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TV Bites – Bored Now

by Neena Louise

tv-bites_thumbThe network broadcast TV season is nearing its end, and all I can think is: “bored, now”. So many previously not-to-be-missed shows have become shows that I no longer care if I miss or not. I’m spending a lot more time on Netflix or recording series or watching them online the day after to avoid the commercials and being able to stop or forward over boring parts. This does not bode well for the future of network television.
The shows that suffered the most were ones that took a hiatus (in the case of The Blacklist, there were two). Viewers’ attention spans are not what they used to be, and I can’t believe networks are so oblivious to that fact. Viewers will start watching some other show during a hiatus and often not even notice when the show they used to follow returns. If they must have a hiatus, the shows better be excellent to regain their viewership. This was not the case this season. More often than not, a returning show was worse. Much worse. I don’t know if that’s because I found something better to watch in the meantime, or if the networks just got lazy and assumed their viewers would flock back the minute the show returned, regardless of whether or not it was good.

In no particular order, here are the biggest offenders of losing their way this season:

The Blacklist

The season was so focused on Agent Keen’s angst and personal life, the “list” was almost an afterthought. Not a good idea when that’s the main premise of the show.

All the NCIS flavors

I can’t remember a thing about either NCIS nor NCIS: Los Angeles this season. Tells you how engaging they were. I tried to watch NCIS: New Orleans a handful of times, but I just couldn’t get interested, so I can’t comment if it got any worse. Wouldn’t make any difference.

How to Get Away with Murder

I’ve watccharlie-chaplin-392926_640hed every episode from the beginning and, when I wasn’t terribly confused, I just didn’t care. The storylines became very muddled and it became difficult to tell who was doing what to whom, who did what, who half the characters were, nor anything else, really. The only thing I know for certain is that most of the characters were batshit crazy. The season-ender was a disappointment, to say the least.


This was never a “must watch” show for me, but I always found it mildly diverting. Until the episode about a young black male being shot, that is. The entire show was serious political commentary about violence against young black people. This is supposed to be a sitcom. Save the commentary for CNN or 20/20 or some such.

The Big Bang Theory

I can’t believe this is actually on this list, but that stupid episode about Sheldon’s birthday was almost unwatchable. Boring, silly and, other than the self-deprecating Adam West, not funny at all. That was their 200th episode and I sincerely hope it’s not the beginning of the end. The rest of the season was pretty good, but the fact that “Bernadette” is now pregnant is an ominous sign: That often rings the death knell of many sitcoms. I’ll be sad if that happens.

Criminal Minds

This is on a station that’s hit or miss as to whether I can get a signal. If I can’t get a live signal, I’ll usually watch shows from this station the next day online, but I didn’t bother once with Criminal Minds this season – it just wasn’t worth the bandwidth.

Sleepy Hollow

I got so fed up with the repetitive “Abbey’s” 10-months-wherever-she-was, I stopped watching it and started recording it. The last 5 episodes of the season are still sitting on my DVR, waiting for a time when nothing better is on. I hope it got better. If it didn’t, other than the eye candy that is Tom Mison, there’s no reason to watch any longer.


After its long hiatus, I wondered why I liked this show so much in the first place. It’s all: family fights; family makes up; family gets violent; family stabs each other in the back; tunes that all the sound the same. Same old, same old. I’ll probably still watch it from time to time, but I won’t go out of my way like I once did.


Another show that suffered from its long hiatus. When it finally returned, I couldn’t understand why I once thought it was so refreshing. The carefully-parceled-out “answers” were so long in coming that I became distracted – and, at times, annoyed – by things other than the storyline: the shaky, dizzying camerawork; “Jane Doe’s” uncombed hair; Ashley Johnson’s eyebrows; Sullivan Stapleton’s neck hair. Not a good sign when ridiculous things like that are more interesting than the plot.



Broadcast TV networks need to stop with the hiatus and start working harder to retain their viewers. People have a plethora of alternatives to network TV these days, and unless the networks get with the times and finally truly appreciate this, they’ll continue to bleed viewers. There’s much talk about broadcast TV going the way of the dinosaur, but give people a reason to watch, and they’ll watch. Duh.

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