Monday, November 02, 2015

The Problem with Streaming Old Shows

I stream most of the TV I watch. I find shows on Hulu Plus, Netflix...even YouTube.



Sometimes I watch past shows...almost always, I find they were shows I stopped watching halfway through. Throughout my life I've learned that TV shows usually "jump the shark" around season five or so, but that doesn't stop them. They just keep churning out crappy episode after crappy episode until they run it into the ground.


Fonzie preparing to "Jump the Shark"

I stopped streaming Grey's Anatomy soon after they jumped the shark with that ever-so-strange musical episode...



So I never saw what happened to Dr. McDreamy. 



I likely never will. You can blame that on this show:



When I saw Desperate Housewives was on Hulu Plus, I decided to give it another shot. I lost interest around season three when it first aired. As soon as I started watching, I realized why I loved the show so much in season one. You have Susan, who writes children's books...




And Mike, the plumber across the street. He's played by James Denton, who is from the city next to the one where I grew up. Goodlettsville still loves to mention that fact. Constantly.




I loved their love story. Loved it the first time, loved it the second time. Until I got to the last few episodes. If you haven't seen it and want to, skip to the end of this post...because I'm about to give something away.



Instead of letting Mike and Susan live happily ever after, the show's very talented writers decided to just make Susan miserable. Maybe they didn't like Teri Hatcher? There have been rumors... But whatever the reason, they shouldn't have killed off Mike. They could have just let them live happily ever after.



The problem is, if I'd never gone back and watched all the episodes, I would never have known. I would have just assumed they got married, had kids, and life was dandy for them.


Mike's final moments
Another problem with streaming? There's no one to share my pain. Everyone got over the Mike Delfino death three freakin' years ago when it aired! So I'm behind...and everyone else who watches the show on Hulu Plus will be behind, too. We'll just be screaming into a big echo chamber...WHY?!!!



Have you ever been surprised by the death of a fictional character?

66 comments:

  1. I gave up watching The Walking Dead during season two and will someday go back and binge watch the rest. I know there will be a lot of deaths though, so no surprise.
    Not sure why writers can't let characters get together and live happily ever after. (It does happen in real life you know!) Shawn and Maggie in Psych never got to experience that, and they were so close...

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    1. I think it's the Nicolas Sparks effect--if you have a happy ending, you risk being too much like a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie or a romance novel! Gotta shake it up.

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  2. How funny, I recently started watching this show. Never watched it when it was the show, but it's fun.

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    1. Desperate Housewives? Hope I didn't give anything away! There were lots of twists and turns along the way, but I personally felt the last season just went off the rails...and not in a good way. I don't know if the writers were just out of ideas or what.

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  3. I have found many shows and great videos on YouTube! All the videos I post on my blog are from YouTube. I think it is great, especially since not many networks show the classics, such as The Andy Griffith Show and many others that I love. Wholesome TV at its best. :)

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    1. I don't know if people realize how many shows are on YouTube. I was watching Ghost Adventures on there this weekend (just the beginnings--I love watching the stories on each, but watching them walk around going, "OH! What was THAT?!" is pretty boring to me. You just have to type in the show and Season 1 Episode 1 (or some of them do S01E01) and you can start watching quite a few shows. There are some shows that you can't find that way, either because the network/production company has them taken down consistently or because nobody cares enough to put them up there.

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  4. Methinks that pretty much everyone's husband in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES ended up dead or killed or jailed... yes, all of them... I'm not sure whether they killed Doug Savant in it, but the rest of them did not make it till the end. Bree even lost two or three of them :) It ain't safe living in Wisteria Lane if you're male :)

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    1. Doug Savant's character and Carlos made it 'til the end. They could have killed either of those two off and it wouldn't have bugged me as much. I think that's actually what I read--Mike was a BIG fan favorite. Probably the biggest favorite on the show even of the women. Killing him had maximum impact. I think it would have been a little better if they'd killed him for good reason. They killed him as part of a throwaway storyline that was stupid to begin with. The whole last season was a total waste of everyone's time, I think!

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    2. I remember his and Susan's kid becoming violent after his dad's death.... I also didn't like what they did with my fave Bree.

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  5. I just recently binge watched USA's Playing House. One of the funniest shows I've ever watched in my life!

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    1. I haven't seen that one. Is it on Netflix?

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    2. I don't do Netflix. I watched it for free on the USA app.

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  6. Yeah, I really wish shows would properly wrap up instead of go on and on. I appreciated Sons of Anarchy for sticking with a plan of 7 seasons and a well written ending.
    The absolute worst was Dexter. Biggest pile of crap ending ever!!!! Along with True Blood; that was just stupid lol.
    Check out Witches of East End on Netflix. I really liked it! It's kind of like Charmed meets Supernatural.

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    1. I tried watching Dexter...couldn't get past the violence. I can't watch people be tortured. I even had to stop watching Scandal because during season 2 there was a subplot that had one of the characters torturing someone. I could handle American Horror Story Season 1, but the other seasons have gone way off into things that are just too hard to watch.

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  7. I binge watched all the seasons of The Good Wife to catch up to current episodes. It's exhausting.

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    1. I can't watch a show anymore unless I can watch from episode 1. I don't think I was that way back in the 80s/90s! Now it feels like starting a book on page 50.

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  8. I have been shocked by a fictional characters death but usually I find out with everyone else as I don't have Netflix... I would probably watch too much TV if I did ;-) xox

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    1. I stream it while working...most of the time I'm only halfway paying attention. So a mostly sucky season like the last one of Desperate Housewives is fine, since I'm tuning in and out anyway. When it first aired, I was staring at the screen, doing nothing but watching the action unfold, so I can see why I lost patience!

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  9. I watched most of the old Beverly Hills 90210 episodes then started Melrose Place. I didn't even make it through the first episode. Ugh. Maybe some shows are better left in the past. :)

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    1. I rewatched Melrose Place last year...yeah, I think I mostly stuck with it the second time around for the nostalgia factor! The whole Billy-Allison thing was the only thing keeping us riveted back in the 90s. Even so, I didn't get far past the fifth season or so when watching it again? Whichever season it was that most of the good cast members left and were replaced with second-rate former soap opera stars...

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  10. My daughter tried to get me to watch 2 entire seasons of Orange is the New Black and it was exhausting. After you start getting to know the characters, it's very difficult to watch them get killed off. Reminds me of years ago when I used to watch Soap Operas. You know, they days when someone gets killed off and then two years later they come back and it was like, no I didn't really died, I faked my death....oh, the corpse in the open casket at my funeral? It was a wax figure the mortician assisted with the cover up. ... yeah, that's what happened.

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    1. I loved the first season of OITNB and then the second season started. The first episode or two were great but I quickly realized the ONLY reason I liked the show at all was seeing a normal person having to adjust to life in prison. Once the show started focusing on the other characters, it became a prison drama and I just can't relate to all of those other people. They're too rough! I like the "fish out of water" story--when it becomes all about the fish that have always been in the water, I lose interest!

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  11. I'm in season 11 of Grey's Anatomy. I will admit that singing show was over the top, but I'm glad I continued on. Hubby and I have watched every episode together. I do agree that some seem to tank quickly.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. Okay, I'll admit I stayed after the singing episode. Then there was a (SPOILER ALERT) plane crash that killed off some good characters and they started bringing in even more young people and I just got bored with meeting new people all the time. But those first few seasons were phenomenal!!!

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  12. Oh yes! I have to make sure not to sit in front of the TV during the day or I'd be wailing by myself.

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    1. It is a little weird to be streaming a show that was on in prime time originally at 2pm and have it bring tears to your eyes!

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  13. Yes, just last week on The Walking Dead. Okay, I knew it was coming, but I was still crushed. Of course, I remind myself that I kill characters in my books all the time and readers probably react the same way.

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    1. I don't know who died on The Walking Dead, but it certainly set the Internet on FIRE! I don't watch the show, but it must have been someone who was a fan favorite, for sure!

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  14. As a fan of the Walking Dead ... yes, I have had to get over the deaths of many beloved characters. There will reach a point, however, when they've killed off so many of the original core cast that I'll have no reason to keep watching.

    The same may be true of Game of Thrones, depending on whether a certain young man with astonishing black curls ends up alive or dead or in-between.

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    1. But, dumb newbie question here--if they kill someone off on The Walking Dead, are they still on the show as zombies? Since the show is actually about dead people walking around?

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  15. "Jump the shark" - I love it! True, it's disappointing not having anyone to discuss a show with when everyone saw it long before you did. On the other hand, there still are those who will be more than happy to re-live the experience of a good one.
    The season eight finale of Criminal Minds..;-)

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    1. I had to look up which finale that one was--you're right! That was a powerful finale! It was very haunting, the way they killed that chief woman off...her stumbling around the streets like that. That actually got to me. That show has had some pretty impactful moments. I loved the show Medium--I look for a show that has that same haunting quality without being too violent and I've yet to find one.

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  16. I watch so little TV (and now that the World Series is over, it will be even less) that I don't really get caught up in old shows, but I do sometimes go back and watch streaming shows to learn what people were excited over or to see what it was all about.

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    1. I've watched a few just to see what all the excitement was about. It's weird how rarely shows actually connect with me. Most of the time I don't even make it through the first few episodes before I'm saying, "Nah. Not catching my interest."

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  17. The problem I have with shows like this is we are drawn in only to find that so far through the show is bought up by Sky and so we are forced to buy/borrow the box set in order to find out how it all ended. Thus we have only now managed to watch every season of Dexter.

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    1. Ugh. That would be annoying! You're in England? My stepdad is from England and watches a lot of BBC here. I got addicted to The I.T. Crowd and that show Black Mirror--both were on Netflix and both were phenomenal!

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  18. Yeah...I liked the last season of Desperate Housewives, but the decision to kill of Mike just seemed so arbitrary. It didn't do anything for the story at all.

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    1. I know, right? I didn't get it at all. They're sitting on the porch having this big emotional moment for-freakin'-EVER and I'm thinking, "Why are they doing this? Is he about to die or something?" So I actually was Googling it when he was shot...and it just was stupid. That wasn't even a major storyline--and it wasn't even an INTERESTING minor storyline. It was like, "Hey, we need to kill him...let's throw something in there."

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  19. Hey, Stephanie: Well, "The Walking Dead" recently had a character apparently become zombie food, but some followers of the program think that this person may have in fact survived. I don't think I've ever been terribly surprised by a character's demise. Usually it makes good dramatic sense, though there are the occasional slip-ups.

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    1. It's like back in the days of that show "Lost"--the fans gather online and what they come up with is often more interesting than what the screenwriters even imagined!

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  20. How do you find time to watch these shows? I know I can't find it.
    I

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    1. They play in the background while I work.

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  21. I never heard about "jump the shark" until about 2 months ago when my friend told me about it. I remember that episode and I agree-some shows should have left earlier. Henry Winkler just turned 70 too! I watched The Housewives one for the first 2 seasons but when I feel the writers start to lose all the connections and it starts getting wonky...I give up. Funny, many old shows never dealt with death (Aunt Clara on Bewitched) and now, they seem to kill everyone off. The 2 regular shows I watch (on the old fashioned regular channels) is Castle and Grimm. I might be showing my age but I like Castle and hope they stop screwing with the characters's marriage. Grimm also have many people die. The first one that showed a death that shocked me was on Little House on the Prairie when there was a fire and Mary's baby and one of the regular cast members, died

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    1. There was a book called "Jump the Shark" back in the 90s? 00s? It may have started as a website. The author grabbed the term from Happy Days and it seems to have stuck long after the website has become history! I can't watch Castle because they don't air it online anywhere. Beats me why they're so protective of it, but unless they put it on Hulu Plus or Netflix, I guess I'll never get to see it!

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  22. It seems to be the popular thing recently. Kill off one of the main characters. Sometimes, I don't care. Sometimes I do. I loved Medium until the end. Horrible ending to a series. Now I don't even care to watch reruns. I feel your pain.

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    1. Yeah...not sure if you're caught up on The Walking Dead but if not, don't read the comments above! I saw it all over Facebook and Twitter when it happened. I don't even know for sure what "it" was, but it certainly has everyone outraged!

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  23. I remember being surprised by his death too! I was a big Desperate Housewives fan. I also stopped watching Grey's for a period of time after that musical episode (not when those occur like once a year I skip them)- but I started again and it actually picked back up (in my opinion)- so if you ever start watching again it does get on track. I was devastated about McDreamy (especially all the flashbacks they showed).

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    1. I watched for a little while after the musical episode but I wasn't connecting with some of the newer people they were bringing in. Maybe I should give it another shot...did you watch The Practice? I watched that one on Netflix and liked it. They ended that show before it got too far but it had a big death toward the end, too. I'm seeing a trend here...

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  24. i used netflix's dvd by mail program years back. have been debating about adding their streaming service now. maybe i shouldn't... :)

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    1. I did that, too, back in the late 90s/early 00s! Yeah, I personally find their streaming service has gotten a little sucky lately. They need to get some good shows, but they appear to be focusing more on their original stuff. I'm enjoying Hulu Plus far more at the moment.

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  25. You make a very good point about streaming older shows. I am behind in a few that I started watching, but I never seem to get into them enough to want to finish.

    And the death of the best characters? Gah, hate that!

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    1. And it's ALWAYS a man? Same with Nicolas Sparks. What is it with killing off the main male character everyone likes? Is it that noble "die for your woman" thing?

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  26. I do hate when shows start to go downhill

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    1. Me, too...there are very few shows that don't.

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  27. I don't watch that many shows. I'd rather read or watch a DVD. I lose interest if there's a series. Just me.

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    1. There are very few shows I stay interested in.

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  28. Mike died? Wait. I watched Desperate Housewives until the end, and I don't remember this.

    This is one reason why I don't have internet connected to my TV. I don't want to get hooked on Netflix. But at the rate that I'm getting behind on current shows, I might have to bite the bullet at some point.

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    1. It was in the third or fourth to last episode! They killed him, then had his funeral and such...then a few other recovery sorts of things...then it was the end. He was one of the ghosts waving bye as Susan pulled away in her car at the very end of the last show.

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  29. Not sure if you got Cold Feet over there but that was one of my favourite shows. It was about a group of thirtysomethings and it ended in 2003. I remember one of the characters being killed in a car crash, that was such a shock.

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    1. No, but when you said that, I immediately thought of an 80s show here called thirtysomething. One of the main male characters was killed in a car crash while riding his bike. They didn't show it--we found out as the friends found out, in the same shocking way it happens in real life. Very impactful and powerful and it fit the show (unlike Mike's death on Desperate Housewives). Although I'm sure at the time it was just as troublesome to viewers. Anyway, reading up on Cold Feet, it looks like the creator was a fan of thirtysomething and some other shows and initially pitched it as a combination of all of those.

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  30. I don't usually watch a lot of TV but my daughter got me watching The Voice...don't know how they choose they are all so good.

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  31. I loved DH too, and was pretty upset over Mike's death. However, they made it up to me when (spoiler alert) Linette and Tom got back together. Their breakup was even more upsetting to me than what happened to Mike and Susan. I just felt Tom and Linette were more real.

    That was a great show. I still miss it.

    I hated that about the SATC movies too. I would have rather gone on thinking Carrie and Big were happy, Miranda and Steve were happy, and Sam and Smith were happy than go to the dark places the movies took us.

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  32. Stephanie, you are always so funny! I don't normally stream programs, but I can feel your pain. Once a character starts doing something totally crazy, I lose interest in the program entirely and go on a mini-rant. (lol) Hugs...RO

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  33. I have been watching Game of Thrones. No one on that show is safe. Beware who you love!!!

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  34. I don't know about surprised, but the death of Dr. Green on ER was written very well and was a hard episode to watch. Literally brought tears to my eyes. I too like to stream shows, but I've been using Amazon Prime.
    I have to admit, if it's a show I like, I'll keep watching it even after it's been run into the ground. I did that with the Office. Even after Michael Scott left, I kept watching. The show was never the same, but there were still some hilarious moments from time to time.
    What I hate more than a show jumping the shark, is when it is cancelled before it even really begins. Just annoying.

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  35. YES! They just killed off Glenn on the Walking Dead! I may stopping watching it I am so disappointed! He was one of my favorites!

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