I’ve always had a soft spot for British television shows. Their young adult content is edgier than American alternatives and the seasons are shorter – aside from a few exceptions, most of them don’t last longer than five or six seasons. You might wonder why I think that last point is a good thing. Why not let a show you love go on forever? Because all good things must end, and a lot of American television shows just don’t know when to effing end it already, you know? Instead of ending the show on a high point, they’ll drag it on for way more seasons until it is absolutely unwatchable, just because they know they can make money off of it.
I mean, think about it: Would you rather your favorite show last for one perfect season or one perfect season and seven terrible ones? Take Breaking Bad, for example. It might not have been the longest running show out there, but it wasn’t dragged on until it got ridiculous – it ended at the right time, while everyone still adored it. People are going to remember that show for how it ended, not just how it began. There are so many examples of shows that outstayed their welcome, but some are worse offenders than others. Check out 10 of your favorite television shows that should have ended way earlier. The truth hurts, guys.
Pretty Little LiarsPretty Little Liars is a show that relies on suspense. That's what got viewers to tune in week after week, year after year. But even diehard fans will admit that the show's infamous twists and turns were becoming way too exhausting and, frankly, frustrating. You'll be led to believe on thing for an entire season, and then the show trolls you, as if it changed its mind at the last minute. "Haha, nah, that's not A. You tried it, tho!" Ugh! And the fact that there's a Big A, Mega A, and THE ULTIMATE A now? It's probably a good thing that this show is ending soon. It's time.
The OCThe O.C. became an overnight sensation, and honestly, it wasn't hard to see why. You've got your bad boy with a heart of gold, the lovable indie nerd, the endearing snob, and the sad little rich girl. Throw in a ritzy beach town and a killer soundtrack? You've got TV gold. But that gold didn't shine for as long as it could have. The O.C.'s plot lines got more outlandish by the episode. The show simply wanted to do too much. Before you knew it, The O.C. was more focused on exploiting bisexuality for views than exploring the characters we grew to love. By the time Marissa died, we all knew that the show might as well have ended...but it still kept going. This is a great example of a show that should have ended right after its peak instead of dragging it along to see where it might wind up.
One Tree HillHere's a rule I have about television shows that I think is worth sharing: If a show has to fast-forward years into the future, the show should have already ended. That's one of the big reasons why One Tree Hill should have kicked the bucket earlier. When you fast-forward a television show's timeline, it's a good indicator that you're running out of plot points and you'll do anything to get viewership back up and the show's pacing back up as well. But at the end of the day, the show is really just jumping the shark.
GleeOh, Glee. Ask almost anyone who watched the show and they'll tell you this: Glee had a nearly flawless first season, and everything that came after that was kind of sort of awful. It was a slow decline, however; people still hung on to all hope that the show would somehow get better. Spoiler: It didn't. Glee should have put its fans out of their misery by ending the show after the primary characters graduated. But no, they had to do one of the hardest things that any teen television show could do: Follow characters into their college years. This rarely works, even for television shows that are actually good. And guess what? It didn't work for Glee either.
The OfficeThe Gurl team is split on this one, but let's throw it on the list anyway. As far as American recreations of British programs go, The Office is probably the most successful one. It's a classic and was really funny until the very end, but let's be real: It peaked but kept chugging along. Once Michael (Steve Carrell) left the show and Jim and Pam got married, a lot of what made the show really fun to watch kind of fizzled out.
The Vampire DiariesThe Vampire Diaries was on the air for eight long years, propelled its stars into fame, and even produced a spinoff--The Originals--which is still on the air. This show accomplished a lot, but even fans admit that the last few seasons weren't great, especially regarding its treatment of Bonnie. Honestly, by the time it finally ended in March of 2017, it felt like a relic from the days when everyone was obsessed with vampire narratives (thanks, Twilight). It's safe to say that after nearly a decade...we were over it.
MisfitsI know, I said that British shows know when to end their programs on a high note. But hey, their track record isn't perfect. Case in point: Misfits. This dramady about a group of young offenders who obtain superpowers after a storm was fresh, funny, and incredibly original when it first aired back in 2009. But after one of the shows most beloved characters--Nathan (Robert Sheehan)--left the show after its first two seasons, the show's future looked a little unclear. But the next season wasn't bad...except for the fact that two main characters died. By the next season, characters were replaced, but the show just wasn't the same. By its fifth and final season, nobody from the original season were even on the show anymore. Hm, when every character that made the show what it was isn't on the show anymore, maybe that's a sign to pack it in, you know?
Grey's AnatomySorry, but I have to be blunt: When will this show die already? It's been on since I was a teenager, the cast has changed a billion times, all the original leads were either written off or killed off the show, the show's spinoff--Private Practice--has already come and gone...when is enough enough? Shonda, please. You have enough on your plate, don't you? And the fact that you're ending Scandal before Grey's? Come on, sis...end both of 'em.
True BloodTrue Blood was always over the top, and that's partly why people loved it so much...in the beginning. But sometimes, the shock value starts to wear off, especially when the same thing happens season after season after season. Stale shock value, reheated plot lines, and frustrating character deaths? Bye.
The Big Bang TheoryI just have two things to say. One, why? I mean, I know why; millions of people continue to watch this show on a regular basis. But still...why? Two, I'll bet that the show's upcoming spinoff, Young Sheldon, also ends up on the air far longer than it should.
What other shows should be on this list? Which shows don’t deserve to be? Tell us in the comments!