There always seem to be two camps of people who love to watch TV: those who think a show should end as soon as it starts to suffer in quality and those who want their favorite shows to last forever. Unfortunately, even a show that lasted the perfect number of episodes or seasons can age poorly, leaving people uncomfortable during a re-watch.
During an online discussion about pop culture, people talked about shows they felt went wrong, like old milk. What do you think about these choices? Is there a show you would add to the list?
1. The Swan
This show already had a somewhat problematic concept, as it involved people who were “ugly ducklings” getting extreme makeovers. One person pointed out how they selected contestants to move on based on how attractive they were. Yikes!
2. America’s Next Top Model
Again, this show had the potential to be great, but over time, people felt that the show started to reflect “harmful culture standards of the time.” Some noted that Tyra Banks was both a victim and a monster due to how she treated contestants on the show. One person stated, “Honestly, the way she destroyed girls’ hair and teeth was criminal.”
3. How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother was loved by so many, and just as many people struggled to understand why. One viewer said that Barney’s manipulation of women worsened over time, and another said the show always grossed them out. The funniest take was someone who compared Ted’s character to Ross from Friends having his own show.
Many Glee lovers agreed that the first season was excellent, only for the show to take a turn during the second season. One person said that when they re-watched their favorite episodes from the past, they found them dry and fake. Another viewer joked, “It’s so problematic, but I’m trauma bonded to that show.”
5. Two and a Half Men
Someone stated that Two and a Half Men gives them severe secondhand embarrassment. Another person said they grit their teeth anytime it comes on TV. One individual argued that this show didn’t sour over time but was always problematic.
People argued about why they liked or didn’t like this show and couldn’t agree on what made it age like milk. Apparently, some people liked that there were low stakes for the characters and felt that the biggest problem with Entourage was that the characters were bland and that the main character had no charisma.
Californication is a show that has not held up over time. Even when it aired, there were a lot of problematic storylines, and people felt strongly that the show was filmed for the male gaze. One commenter said that she realized later that the show was “rooted in a warped ‘male fantasy’” where a “washed up, middle-aged, and mediocre man” could win over a gorgeous, adventurous, young woman with no problem.
Although it saddens me to see so many people have an issue with SATC, I can respect some of their reasons. The most significant issue people seemed to have is that Carrie’s character was awful and was put on a pedestal for viewers to admire. One individual said that when re-watching, it was obvious that some of the jokes and commentary were not very politically correct.
9. 2 Broke Girls
A few people said they enjoyed the first few seasons but lost interest over time. Many watchers called the show “tone deaf” and said it came off as offensive and unfunny. Sadly, I must argue that 2 Broke Girls didn’t age poorly; it was always a lousy show.
10. Big Bang Theory
I could never get into Big Bang Theory no matter how hard I tried, and I always thought it was because I didn’t understand the “smart humor.” Turns out, I might have been on the right track the whole time since people called out the offensive, harmful humor and terrible jokes that carried on for multiple seasons. The laugh track really didn’t help, either.
11. Dawson’s Creek
For many, Dawson’s Creek is a comfort show. However, people quickly pointed out that Dawson’s character was unlikeable, toxic, and gag-inducing. One person said he consistently “gaslit and manipulated everyone around him.”
12. The L Word
Although some people argued that The L Word should get a pass because it was one of the first shows about queer people and issues, that wasn’t the consensus. One commenter pointed out that there was an incredible amount of transphobia and homophobia they couldn’t look past.
13. 30 Rock
Despite being some people’s comfort show to this day, a few commenters pointed out that the humor has not aged well. They claim that this is due both to references that can be lost on viewers and problematic jokes.
It’s been a while since I watched Dexter, but I missed many inappropriate moments that other viewers found highly problematic. One person said that the show focused too much on the female characters and made jokes at their expense, whether it was an older woman, someone’s daughter, or a murder victim.
Nip/Tuck is one of those shows I watched when I was too young compared to the intended demographic. I didn’t realize how many jokes and plotlines in the show were problematic until I tried to re-watch it recently. There were so many moments that felt degrading and awful to viewers.