Thursday Open Thread: Major disappointments

Perhaps I’m just still irritated at last night’s Happy Town. Ok, so I am. I was really looking forward to this series, and it just completely let me down. Uggh.

So here’s a question for you:

What’s been a major TV disappointment for you?

I’m not talking cancellations. That’s an entirely different topic. I mean something you were really excited about–really amped–and then it completely let you down.

Sure, this might go a little in line with our discussion about hype, but this is really your own anticipation, not what a network wants for you. Pushing Happy Town aside, for a second, let me give another example. Perhaps the Angel finale? I was amped up for this enormous battle, and we didn’t even get it? I mean, sure, there were other things going on in the episode that ultimately made it good television, but that didn’t mean I didn’t give a disgruntled “What?!” when I saw the credits roll.

Or, like, Kathy Bates’ role on The Office. That could have been much more awesome than it actually was.

What about you? Show? Episode? Let me know.

image from

The tagline should have been my first clue…


14 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread: Major disappointments

  1. To be fair, Angel did have to be a season/series finale since they weren’t sure if it would be picked up, but it still annoyed me at the time.

  2. John from Cincinnati. Its lead-in was the last episode of the Sopranos. It was created by the mastermind of Deadwood, who was also the co-creator of NYPD Blue. I thought it was going to be interesting, weird, and mystical. Instead it was boring. Only watched two episodes.

  3. Ignore all that Angel stuff! Here’s my example. The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The original promos actually made the show look smart, intriguing, and possibly a statement on today’s teenage culture. It was anything but. It has terrible writing, terrible characters, and a terrible cast. Huge disappointment there.

  4. No idea what brought this to mind, but here goes. Maybe ten years ago, somebody made a miniseries out of Marian Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. I loved the book as a teenager and got very excited, but it was a complete mess and hacked the (admittedly very long) story to pieces. Among other things, the book’s complex portrayal of pagan mysticism came out flat and hippie-ish, and a lot of interesting plot points were cut while the sex scenes were given more time than I thought they needed (especially with one’s parents in the room). It was painful.

  5. If you have read any of my comments in the past, you know im a sci-fi nerd. In this comment, I will expose myself to be a super nerd. The series finale of Star Trek Voyager. Voyager is lost in space for 7 years or however long the series was on. Then the last episode basically just magically transports them back to Earth. The entire Star Trek Enterprise series was a disappointment. But apparently it started to get good after they were notified that the show was being canceled. I don’t know, I had stopped watching a while ago. Stargate SG-1, The Ark of Truth. This was a 2 hour DVD release movie that would provide a bookend to the two year long storyline near the end of SG-1’s 10 year show run. Again, the entire thing basically ends magically after they look into a box. No awesome space battle or super science or ancient technology. Magic box. Dr Who, when Donna Noble becomes a quasi-time lord. What a let down. It seemed as if they had to find a way to use her in the episode somehow, couldn’t, so they just jack up her brain. They had Martha Jones walk the entire Earth, and the best they could do with Donna is let her touch a magic hand? Finally, Heroes. “hey, why don’t we just copy the best storylines from the X-men comics. Those are super popular. How can we get it wrong?” I agreed when they said they were doing that. But somehow, they screwed it up.

  6. Ooh, good list. I stuck it out to the end with Enterprise — and while I agree that the whole show was in some ways a series of disappointments, for me the worst disappointment was the series finale. It had been getting better in general, and the last episode was just ridiculous. Unnecessary death of a favorite character — while doing the sort of stunt he had pulled off with panache dozens of times, which just made the writers look unimaginative — and gratuitous guest appearances from Riker and Troi which would have been cool in any other episode, but this was the big finale, and it was not their show. Not well handled at all.

    I gave the Doctor-Donna business a pass because I found her amusing, but the episode itself was so packed full of returning characters and there just wasn’t enough for everyone to have something to do — I agree it was kind of a backward move for Donna, having spent the whole of season four proving how awesome she was. Sigh. Oh Donna.

    Speaking of Doctor Who disappointments, I will just say this: “The End of Time.” I won’t complain here, since I wrote a review back at Christmas time. Also, “Planet of the Dead.” Blech.

  7. Frankly, the biggest disappointments on TV would tend to be those that actually kill your existing interest in a show. It’s not all that uncommon to be disappointed with a new show that doesn’t live up to the hype or with a specific episode of a show doesn’t live up to expectations, but those don’t usually change your viewing habits. You just don’t start watching the new show, or if it’s a show you already watch, you just wait for the next ep to air (unless it’s a series finale).

    But the real stinkers make you give up on a show that you had a real interest in. My two examples? The 1st season finale of Heroes and the season 8 finale of Smallville. In both situations, there was a season’s worth of hype and build up to battles that, quite frankly, ended up very anticlimactic. Haven’t watched either show since those episodes aired.

  8. I can see your point, CS. Though, I’m one of those people that gives benefit of the doubt on a sucky series premiere, just because I know pilots have to deal with terrible exposition, so I still continue to watch at least a couple more episodes. But I do see your point.

    You know what disappoints me, though? Huge cliffhangers that they either ignore or they jump ahead in the season premiere and never deal with again. For example, Bones. Booth lost his memory last season, and yet, come season premiere day, it’s six weeks later and he’s gotten most of it back. We didn’t even see anyone deal with the issue–an issue we spend all summer worrying about!

    Or Charmed. On the third season finale, we were left with Pru and Piper lying unconscious, dying on the floor while Phoebe made a deal to put her in the underworld. Yet, when we return, sure, Pru’s dead, but suddenly Phoebe’s back, no problem. What’s that about, Charmed?!

  9. Speaking of Charmed, disappointments of all disappointments was Rose McGowan’s performance on that show. Man, she sucked.

    Ok, that’s a lie. I was never disappointed. I figured she would suck when they cast her.

  10. I don’t believe Rose McGowan is someone people typically cast for quality acting. And as for the season opening handling of cliffhangers, you can count certain seasons of Smallville and West Wing among that list of disappointments.

  11. Which seasons of the West Wing? I have one in mind that involves John Goodman and Zoe.

  12. That’d be the one I had in mind. I have a dislike of major season ending events that only have impact for the initial episode or two the next season.

    I just don’t understand what the point of a big event is if you’re just going to immediately return to the norm.

  13. “But the real stinkers make you give up on a show that you had a real interest in.”

    Good point, CS. I don’t usually get hyped up for a show (with the exception of Dollhouse which eventually lavished its viewers in lovin’), but I do hate it when shows I like turn sour. E.g. Bones. What the nerds happened there? The characters were fresh, funny, lively. Now, keeping up with Bones is like doing housework – it eventually has to be done, but in the meantime there are far more interesting things to watch.

    Other disappointments (these will overlap with my “need to be canceled” open thread comments): Glee, HIMYM, The Office, and CSI.

    We all know HIMYM and The Office’s faults, but CSI actually used to be a fun show. I used to joke about its heavy use of music and “lab scene” montages, but it’s ridiculous now. I popped in tonight since it was the only scripted show to brave the LOST 3+ hour finale (good god). Two or three minute “lab music videos” an episode?! commence eye-rolling.

    Oh I thought of a show that was hyped gigantically to me by friends that flopped in my mind: Stargate SG-1. I watched 3 or 4 eps via hulu and could not get into for the life of me. I’m depressed that I couldn’t like it since it seems to bring awe and joy to so many.

  14. Pingback: Thursday Open Thread: Major letdowns « Raked

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