE (US)

the-officeWhere are they up to?

Season 7.

What’s happening on the show?

Pam and Jim have gotten together, are now married, and Pam has given birth to their first child. Michael has just gotten out of a relationship with an adulterer, but still pines for Holly Flax. And Dwight has used his animalistic charms on Pams sister.

The whereabouts of Mose Schrute remain unknown.

When did it all go wrong?

Things started to get a little shaky with Jim promoted to co-Manager of the Scranton branch. The change never really sits right. The wheels completely come off the cart, however, once Dunder Mifflin is sold to a printer company called Sabre. The storyline reflects the current changes taking place within the US economy and the changes ring true as a reality for employees from any business. In concept, the changes should work fine and it should provide plenty of comedic fodder. The problem comes down to the fact that none of it has been funny. The gags simply haven’t been there for the past season of The Office. All of the warmth and pathos seems to have vanished from the characters too.

Need for a bullet?

Strong. The show has hit creative lulls before. Season four was on a similar trajectory prior to the writers strike. The couple of months between shows did wonders for The Office. Maybe the downtime between seasons six and seven can provide a similar opportunity.

SPICKS AND SPECKS

spicksandspecksWhere are they up to?

Season 6.

What’s happening on the show?

Adam Hills continues to ask questions.

When did it all go wrong?

Season one, back in the innocent time that was 2005. A decision was made that the show would run for most of the ratings year. There’s just too many episodes. Week after week the show does the same thing.

It’s not that there is anything wrong with the series. The show continues to be okay and I appreciate that Spicks & Specks is a major ratings success and continues to do VERY well week after week. The show is simply no longer a highlight of the viewing week. It’s simply part of the TV schedule.

Need for a bullet?

Rather high.

I just feel that we need some time apart. It’s not you, Spicks & Specks. It’s me. I just don’t think we should see each other anymore. And I’m willing to murder you to see that happen.

KERRI-ANNE  (Formerly MORNINGS WITH KERRI-ANNE KENNERLEY)

kakWhere are they up to?

Eight years/seasons

What’s happening on the show?

KAK is looking fabulous while Jamie continues to sell carpet cleaning solutions.

When did it all go wrong?

This is really a matter of perspective. I honestly believe that Kerri-Anne Kennerley is one of Australia’s greatest TV talents. I’m not exactly in her target audience, but I recognise that she is gifted.

When Seven launched The Morning Show in 2007, KAK took a significant hit. The damage continued on this year against the launch of The Circle on Channel Ten. As a result, ratings for KAK haven’t been great. I don’t think that KAK is best served continuing on in that timeslot. Nine could garner stronger ratings by counter-programming in the slot and move KAK elsewhere on the schedule.

Why not move KAK later in the day? Revamp The Midday Show with KAK in the main chair (again). It’d allow KAK to go heavier with news commentary (which I suspect she loves), while also providing a venue for infotainment segments. Such a move could allow them to program The View & The Ellen DeGeneres Show right against The Morning Show & The Circle, which could cause some serious damage.

Alternatively, Nine have a new digital multi-channel on the horizon. If the rumours are correct and the show will have a focus on classic TV shows that skew to an older demo, how great would it be to have KAK serve as the face of a channel like that?

Need for a bullet?

Significant. KAK is anything but damaged goods and I’m sure Nine have the good sense to give her a role with the network that makes the most out of her considerable talent. I say put a bullet in her current show and re-vamp the daytime line-up once more.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

rules_of_engagementWhere are they up to?

4 seasons

What’s happening on the show?

The show effectively employes a reset button each week. There are few, if any, ongoing narrative storylines.

When did it all go wrong?

The pre-production process.

The show is awful. Rules of Engagement features the excellent Patrick Wharburton and the less than excellent David Spade (yet I still find myself drawn to him).  Their comic performances are the only thing that keeps the show afloat. The writing is terrible, as is the unimaginative premise and execution of the show. With the dreadful performances of the female leads, I’d accuse the show of being exceedingly sexist by only casting quality performers in male roles if not for the equally awful Oliver Hudson playing the third personality-deprived male character.

Need for a bullet?

Cannot be higher. As awful as the show is, I can’t help but be compelled to watch it. Please, end my suffering.

* * *

So, what other shows need to be put out of their misery? Obviously Two & A Half Men, but what raises your ire and continued disappointment?

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.

Jess
Singapore

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