As I move away from my mid-20s, I haven’t grown any less attached to TV shows and its characters as I used to when I was younger, but my tolerance levels have significantly decreased over time. I no longer watch TV shows with the hope of them becoming better. I no longer give shows too much wiggle room to fix gigantic mistakes I know deep in my heart there is no way to come back from. Maybe it’s cold and maybe it’s cynical, but with the amount of TV shows out there right now, why waste my time with something that I will not enjoy?
It’s a crossroad every fan of TV has been at in their lives at some point: the show you love has changed and you are angry and upset, but you loved it so much. So why would you leave it? So you let it consume you with rage, as you tut your way through the episodes with the small hope that the show that once was so good to you returns from the war. In some cases that might happen, but the truth is in most cases, it will not. So here are 5 signs that you should stop watching that TV show:
They ruin your favorite character
Sometimes characters make decisions that do not feel true to what you know of them. These decisions make sense in the writers’ heads and they might even convincingly get most of the audience on board with them (they might even be justified! no one is questioning the decision itself here, just your personal feelings about it) but when the character that you once loved changes so drastically there is no longer a hint of it still being there, why continue to watch it being assassinated in front of your very eyes? It’s time to stop watching and remember what you once liked about that character while you still can.
One (or more) of your favorite characters dies
Let’s take it a bit further and say that your favorite character gets not figuratively, but literally assassinated. Everything the show does after that will make you angry, bitter and disappointed. Here is what you have to do: mentally go through all the reasons why you like the show, if most of the reasons were related to the character that is now gone, stop. If they’re not, but the character’s death taints every other thing you like about the show, stop. Regardless of people claiming you’re not “a real fan” because of it, at the end of the day your feelings about it come first and if the show took away the main reason you used to watch it for, why continue to? Screw them. And screw that show.
Your ship isn’t canon (or “endgame” as the kids call it these days)
This one might sound really petty, but I have been a defender of shipping before and I’ve also been against writers claiming relationships are not important in any and every show. I’m not saying if your ship isn’t canon now but there is a slow burn brewing you should stop watching. But if you’re watching a show solely because you want two characters to make out and you know deep down that they’re never going to, instead of harassing writers and actors on the internet (please never do that, please!), save yourself the heartbreak. We shippers find people to ship everywhere. A new show and a new ship will come along, and those two might actually get to make out! Don’t waste your precious time. Stop watching.
You watch it only to complain about it
Cards on the table: I used to watch “Smash” only to bitch about it on Twitter, but the truth is a part of me still really enjoyed Smash in all its badness. That’s because it was bearable-bad, not bad-bad. It had amazing production values and great musical numbers! And Meghan Hilty!
But watching TV only to complain about it is just really exhausting for everyone. Not only for everyone reading you online, but even for yourself. Why would you continually, week after week, torture yourself on such a level? Wouldn’t it be better to put all that effort into actually enjoying something? What is the point on continuing to watch only to make yourself and those who still enjoy the show angry?
Stop watching. You know it’s healthier.
It just doesn’t make you happy anymore
Sometimes we change as people and shows we used to love no longer make us laugh, cry, or both. It has nothing to do with the show itself, but with who you are. Maybe at some point in your life you needed the jokes a superficial, silly comedy provided you with, then you later realize the scripts are corny and the characters archetypes with no absolutely no depth. The truth is, that’s what they always were. It doesn’t mean the show has changed, but you have.
The same thing happens when a drama cannot longer grip you and have you stuck to your TV. The plots you often found interesting and addicting now seem contrived and unexciting.
Time to let it go.
The bottom line is that TV is out there to entertain. Sometimes the shows we love disappoint us, but it is a pity to hate something so much you cannot enjoy what you once loved about it. So save yourself the trouble, enjoy a show while it makes you happy, and when it no longer does, stop watching.
Breaking up is always hard, but it will come a time when you know you did the right thing. Probably when you start a new show and you feel the butterflies again.
It will happen. You know it. And I do too.