12 TV Shows We Gave Up On In 2014
Scandal, The Mindy Project, and American Horror Story, we knew how to quit you.
There is only so much room on our DVRs and in our brains for television content. And every year, when new, addictive shows debut (hi, How to Get Away With Murder), we find ourselves cutting ties with other series that have lost their luster (bai, The Vampire Diaries). Below, the BuzzFeed Entertainment team shares the shows they've deleted from their DVRs and brains over the course of the past calendar year. But, to be clear, the views expressed beneath each show title are the sole opinions of the BuzzFeed staffer writing them, because, as we all know, one TV lover's trash is another TV lover's treasure.
1. American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)
You never really quit American Horror Story when each new season starts over from scratch — but Freak Show lost me a few episodes in. It started to seem less like the divine madness Ryan Murphy is capable of at his best and more of the "nope, no one has any idea where this is going and it doesn't matter" incoherence that's his most unfortunate tendency. Asylum was an amazing season, Coven was a crushing disappointment, and Freak Show started off with a bang (loved "Life on Mars"!). But then the premiere was followed by a group of episodes that were about nothing in particular. I'm not sure how a show can be so outrageous and so boring at once, but I'll come trudging back for next season. —Alison Willmore
2. Nashville (ABC)
At the beginning, I loved Nashville. Mainly because of Connie Britton, but also because the songs were really enjoyable and the storylines were intriguing. The Season 1 finale cliff-hanger that left Deacon (Charles Esten) and Rayna's (Connie Britton) fate in the balance after a horrible car accident was gripping, and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Rayna's attempts to take control of their lives and careers in Season 2 was engaging. But the show quickly spiraled into an insanely dramatic mess. And not only was it all just over the top, it was too hard to keep track of! Season 3 dove deeper into the chaos and I quickly gave up all together. As much as I love Connie, Nashville might be the first problem Ms. Tami Taylor can't fix, y'all. —Emily Orley
3. Modern Family (ABC)
In truth, I bailed on Modern Family a year ago, once it became clear that the show was stuck in the same comedic rut so many long-running sitcoms find themselves in. The characters I had loved had become broad, often unlikable caricatures — Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) especially seemed like roommates who barely tolerated each other, instead of being a loving couple raising a child together.
After sitting out a season, however, I wondered if I had judged the show too harshly. It had just won a record-tying fifth Emmy for Best Comedy, after all. So I dove back into the season premiere, in which the Dunphys' blissful summer was ruined with the return of the apparently gloom-spreading Alex (Ariel Winter); Gloria (Sofía Vergara) made herself into an ugly harridan so her husband Jay (Ed O'Neill) would start dressing better; and Cam overwhelmed his now-husband Mitch with so much physical attention that Mitch rejected his affections in front of all of his co-workers.
So, yeah, I haven't watched since. —Adam B. Vary
4. The Blacklist (NBC)
I was never all-in on The Blacklist to begin with, to be honest. I thought James Spader was hilarious in his scenery-swallowing lead role, and liked the rest of the pilot fine. I expected it to be the hit it was. And so I watched it for work, hoping I would get more enthusiastic. I did not; it felt like homework. The supporting cast — actors I like, such as Harry Lennix and Parminder Nagra — were flat and lifeless. The weekly stories were just OK, and I didn't care about the arc. And Megan Boone: Where to begin? Yes, her wig in the first season was distracting, but not as distracting as her acting! It's not necessarily possible to be Spader's foil here, I realize. He is doing such a delightful drag version of himself that it's hard to match, or even react to. But if he is doing drag, she is frozen and dead-eyed. I made it two-thirds of the way through the first season, and then I just couldn't take it anymore. —Kate Aurthur
5. New Girl (Fox)
I should start by saying that I was deeply in love with New Girl through its first two seasons — it was smart, sly, and wickedly fun, with a hipster's wry sense of humor and a quartet of adorably mismatched roommates. But something happened in the show's third season and New Girl began to feel decidedly old and tired, the humor felt strained and forced. Not helping matters: the fact that Winston (Lamorne Morris) rarely had anything of substance to do (that cat storyline), the Schmidt (Max Greenfield) dating two women storyline felt like something ripped from an old Three's Company rerun, and the show brought back the grating Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.). Those developments transformed this once fun comedy into something that felt more like a tedious chore, and the episodes began piling up on my DVR before long.
While some have suggested that the current, fourth season has shown signs of improvement (even the producers admit last season was an unmitigated disaster), I'm content to leave New Girl behind... and delete the stack of unwatched episodes off of my DVR. —Jace Lacob
6. The Vampire Diaries (The CW)
As a one-time avid watcher of Degrassi: The Next Generation, I feel a personal sense of pride when one of its Canadian teen actors succeeds on a larger scale. Enter Nina Dobrev, who went from teen mom to teen vampire on The CW's The Vampire Diaries back in 2009. That casting combined with my love of Kevin Williamson's teen angst-filled writing on Dawson's Creek drew me into TVD, despite my ambivalence toward the vampire teen genre that was dominating the screen at the time the show premiered. Turned out, the bloodsucking was secondary to the excellent high school drama on TVD. But, now in its sixth season, the ways that the characters all seem to become immortal and cheat death time and time again have made the show incredibly tiresome. The fact that Jeremy and Bonnie are still of this earth bores me TO TEARS. Basically, the stakes couldn't be lower these days on TVD and thusly, I had to put a stake in this show. —Jaimie Etkin
7. Gotham (Fox)
The show I was looking most forward to this season was Fox's Gotham. The series seemed progressive, considering that it cast Jada Pinkett Smith as the resident baddie and the pilot was sleek, sharp, and gave off a cinematic feel. Pinkett Smith's character, Fish Mooney, is one of Gotham City's most menacing evildoers — and it's a fun look to have a black woman going head-to-head with mob bosses. But it lost me. Accents were twirled around (make a choice, man) and storylines felt rushed. Better luck next time. —Kelley Carter
8. The Fosters (ABC Family)
I wanted to love The Fosters. An interracial lesbian mom-couple actually being physically intimate on television?! I felt things, I really did. But I just don't care about your kids, Stef and Lena. I am however looking forward to the prequel series where Stef and Lena are an interracial lesbian couple with a rockier relationship and no sourpuss teens. —Ariane Lange
9. Scandal (ABC)
I love melodrama. I love snappy, well-paced procedurals. I love powerful, no-nonsense women with beautiful white coats. I love eating popcorn and drinking goblets of wine. Which is why I loved the first few seasons of Scandal. The perfectly chosen score, the snappily combative cast of characters, even the sound of snapping paparazzi shutters that served as a bumper between acts — I reveled in it. I was a completist through its first three seasons, but there was something about the turn of events at the end of Season 3 — which seems, in hindsight, like a haze of interminable double-crosses and double-backs — that turned me off, like the speed of the action had reached a point of such improbable acceleration that the plot somehow felt like it was standing in place.
I didn't quite realize I was quitting Scandal until the start of Season 4, when I found that I simply no longer cared who Olivia loved that week, or which parent would betray her, or how Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) would once again mistreat each and every woman in his life. I found myself switching my allegiance to How to Get Away With Murder, which is no more plausible than Scandal... but still feels like it's going somewhere. —Anne Helen Petersen
10. The Mindy Project (Fox)
Honestly, I bailed on Mindy Kaling's comedy when it became clear that Mindy and Danny's unresolved romantic tension was becoming very resolved. I'm no fan of perpetual will-they-or-won't-theys, but what I always liked about the pair's bickering was how much the way they liked each other was balanced out by genuine disagreements and differences. While The Mindy Project has never hesitated in showing its heroine's flaws, romances have actually always come pretty easily to her (the starts of them, at least), and when she and Danny got together, broke up, then got together for real, it just seemed too... simple for me. I tried to stick with it, but the new episodes piled up, and eventually, I surrendered. —A.W.
11. American Idol (Fox)
I used to be a certified Idol junkie. There are performances from the show that I consider to be emotional signposts in my life. I even thought last season the show's new judging panel — Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick Jr. — was its best since the Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson glory days.
And yet, after last season's audition episodes, I realized I had simply hit my quota for watching teenagers and twentysomethings cover 90-second versions of semi-recognizable songs that are then gently critiqued by celebrities in front of a studio audience of swaying, cheering, booing tweens and grown adults. It's not really the show's fault, per se. One could argue that Idol hasn't been the same since Paula left. But, really, it's just that after 13 seasons, familiarity has bred, if not contempt, then apathy.
That said, I'll probably check out an audition episode or two for the new season, if only for nostalgia's sake. —A.B.V.
12. Revenge (ABC)
I may be the only person who stuck around for the third season of this once-hot ABC primetime soap and then gave up in Season 4, which is allegedly good, but I just cannot. I had watched Emily and Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) go toe-to-toe time and time again, witnessed Conrad (Henry Czerny) deliver lines in a way that isn't even suitable for a daytime soap, and tried to stick with Joshua Bowman (who plays Daniel) as he struggled to pass for an American. It wasn't easy, but Nolan's (Gabriel Mann) ensembles made it a little easier. I thought the reveal that [SPOILER ALERT if you give a flying fuck] Emily's dad David Clarke wasn't really dead would revitalize the series, but two episodes into Season 4, I realized I just couldn't do it anymore. I miss the red Sharpie days, but sadly, Revenge does not get my infinity tattoo of approval. —J.E.