Showtime Surprise Cancels ‘Ray Donovan’ After 7 Seasons, Luckily We Quit Watching 3 Seasons Ago
Nothing lasts forever, not even Ray Donovan. The drama about the eponymous “fixer” for the movers and shakers of Los Angeles and New York has been canceled by Showtime and will not return for an eighth season. That season seven finale that ended on a cliffhanger? Turns out, that was your series finale, folks. (Surprise!) While Ray Donovan, with its 82-episode streak, was one of the most enduring series on Showtime, truth be told, we stopped watching three seasons ago, and the sudden end to the series simply means we have more time to watch TV that’s actually entertaining. (Good riddance, Ray.) This isn’t the first series to overstay its welcome, however. Plenty of TV shows have continued to pump out episodes even when the plot was flimsy and the characters tired. These are the 10 TV shows that should’ve ended sooner.
Cover Photo: Showtime
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Hank Moody, we love ya, but your tireless pursuit of kinky, drunk sex wore us down after seven seasons. Kicking and punching was fun for a while, but by the series finale, Hank’s ever-ready libido seemed more like a curse than a blessing, and his promiscuity more like a compulsion than a guilty pleasure. Besides, the perfect woman, Karen, was right there in front of his eyes the whole time!
Some shows were meant to have a short lifespan, but networks keep resuscitating them even when the pulse is long gone. Such was the case with Dexter, the Showtime drama about an antihero serial killer who only targets bad people. While the blood-spattered series was initially received to critical acclaim, interest waned after the third season. The show dragged on for eight seasons total. Talk about beating a dead horse...err, corpse.
It’s funny to think now that a show about a suburban mom pot dealer could generate any interest in today’s cannabis-friendly climate, but when Weeds debuted in 2005, marijuana was still taboo and the show had a captive audience. As the dramedy got darker and more violent, however, viewers began to drop off. Mexican cartel dealings are really not the stuff of comedy, and by its eighth and final season, there wasn’t one character left that fans rooted for.
This soapy drama should’ve ended after season four with Alison’s murder, when its two best leads (Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson) abandoned ship. Instead, the writers let Noah and Helen continue their self-involved push-and-pull, then essentially started the other half the show from scratch, catapulting it into a dystopian future, where Alison’s emotionally empty daughter (played in a career-worst performance by Anna Paquin) goes in search of answers. Many fans watched the final season anyway, but they sure as hell didn’t enjoy it.
This fame-focused series was in the running for Emmy and Golden Globe awards when it started, but by its eighth season, it became too ridiculous to believe. If a TV show turns into a platform for wish fulfillment of its characters, where’s the conflict?
You can’t replace Michael Scott. But the showrunners of this wildly popular workplace comedy tried to do just that when lead actor Steve Carell left the show after seven seasons. While we were willing to give Robert California (James Spader) a chance, his dry humor and no-nonsense attitude paled in comparison to the wacky, unpredictable, and inappropriate Michael Scott. Thank goodness for Pam and Jim, or we wouldn’t have made it through all nine seasons.
This sci-fi series, now in its 15th season, just won’t quit – but it really should have seasons ago. Nothing after season five, when Sam triumphed over Lucifier (a perfect series finale if there ever has been one), has been worth watching.
'Two and a Half Men'
We know, Charlie Sheen is a creepy weirdo with no filter, but he was the whole point of this otherwise unremarkable sitcom. After his sudden departure in season eight (viewers were told his character died), Ashton Kutcher joined the cast but the once funny family man comedy never recovered.
'How I Met Your Mother'
How this comedy led viewers on for nine seasons is beyond us, but what we do know is that by the end of the series, the show wasn’t even funny anymore and fans didn’t care who the titular mother was. Ted and Robin were like the longest-awaited punchline in sitcom history.
You know a show’s overstayed its welcome when the writers start randomly pairing up whatever characters haven't slept together yet. Case in point: Joey and Rachel. The airhead actor confessed his feelings for the expectant single mom in season eight and the writers continued to spin this ludicrous storyline through the 10th and final season. It's a miracle we held back the dry-heaves that long.