Thursday Open Thread: Major letdowns

We’ve done an open thread on disappointments, but let’s go a little beyond that. I was just thinking today how I missed watching my drama-filled episodes of The Best Years and instead I got this crappy season two that deserved to to be cancelled.

What shows have let you down?

I randomly got a review copy of The Best Years a year or two back, and I must say, I wasn’t expecting much. But somehow I got really hooked and really invested in the show–especially the characters. Every week was a life or death drama, and honestly, when I would tell JC what happened, he wouldn’t believe so much happened in one season. So after eagerly awaiting the start of season two (which I had to watch online because I wasn’t Canadian), how disappointed was I to see that half the cast had gone, we’d jumped ahead months, and it was…boring? I was just so…let down.

Sure, I’m sure there were extenuating circumstances. The show did have a long hiatus, and they might not have been able to get all the actors back, but even the writing and plots just sucked. Give me back my drama.

And it’s not just random Canadian teen shows that does it. Look at the second season of Heroes! There was no excitement and new characters that I had no interest in. Honestly, It was a relief when the writers strike cut it short.

But what about you? Has a show just ever let you down? It can be an old favorite or something you were just getting into. It can even be a minor storyline that you just thought, why is this on my show?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

image from buddytv.com

By the way, apparently you can still watch some of The Best Years online. Check it out.

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Um, did ‘The Best Years’ just end?

I’ve been really behind in my writing about The Best Years. Mainly because I’ve been behind in watching the last few episodes of The Best Years. I mean, if you compare this season with the previous one, it just doesn’t compare. There’s very little that has happened compared to cocaine overdoses, hit and runs, incestuous abuse, club break-ins, and more.

But I was very surprised when I caught up on the last three episodes of season two that they seem to be the last three episodes of season two. Did the season just end? More so, did the series just end?

Here’s what clued me in: Sam’s ending voiceover referred to the series title. That generally means there’s an ending. Plus, I saw no previews for the next episode.

It didn’t seem to feel like a finale, though. I mean, sure, Poppy and Del were happy in the end (weird couple, by the way, though I’m glad Del is happy). And Robyn and Noah got back together. Plus, I guess there was a cliffhanger, what with Rich’s leaving to be an intern for six months or forever (so much for a college degree…).

So I guess on paper, it reads season finale. Of course, it was a very abbreviated season that aired long after the first season, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s coming back. But it has to, right? I mean, I feel like things are unresolved.

But then again, they kind-of are. We don’t seem to have any more of Sam’s family issues. Now that she’s getting $300 a week or her column, I guess she doesn’t have to worry about money anymore. She’s in a relationship. All of her friends are in a relationship, except Kat, who seems quite content with helping others through her “Catherines” group (also weird).

The only question really worth asking is what will happen with Rich, who I don’t even care about anyway.

I really wonder if we’ll see anymore of the show, which is really disappointing. I was so into the first season (you can tell by my two recap reviews), and I really got to know the characters. I was disappointed that most of them didn’t return for season two–especially Trent–and that the action disappeared. Now season two seems to have slipped through my fingers.

Am I wrong? Will there be more to see? I’m less familiar with The N, so I’m not sure how their seasons work. Does anyone have any info out there that you can send to little blog writers like me?

If this is the end, it really does disappoint. Maybe I’ll just go sit in my room and rewatch season one. Reminisce about the good ol’ days and make up my own seasons two and three.

Something happened on ‘The Best Years’!

THE BEST YEARS: 2.04 “Different Hearts”

Are you as surprised as I am? Yes! Something happened in Friday’s episode of The Best Years!

Alicia is gone!

I feels as though this should have happened a few weeks ago, solely because season 1 was so huge, and this is the biggest thing that’s happened yet. It’s almost a little disappointing, since Alicia was the only person stirring things up.

This week’s episode involved a prank war, which felt a little too Greek to me and less The Best Years. We really saw very few pranks actually happen, beyond walking down the hall in the dorm, and the biggest prank that had our film-maker waiting outside for, we didn’t even see.

Speaking of, did we just discover that Robyn is a lesbian? Bi? Or is Kathryn just that awesome? I have no idea.

I wouldn’t mind seeing some less angst with Noah and some action, though. I mean, that lame-o fake movie “The Kiss”? Seriously? Ew.

At least we finally heard a little more about Trent, though. Apparently, he’s over in San Francisco and opened up a coffee bar. In fact, that’s where Alicia is headed now (if you recall, the two were friends way back when they both were coke addicts–clearly the number one person I’d want to go see).

In my ideal The Best Years, Alicia would arrive on Trent’s doorstep, and immediately Trent would be flooded with emotion at Sam’s memory, ask Alicia everything she knows about her now that she’s back, and rush to Boston to make Sam’s life a drama-filled paradise again.

But no. We’re stuck with Rich.

Stupid, stupid Rich.

Did I miss the part when the two of them kinda broke up? Because all I saw was her dash off to go meet someone, and then the rest of the episode, Rich was saying that they weren’t together anymore. My god, that boy’s a baby. I haven’t found one redeeming quality about him yet. If you know one, please share?

I guess the Poppi thing was sweet. As much as I’m not sure why Del is there–other than to show the viewers that he has money–it was sweet to see him develop like that. Between that and his moment with Alicia in the first episode, I think we have a softy. Who do you think he’ll date?

Anyway, hopefully we’re moving more in a plot-driven direction now.  And maybe my Trent dreams will come true.

But I doubt it.

At least something happened, though, right?

The play’s the thing

THE BEST YEARS: 2.03 “Dermabrasion”

Bah! Where are my Best Years? Where did they go? I’ll try to focus on this episode instead of just repeating my lament from last week, but I’m feeling the same pain.

Everything we learned from Robyn last week was officially lost this week. We learned her to be a very scientific and dedicated person who is devoted to her calling: medicine. Well, throw that all out the window because her real passion is “the arts.” Not art, not drama, not music, not dance–just “the arts.” I’ll let that little vaguity go, but it was a little annoying. Apparently, her dedication to medicine came from her father, and it was the only way she related to him.

I feel like this jumped a little too far. I could believe that maybe her father pushed her in that direction, and maybe her real passion was in something else, but I don’t see her character being so dedicated to her education and spending hours of her time studying more than necessary if she really never wanted to be a doctor. I could see her achieving, yes, but working the extra non-required hours? I’m not sure.

And I hated her monologue. Bleck.

Speaking of, what was up with the play? A lit requirement? Not in college. Creative writing, sure. Playwriting, of course. Maybe even Acting or Intro to Drama, but no one writes one-act plays in freshman lit–and performs it. Plus her jumping off the cliff metaphor never came to fruition, though they really tried to make it that way. I just figured it’d be something enormous–not a great leap to assume considering last season–but it was rather tame. Stressful and odd, yes, but tame. No huge disasters. No one started a fight or even did something completely insane with Sam’s lines. Everything went fine.

And if you haven’t noticed, we’re very close to returning to our old Kathryn. Sad. I really found her intriguing in the first episode of the season, and I really want to hear more about her transformation while she was away.

And her caffeine-addiction moment just made me wish for the days of Jessie and Saved by the Bell. Why? I guess I want those big, over-the-top moments back. Nothing came of her caffeine except spilling secrets.

There are two things about this new season that I’m appreciating, though. The first is that clearly they’re trying to spread the word about environmentalism and sustainability. Of course, this is all through Rich, who still annoys me, but at least they’re trying. I do like his professor, though I’m thinking he’ll die later in the season. I’m not sure why, but the way he talks about the way Rich will be heading into a dark place and will need someone there with him…it just seems like he won’t make it very long, and he’ll be a sympathetic kill. Of course, maybe that’s because I’m still hoping for a show like last season.

The other thing I’m surprised I like is the development between Sam and Alicia. It didn’t surprise me that Alicia was hurt not to be invited in the play. What did surprise me is that she actually went to Rich to help Sam’s relationship. Clearly, there is caring on both sides here (Sam’s caring, though sparse, is obvious). I think it could be interesting going forward.

But I need more excitement. Maybe we just need more people drunk. This is college, right? That’s when everything happens, after all. And that was what Colony was for, and what happened there? Drug overdoses, drug deals, hostage situations, people being hit by cars… Now there’s some excitement.

These are ‘The Best Years’?

THE BEST YEARS: 2.02 “Documentary”

Hmmm. I knew that The Best Years would come out differently this season. It’s been a long time, and we’ve lost Dawn and Devon. Plus Trent and Lee. And Colony, apparently.

But there seems to be more missing. Like what’s the word? Oh, excitement. I know that I teased about how completely over the top The Best Years was, but I think we all knew that I enjoyed it. And now, I really miss it.

Where’s the drama? I was sure that at the end of the documentary, we’d at least get a fight between Noah and Robyn. I mean, would you want to see a video where your boyfriend made you look like you had no time for him and that everyone in school doesn’t really know who you are? It kinda made her look, well, bitchy. I wouldn’t be happy with that.

But Robyn was. She was perfectly happy.

Meanwhile, we have the Alicia/Dorothy drama, which is just that: drama. Nothing is going on. It’s just a lot of whining. Boo.

Finally, Sam. Sam’s turned into, well, the typical college student. She’s rather abrasive in class; she’s the slacker student. Yet somehow the professor still likes her (I doubt that would really happen) and we’re still supposed to like her (yet somehow we do…at least for now).

And why is she with Rich? I find no appealing qualities in Rich–especially after the Panama incident–and it seems like there’s more drama there than necessary, which she’s blaming completely on herself. We really need her to move on to bigger and better things.

I guess I was just hoping for another explosive season. Could it be possible that the show really did run out of storylines after its first season? Or is it just the time away and the new characters that require setup that keeping the show down? That could be it.

But bring me back Colony. Honestly, I’m just waiting for the moment when Trent returns (though who knows if that will ever happen). There’s some real actionable drama. Or just get these people partying again. It’s college after all.

We need more people being hit by cars! Or bar fights! Or drug use and hostage situations!

Never though I’d ever request that. But, hey, this is a teen drama after all.

To Panama and back again

THE BEST YEARS: 2.01 “Dangerous Liasons”

Hmm. Not sure what I think of the new season of The Best Years (thought 100% thrilled that the season is being aired on The N, so I can catch the new episodes). We’ve got some new faces and some old favorites, and it’s just…different.

I should say that I have finished watching the first season DVD set, so I’m to speed on the show. (I’ll try to get my final Recap Review up this week.) And no surprise to my readers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well, I did have to ignore a lot of Devon’s puppy dog pouts. That got old. But otherwise, I was very into the storyline.

Which is probably why I’m a wee bit hesitant about this new season. We were left on a cliffhanger, everyone going in their own directions. You assume they’ll all come back together somehow.

But they don’t. In fact, the only people who returned to the show were Noah, Sam, and Catherine. Well, then we’ve also got her family, who are making a larger appearance. The thing is, I really never cared much for Alicia. So I don’t care to see much more of her.

More importantly, what about our cliffhangers? What about our coke-loving Trent? They were highly building up that relationship in the last season, and now it looks like he won’t even be on it!

Here’s my guess. As you know, I’m new to the show. I just heard about it once the DVD was out. But according to IMDB, it was aired in 2007. Now here we are in 2009 and we’re moving on to season 2, which is supposedly the following fall. Well, I’m assuming (and this is a complete guess) that there was some question as to whether the show would be returning. By the time that they decided it would, they needed to concoct a reason for Sam’s absense (aka, Panama) and then couldn’t get all of the original actors to come back.

So here we have a new cast. Sadly, right now they look a bit one-dimensional and uninteresting. Noah’s girlfriend seems too jealous for her own good, which can lead to annoying. Plus, her whole “sex is a natural bodily function” just didn’t seem to fit with her whole character we’ve seen so far. She’s just not working quite yet.

Then there’s the new frat, that seems to have a lot of one-dimensional guys. Del seems like he could be interesting, especially with his interaction with Alicia in the end. Beyond that, he was just like all the other guys.

And Rich? He bores me a bit. He was a little fun in Panama, but I didn’t believe his sudden need to get back together with Sam in the end of the episode.

Honestly, the most interesting part of the episode was the story around Kat. I wanted to really see why she was so quiet and different–almost as to whether her parents had somehow brainwashed her. Unfortunately, those theories were put aside when we found out that it was just because she promised her dad that she wouldn’t be friends with Noah and Sam. I think there’s more to discover, but I do wish they’d kept up more of the mystery.

Anyway, at least with new characters we get new directions. I am going to miss the old people, though. Part of me hopes that Dawn will still return, as well as Lee and Trent, because that group was just fun. But until then, I’ll just have to get used to the new.

And that’s what college is, right? Get used to a new year, new people, and new things?