This past Sunday I watched and very much enjoyed the last ever episodes of The Good Place (CBS). I’ve avoided articles about it in my newsfeed, but a headline or two suggested some fans weren’t satisfied. (A rant for another time: Clickbait headlines and headlines with spoilers. So annoying.)
Maybe some fans just didn’t want the show to end, which I get, but I appreciate knowing when and how to make a graceful exit. I like the way the show’s creator, Michael Shur, effectively said, ‘This much and no more.’
As it turns out, it’s not the only show I watch that’s ending. Several of them are. (And there’s one or two I really wish would call it quits.)
Last post I mentioned the ABC sitcom Fresh Off the Boat, a show I’m currently mini-binging on Hulu. When I wrote that, I was still very much on the fence as to whether I even liked the show. In fact I was puzzled about why I liked it at all, since it’s a fairly standard sitcom in many regards.
Ever since I’ve been paying more attention to my reactions while watching, and I’ve come to realize that it’s not a matter of being undecided — it’s a matter of having developed a strong like/dislike for the show. As I wrote with Halt and Catch Fire, my feelings are mixed, not vague.
And it turns out to really tap into what attracts or repels me to sitcoms.
When I first started watching TV there were only the Big Three: CBS, NBC, and ABC. We had just a handful of shows we loved and followed, maybe a few others we watched with family members or friends. Often we just played outside.
There were various local channels, but they offered mostly re-runs, news, or sports — not much original content. It wasn’t until the Second Era, of cable TV, that original content offerings exploded into so many choices. We had to pick what we watched among all that new content.
Now the Third Era, streaming TV, with even more original content to choose among. On the other hand, also the chance to catch up on content we missed along the way!