Have you ever got to the later seasons of a TV show and thought “man, why is this still going?” Do you wish that your fave show had been canceled years ago so that the writers hadn’t totally mucked up the plot? Unfortunately, a lot of popular shows seem to get dragged on for all eternity for either sentimental or financial reasons. It doesn’t matter if its lead actors leave, or if the plot starts to wear a bit thin: the show keeps on persisting for unknown reasons.
There are so many current long-running TV series that fall into the “please, just let it end” category. The Simpsons has been declining in quality for years – why couldn’t it have stopped after the golden years of the 1990s? While we still have a soft spot for Grey’s Anatomy, surely the show is running out of characters to shockingly kill off? Here are just a few of the shows that we think need to be taken off our screens as soon as possible.
16. The Simpsons
It’s pretty impossible to imagine a world without The Simpsons broadcasting a new episode each week. However, let’s face it: its cancellation is WAY overdue. The golden Simpsons years ended pretty much with the end of the twentieth century. While it’s still entertaining enough, recent episodes just don’t have the same comedic spark as their 90s predecessors. Matt Groening just needs to let his brainchild die. I mean, it’s not like he needs the money: he’s going to be financially set for the rest of his life thanks to the success of the show. Letting go of your most popular creation is definitely difficult, but in the case of The Simpsons, it’s necessary.
It truly breaks my heart to admit this, but it might well be time for NCIS to call it a day. Gibbs and the team may have graced our screens for an impressive fourteen years, but it’s time for it to quit while it’s ahead. The show still has some of its old spark remaining – the continued presence of Abby, McGee, and Gibbs make sure of that. However, it’s been on a slow decline ever since Ziva and Tony left. It’s a classic case of a show trying to carry on after some of its principal characters leave, but never quite being the same again. It would be a shame for such an amazing show to decline to the point where it’s truly terrible. It’s time for CBS to nip that in the bud and end NCIS while it still has some dignity remaining.
14. Big Brother
Let’s cut to the chase: Big Brother has gotten boring. The format has barely changed since the second season, and each new batch of Houseguests gets duller and duller in that they all fit precisely into a single stereotype. They don’t bring anything new to the show at all. You can pretty much predict exactly what’ll happen each season. There’ll be a handful of showmances and maybe one real romance which will inevitably end badly. Two contestants will decide from day one that they hate each other and will spend the whole season at each other’s throats. Somebody will tearfully consider quitting, and somebody will come close to being thrown out due to rulebreaking. It’s basically the same every year. Let it die, guys.
13. The Big Bang Theory
CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory has always been a bit hit-or-miss. Some of its storylines have been genuinely engaging, and the general premise of “nerds meet their pretty neighbor and have to learn to be socially acceptable” isn’t the worst premise in the world. However, the show has now dragged on for far, far too long. Pretty much every issue presented at the start of the show has now been resolved. All bar one of the main four characters are now married or engaged – they’ve overcome the hurdle of their poor dating lives. Sheldon is a bit better at dealing with humans, and Leonard and Penny ended up together in the end. Isn’t that a sign it’s now time to stop? After eleven seasons of sub-par jokes, we’re dying to see something fresh and new on our screens.
12. Family Guy
Seth McFarlane‘s animated comedy Family Guy has faced cancellation quite a few times over the years. However, it’s always been able to cling on, for better or worse. The show’s number has been up for years and it’s time for it to finally bite the dust. For one, the writing is nothing short of lazy these days – the number of original or actually funny episodes are minimal. There’s been little to no character development over the past sixteen seasons, meaning our boredom levels are off the charts. Plus, Meg – one of the show’s only meaningful female characters – has become totally bland and forgettable. The show’s comedy is now a bit too provocative and borderline offensive. Like, please, Seth. Let it end. We’ve suffered enough.
While Supernatural still has a pretty strong fan base, it’s been on its last legs for a few years now. Let’s put it this way: a lot of people stopped watching after season five and we’re now on season thirteen. That doesn’t bode well. While watching Sam and Dean’s antics can be pretty entertaining if only for how ridiculous they’ve become, it might be time for The CW to give the show a rest. There are only so many times you can kill off then resurrect your own characters before it gets a bit tiresome. The writing is declining in quality, there’s a lack of original ideas, and Jensen Ackles‘s voice needs a rest from generating Dean’s unnaturally gravelly tones. It’s not like The CW is struggling with its other programming…
10. South Park
Question: who even watches South Park any more? It’s the kind of thing every teenager of the 2000s liked to watch to seem rebellious. “Look at me! I’m watching a pretty controversial show that has swears and rude humor!!” South Park seems to have lost any semblance of plot it once had. While some of its socio-political commentaries remain on-point, it doesn’t have enough going for it to justify much more time on our screens. Here’s an idea: why don’t South Park’s creators scrap the show and write another musical? The Book of Mormon is a fantastic show! We need more plays like it in the world, not more episodes of some animated kids being idiots.
9. Grey’s Anatomy
Even I, an ardent Grey’s Anatomy fan, can admit that this long-running medical drama is running out of ideas. More to the point, Shonda Rhimes is running out of characters to kill off! How many more original storylines can it really come up with at this point? There’s only so many diseases, disasters, and deaths that can happen in the world without the writing venturing into the ridiculous. Frankly, Meredith Grey deserves a bit of peace and a happy ending. She’s dealt with so much over the past fourteen seasons that I’m surprised she’s got any sanity left. Let her retire to a quiet beach-side cottage and live out the rest of her life trauma-free.
8. Once Upon A Time
To be honest, we’re not quite sure why Once Upon a Time didn’t end after lead actress Jennifer Morrison left. Its most recent season features a pretty extensive cast reboot, a shift in location and time, and a new curse that needs to be broken. The producers are seriously flogging a dead horse here. Emma Swan and her band of friends, lovers, and enemies really made the show into the beloved and much-watched fantasy hit we know and love. Without them, it doesn’t feel like OUAT anymore. It makes much more sense to scrap the series in its current form and have the new cast star in some kind of spin-off.
7. Criminal Minds
In recent times, CBS police procedural show Criminal Minds has seen a lot of off-set drama. Long-standing cast member Shemar Moore left the show in 2016 after portraying Derek Morgan for eleven years. Fellow actor Thomas Gibson got sacked shortly afterward due to an on-set violent outburst that led to a writer being kicked. New cast members have joined the show to make up for these losses, but this change isn’t necessarily working. It could be time for this long-running drama to finally be put to rest before anything else goes wrong. Each season seems to decline in quality and even some of the acting has become poor. Things are only going to get worse with every new season that airs! CBS just needs to give up and cancel Criminal Minds already.
6. The Walking Dead
Fans of The Walking Dead seem to have become angrier and angrier as each season has progressed. Too many decent characters have been killed off, and frankly, the plot has become pretty impossible to follow. It seems like the writers themselves have lost track of what’s going on! Perhaps it’s time for this zombie thriller to end before things get irretrievably confusing. Its ratings are already slipping quite significantly, as are the quality scores of its episodes on IMDB. It’s had a good run, but even the zombie apocalypse has to come to an end at some point – preferably sooner rather than later.
5. Modern Family
While Modern Family was renewed for two more seasons back in early 2017, its co-creator has hinted that the show might not last much longer than that. We’re already starting to think that the series has run its course. That’s not to say it’s declining in quality: it’s one of those rare shows that never seems to get old. Its 22 Emmy Awards are a testament to that! However, it’s always better for a show to end on a high rather than wait for its inevitable forced removal from the air. Modern Family deserves better than a distinct decline in quality followed by an embarrassing cancellation. Ending it fairly soon will help to preserve its dignity.
4. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
It genuinely pains me to say this, but it might be time for Mariska Hargitay‘s Sergeant Olivia Benson to retire. Law and Order: SVU has been one of the most consistently good police procedural dramas out there. However, the show has slowly been starting to lose its spark over the past few years. Important cases seem to be resolved in lazily quick circumstances, and the whole thing is getting a bit repetitive. After all, there’s only so many different crimes you can cover in a show like this. It might be time for the Law and Order franchise to move on to a new, fresher concept.
3. The Jerry Springer Show
Why is this utter pile of trash still on the air? The Jerry Springer Show is basically an exercise in privileged people laughing at the problems of the less fortunate. It’s often racist, homophobic or transphobic, and glorifies the use of violence in resolving arguments. These people need actual professional help, not to be laughed at on national television! That’s if any of the cases are actually real, of course – at least some must be staged for shock tactic purposes. Essentially, this show is a dumpster fire that needs to be put out. Jerry needs to get a better hobby than earning money from the misfortunes of others.
This one’s a tough pill to swallow because the show is classic, but how many times can you completely switch out the cast and continue calling it the same show? After 14 seasons of Degrassi: The Next Generation, they lead directly into Degrassi: Next Class, now airing on Netflix with seasons five and six confirmed. The two shows have had over forty actors billed as the main cast. Another problem is that it’s beginning to seem like Degrassi High School might be haunted. I mean, how many truly, truly, truly awful things can happen at one school before it gets shut down? Plus, can we all agree that killing off JT was just the beginning of the end?
1. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
There have been some hints lately that hit FXX comedy It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia might be on the verge of coming to an end. Its star Charlie Day has hinted at such, and it’s uncertain as to whether Glenn Howerton, another of the show’s main actors, will return in the show’s thirteenth season. While FXX has definitely renewed the show through to season 14, we wouldn’t be too sad to see it go after that. The plot has started to get a bit thin, the shock tactics have lost their punch, and we’re getting sick of seeing a bunch of narcissists joyfully ruin their own lives. It’s time for the sun to go down on their antics. (I’m not even sorry for that pun.)