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It won’t be long before our favorite shows come back from hiatus and spring back onto our screens. But, let’s face it, some of our favorites have fallen a little short of expectations as of late. Most great shows (or great ideas for shows) that spend any length of time on the air will hit a rough patch now and then, and these shows have been in a holding pattern longer than we would like. And, in some cases, that holding pattern is just one season.
But, we keep watching. I like to call this “hope-watching.” It’s the simple idea of holding on to a show when it’s really not working for you anymore, all in the hope that it’ll light your world on fire again like it did in the old days. Now, here’s a few shows that need to get better in order to hold our attention for much longer.
New GirlNew Girl will premiere its fifth season in January, and we can all tell that the age is starting to show. After giving away blockbuster laughs in the first two seasons, the roomies and their exploits started to feel a little forced and stale. The seasons became more uneven; sometimes there would only be a couple of good laughs in a show, but, more and more frequently, whole episodes were lackluster. The Fox show is suffering from some pretty basic premise problems: the new girl is no longer new to the guys, and none of the guys are new to her, or us. Now that everyone’s known each other for five years, how are things supposed to stay interesting? Oh, right, they mostly haven’t. So, come on New Girl, bring the funny back or we may have to panic moonwalk out of the room.
Sleepy HollowOh, Sleepy Hollow, how we loved you in the first season. The stunning chemistry between your leads. The creepy and intriguing supernatural big bads. Your downright inspired cast of supporting characters. Sleepy Hollow, you had it all. So, what happened? It fell prey to the second season curse. That season kept stubbornly shoving things we didn’t want down our throats, and the show suffered more for it. Find a new big bad; Pandora isn’t as frightening as she needs to be. Don’t get carried away with secondary characters; e.g., this version of Betsy Ross just isn’t believable as a Revolutionary-era lady spy, even for a show that takes such huge liberties with history. Sleepy Hollow could still find that old magic again. The show just needs to rely on the (now deep) friendship between the two leads, and find evil to battle that’s as good as Headless and Moloch. The witnesses can do anything, Seepy Hollow, and we believe you can, too.
True DetectiveThe second season downfall of True Detective is still a total head scratcher. The first season, about two cops with differing ideologies trying to solve a deeply twisted, possibly mystical case, drew raves from audiences and critics. But the second season, which aired in the summer, completely reversed the show’s polarity. It actually ended up on several “Worst Of” lists, and our own review of the finale was a resounding “There’s too much here and I don’t really care anyway.” And that kind of indifference can spell the end of a formerly good show. To get back into our good graces, True Detective will need to find something to focus on in the third season, and then build other characters and stories around that focal point. Not throw a bunch of things into the moody stew and set it boiling.
ArrowEven though the quality of Arrow has had an uptick from last season, there was so much hope-watching going on the past two years that we still fear the show will slide back into madness. The Slade Wilson-ness of the second season, combined with Ra’s al Ghul Ra’s al Ghuling all over town last season was a bit too much to handle. Each season amounted to having one villain do the same thing over and over again; meaning our crime-fighting crew had to respond in the same way over and over. Plus, the flashbacks had never felt less important. But, a big sign that the show is turning around is the now blissful absence of Oliver Queen’s island struggle-wig. Being without that horrid hunk of straw is like a little bit of sunshine coming into every episode. Keep it up, Arrow. You may be about to return to your first season glory.
The MuppetsOK, we can keep this short. Muppets should never, ever talk about sex, or dating, in any way that isn’t the chaste Kermit and Miss Piggy way. The new-found adult tone of the current iteration of The Muppets has upset many people, and that’s not too surprising. Outright sex and pot jokes don’t belong. I suppose it didn’t occur to the creators that adults might want to watch the show for nostalgic reasons, which would have nothing to do with all that grownup stuff. Aside from the problems with tone, the show just isn’t as funny as it was way back when. Sometimes, when constraints are placed on creators, the product is better for it. So, if the lowest common denominator jokes are replaced with something more thoughtful, it seems like a good bet that things will change for the better.
Which Show Are You Hoping Gets Better Soon?