Shows that should have ended sooner
The two words TV writers and series creators hate the most are THE END.
The temptation to wring a few more seasons out of a show that's run its course has, by now, gotten out of hand. Another season of Will & Grace or The Affair or The Handmaid's Tale?
Here's our list of recent series that should have ended after their first seasons.
Big Little Lies (available to stream on Foxtel)
Now that the finale of this star-packed sorority soap has been universally acknowledged as a dud, we wonder why Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and their teams didn't wrap up the story of the Monterey Five after Season 1. The temptations of money made everyone sign on for another seven episodes, which barely advanced the story. A two-hour TV movie would have been a better way to solve the issue of who was going to "confess" to the murder of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard).
Will & Grace (available to stream on Stan)
Bringing the groundbreaking 1990s comedy back might have seemed like a great idea after the original cast (Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally) appeared in a video that aired before the first 2016 presidential debate. But why a new series? A 90-minute reunion special would have let fans catch up with this daffy quartet, get their nostalgia fix, and move on. The reboot, which debuted in 2017, had a good start with 10 million viewers in the US but quickly lost steam. The third and final season is, thankfully, scheduled for mid-season next year.
Jack Ryan (available to stream on Amazon)
John Krasinski's pivot from hapless everyman Jim Halpert (The Office) to swaggering action star is admirable, but this show's only point is to show that off. Its "stop the terrorist" plots are nothing that hasn't been done better on a slew of other shows such as Homeland or 24. It's a show that exists as white noise, just for the sake of it. Yet Season 2 is coming at an unspecified date, and it's been renewed for a Season 3.
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The Handmaid's Tale (available to stream on SBS on Demand)
Adapting Margaret Atwood's classic novel was a good idea, but it should have been a miniseries or an anthology. There's a reason the book's version of Offred/June's (Elisabeth Moss) story ends with her leaving … because if she stays in Gilead, there's not much plot left. Seasons 2 and 3, which extended beyond the book, spun their wheels looking for increasingly dubious reasons to delay her escape. A once-incisive show that should have ended with a bang instead became a slog. And still a fourth season is coming.
The Affair (available to stream on Foxtel)
The Affair was a talker when it first aired in 2014, and Season 1 put a nice exclamation point on its He Said/She Said duelling narratives of family man/writer Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Montauk waitress Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson), with whom the caddish Noah cheated on his dour wife Helen (Maura Tierney). One and done, right? Nope - The Affair returned summer after summer with its jumble of flashbacks and confusing chronology. Its fifth and final season premieres August 25, sans original stars Wilson and Joshua Jackson (Cole Lockhart) - an indication this long-in-the-tooth series lost its bite.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission