TV Shows That Aged Seriously Badly, Part 3

by thethreepennyguignol

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying writing this series, and thus, figured it was about time for another look at all the TV shows I think have aged fucking terribly. Get the month started on a snarky note, and start as we continue to go on. Check out the last couple of articles I wrote in this snarktacular vein, and drop your own retrospective disappointments in the comments below.

  1. Heroes

You know, I can remember vividly the hype around Heroes when it first hit screens – big-budget, live-action superhero bonanza with at least the semblance of grit – but I didn’t actually watch it till a few years later, when Marvel’s crushing masturbatory deathgrip on all things superhero had already all but choked the life out of the genre. I thought that Heroes could be a fun way for me to reconnect with the world of superheroes outside the crushing weight of a franchise – but Jesus, this shit makes Batman versus Superman look like a staggering work of literary worth. Fuck, I longed for the nuance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the face of this: an enormous show with what seemed like an unlimited budget and timeline, which featured eight thousand lead characters of which one (1) was actually good (it’s Hiro. I’m talking about Hiro). With only the esteemed Zachary Quinto escaping this mess unscathed, it’s hard to look back on this painful clusterfuck and see anything other than a dumptruck of ambition buried beneath a breathless lack of actually storytelling or character-building ability.

Also Peter Petrelli can fucking leave and never come back along with his fart-powered super-brother thanks so much

2. The X-Files

Re-watching The X-Files these days is like being dragged down into an existential mind journey vortex nightmare worthy of any angsty anime leading man. Because for all that it’s still got that SIZZLINGly chemistry-laden central partnership (and yes, Robin, I know you’re reading this, and I know you will fight me on the sheer watchable quality of the Sculder ship) and some fun horror and sci-fi plots to boot. But, after the recent and shockingly awful reboot, it’s hard not to look back and just see this all as some doom-laden backslide into nothingness. No explanation, no answer, no nothing, All that is eternal is Chris Carter’s emo teenage diary dialogue and the promise that Scully will, somehow, get something up her womb again whether she likes it all not. The standalone episodes are still fine, but the mythology now feels like a cruel joke as, decades later, we’re still looking for anything that’s close to an actual endpoint.

3. Jericho

Am I the only person who remembers Jericho? Probably. And look, I do still have a soft spot for it: I went through this strange phase in my teens of just being obsessed with post-apocalypse media, and Jericho was out at that sweet spot for my indulgence in it. But looking back…a passionate fanbase got this show saved from a first-season cancellation, but maybe we should have let it die. Despite the interesting premise (and the fact that Skeet Ulrich, a certified Snack and my personal Riverdale hot dad of choice, leads), it’s punishingly hackneyed in retrospect, featuring some of the most gallingly stupid plot points and unbelievably two-dimensional characters who, somehow, have less depth as the show goes on. Just go watch Carnivale instead. You know you want to.

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, le(header image via The Atlantic)