Stephen Green writes,

Friends was new last night, so Melissa and I settled in on the sofa to watch. (In my defense, I know that it isn’t as good or as funny as it was the first three or four seasons. But I’ve got nine years invested in the show, and I’ll be damned if I’ll stop watching now. Besides, after that uninteresting second season of Enterprise, the only shows I still watch are Friends, Will & Grace, QE, and E/R. (And yes I know E/R has gotten old, too — but the same argument holds for it as holds for Friends.))

I do the same thing: Watch shows that now suck just because I want to see what happens with the characters. It’s like those color episodes of the Andy Griffith show from after Don Knotts left the cast–I know they’re not going to be funny, but I watch them anyway.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Popular Culture, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Damnit, James — I should have come up with that headline.

  2. McGehee says:

    In my house, a long-running series usually tends to go through a fairly well-defined progression:

    1. Brand new: We don’t watch it because it’s on opposite something else we like to watch.
    2. Rising star: We switch away from the other show, which is farther along in its progression, and decide we like this newer one.
    3. Habit: Gradually sinking into “might-as-well-see TV” territory (I’m with Stephen — great turn of phrase).
    4. “Isn’t there something else on? How about that new show on the other network?” Where the older show was when we discovered this one.
    5. “Is that @#$!! thing still on!?” We contemplate writing letters begging the network to cancel it.

    Occasionally a really long-running show will get to #4 but instead of advancing to #5 will somehow revert to #2. “The Simpsons” has done this a couple of times.

  3. My husband was very devout about the X Files, which led to us watching it for the last two seasons–after it had clearly died. I tried at one point to tell the spouse I didn’t want to do it anymore, but the Sunday evening TV night habit was too ingrained.

    Now we watch the Sopranos, and it’s a beautiful thing.

  4. Mac Swift says:

    I remember the old days when the X-Files (when it was fresh and hot) was aired on Friday nights right after the short lived “Strange Luck” series. Two great shows, and then afterwards I would drop by my college’s campus grounds to play some late night football. Man that was LIVING.

    But alas all good things must come to an end, which is why reality shows will stay with us forever.