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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shows That Grew On Us Months/Years After We Shunned Them

Sometimes you watch a show and you just don’t get it. It’s not for you. But then, months later, you are obsessed with it. We all know the shows that have jumped the shark (the ones most of us have stopped watching). We have listed them, voted on them, and ranted about them. But it’s time for a list of the ones to give more time to, even if they suck at first. This is a list of shows that we have started watching and then shunned, only to try them again and love them.

Arrested Development and The Office - We had trouble getting into these at first simply because we needed time to get used to the humor. One of our friends, let’s call her Cassi, had trouble getting into Arrested Development, scoffing at a girl who called it, “The funniest show ever.” Cassi muttered, “It’s so not.” However, a few episodes after the pilot, we noticed that Cassi had caught onto the amazingness, and by the third season, she was gasping for breath laughing.

Sex and the City - WOW that first season was slow. The girls were unlikeable and slutty, Carrie kept talking to the camera (and interviewing people), Carrie’s hair was horrible, her column was lame, the sex questions and issues were common, and the guys were not hot yet. We’re glad we stuck with it though, because it ended up having lots of heart and humor.

24 - Ern LOVES 24 (even though she doesn’t believe in using torture). She used to marathon it for full days, no kidding. So it might surprise you that the first time she tried to watch it, it was a complete fail. Ern rented the first two DVDs from season one and promptly returned them, thinking, “Good riddance.” There were no characters worth caring about yet, Jack Bauer’s daughter was an idiot who deserved to get kidnapped, his wife was annoying, Jack Bauer looked like a muskrat, and the big crime mystery moved at a glacial pace. However, Ern’s friend, Rachel, lent her season one in a box, and Ern will watch anything a friend lends her in a box. About halfway through the first season, when Jack Bauer rescues his daughter, things picked up. And then things never let up. After that, 24 was never boring. Controversial, but never boring. Leeard caught random episodes of this show and didn't like it. Silly Leeard. You have to watch this one from the beginning of a season or you won't know what's going on.

Rome - This show covers 20 years of Roman history, and the characters never age a day. But our real beef is that half of the first season was SO BORING. It was like this show just existed to show people in cool costumes take them off and then have sex. Then we got into it and enjoyed it. Before you pick this one up, it helps to know some Roman history and be into the Roman politics.

Boston Legal - This show is a funny classic now, but when we started the first season, we were extremely turned off by the liberal PSAs every week. Even if we happened to agree, this show was so preachy, it made us literally gag one time. There were monologues by the judges at the end of the episodes. Top that off with nearly every young woman in the law firm looking like models and every one of them thinking humpty-dumpty-looking Alan Shore was a great catch, and we were changing the channel on this one at first.

Dexter - This started off gross, exploitative, confusing, and creepy. We put it on a level with gory crap like those moronic Saw movies. But then Dexter’s inhumanity was contrasted with real humanity. We got to know his history. Deb stopped working vice and got to put some clothes on. And by the end of the first season, we were happy someone had convinced us to give it a second try.

Breaking Bad - The pilot tried our patience. Then it got awesome.

Community - While Leeard loved the pilot of this show, Ern was not impressed. It took Ern half a season to think this was funny. The Halloween episode of the first season is what did it.

Cougar Town - In the beginning, the show was about cougars, it wasn’t funny, and it wasn’t cute. We think just about everyone gave up on this one in the beginning, but word of mouth has brought a few back. Now, it’s a Scrubs-like, zany show about a group of friends. Jules is a much better character than Monica Gellar. We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: If you like fun, light humor, try this show, because it’s good now.

Dollhouse - It’s tough to have a show with few good guys and a main character with no identity of her own. It’s tough to watch a show drag and feel like it doesn’t know where it is going or how fast it needs to spill answers (LOST, anyone?). But it would be tougher for you to miss out on a sci-fi show this unique.

Fringe - Just start on the second season, seriously. 2/3rds of the first season is horribly slow. But now it’s good.

The Vampire Diaries - The pilot was the only lame episode of this fantastic series. Ern shunned it for nearly a full year, because a) she HATES Twilight (shitelight), b) thinks vampires should never go to high school, c) rarely likes teen shows, and d) the title “The Vampire Diaries” just makes it sound hella lame, right? Leeard kept sending Ern links to watch it, offended that Ern did not trust her taste. For the sake of the friendship, Ern watched the links. And now, we can both love it together.

Then there are shows that we have shunned, but keep thinking we should go back to. Currently they are Mad Men and Nikita. People rave over Mad Men, but we didn’t see it. Is it time for a return visit to the ‘60s? And now that Nikita’s advertising campaign has died down, it might be less annoying, and we might get into the story better if we can see many episodes at a time.

In fact, that’s a good trick. Get a full season on DVD, and if it doesn’t hook you after a few hours, it might not be for you. It’s harder to get into a difficult show week-to-week.

What are some shows that you hated at first that grew on you?


  1. Bones. For some reason, it just totally didn't register on my to-watch radar. My family watched it but I never bothered with it myself. Slowly I watched more and more episodes, now I'm hooked. Not to mention, all caught up tenfold because of the glorious reruns on TNT. :)

  2. I'm this way with most of the tv that I watch. I'm really slow to jump on the bandwagon for most tv shows. There are a few that I watched from their inception, but usually I'll wait until at least a full season is out.

    The Office
    Arrested Development
    Pushing Daisies
    Friday Night Lights
    Grey's Anatomy
    Gilmore Girls
    Project Runway
    South Park
    Flight of the Conchords

    Yep. Nearly every show I've ever watched. On that note, I'm thinking about giving Glee another chance. I watched a few of the first episodes when it was a brand new show and I just couldn't get into it. Now I'm thinking it's time for another try. I have the first season in my Netflix queue.

  3. for nearly a year a thought that friday night lights was an off shoot of Varsity Blues which was alright but since I didn't like Dawsons Creek I wrote the show off, after that was straightened out I just couldn't be bothered with a show about highschool football. when I finally did give it a chance I skipped the fist 6 episodes. by the time i finished Marathoning season 4 I realized that fnl is THE BEST SHOW EVER and was ecstatic when I remembered there were 6 eps I had not seen.

    a lot of the shows on your list are ones I had given up on, I should try them.... but I've picked up nikita and hellcats (yes really, i dkim them b/c i like marti and dan) and I have no energy for new shows at all


  4. Curvy girl- We didn't have the same problem with Bones because we saw it from the beginning on DVD. That helps, we think.

    Mrs. Potts- YOU WOULD be that way, haha. But it's good to be picky. It saves time. Glee is really funny and cute most of the time, but it can be terribly annoying sometimes. It helps if you like musicals or are a threatre nerd.

    Hatts- HELLCATS, ahhhhh!!!!! Oh well, we all have a show like that on our TIVOs. We should really get back to Nikita and see if it has improved. It it comes back next season, maybe by then we will be caught up. Ern kept getting FNL the show mixed up with the movie, which no one liked. Another frequent commenter, Cat, is who got her into the show. Leeard has loved it forever.

  5. well, then leeard wins!

    in my defense I am following ONE story arc on hellcats, I skip the rest of the show.


  6. oh and I wanted to say, nikita picks up at the fourth or firth ep, I'd start there.

  7. We'll do that. Thanks.

    As for the skipping story arcs, we wish we could do that with Grey's Anatomy sometimes. Half those storylines are usually terrible and the other half are usually insanely gripping. Especially in season 5.