There are several shows that I currently have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with: I love what they used to be, and I hate what they have become over the years. Here’s my (humble) opinion on what could make these once fabulous shows shine again.
1) True Blood: Guess what? Every peripheral character in telepath Sookie Stackhouse’s (Anna Paquin) life does not need his or her own story line every episode of every season. There are certain characters, like cousins Andy and Terry Bellfleuer (played by Todd Lowe and Chris Bauer), that I really only like In small doses. Don’t get me wrong: I heart me some Todd Lowe as Terry, but only when it’s a pleasant surprise to have a scene with him. Any more than a short scene here and there does not really hold my interest. Andy hooking up with a fairy last season? Bleh. Terry and Arlene (Carrie Preston) being bothered by a fire demon because of what Terry did during his time in the Gulf War? Boring! Switching storylines every few minutes? Way too dizzying to keep up with.
Focus on Sookie and the vampires, Bill (Stephan Moyer), Eric (Alexander Skarsgaard), Pam (Kristin Bauer Van Straten), and Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), and that will make the show more cohesive again. Only have the other characters come in to play when they directly connect with Sookie’s story line. That is how it is in the books, and that’s why the books (by Charlaine Harris) work better than the show in a lot of ways.
2) Glee: There are very few of the new cast members introduced in Season 4 who I feel have contributed much of anything to this past season. I enjoyed the new characters of Marley Rose (Melissa Benoist ) and Jake Puckerman (Jacob Artist), but that’s about it. When the rest of the newcomers have singing scenes with the older cast members, you can really see that the old-timers’ talent is simply on another level. Only Benoist and Artist seem up to the challenge of living up to that standard. I found myself more interested in what was happening with the characters who had graduated, and I felt in some of their cases (like Quinn and Mike), we did not get to see enough of that. The thing is, when you spend 3 seasons getting people to fall in love with characters and then basically write many of them away, it’s going to tend to cause a negative shift in the show.
Therefore, find a way to focus on Rachel (Lea Michele), Kurt (Chris Colfer), and Santana (Naya Rivera) in New York. Have Quinn (Dianna Agron) visit from Yale on weekends or something, and Finn (Cory Monteith) visit from Iowa on a regular basis. Artie (Kevin McHale) is going to be going to college in NY too, so that’s an easy one. Have Mike (Harry Shum, Jr.) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) decide LA did not work, so they’ll give New York a try, too. Oh, and find a way to work in more Darren Criss as Blaine, too.
3) The Simpsons: What can I say about this 24 year old animated comedy? I am beginning to think the hilarity may have run its course. Realistically, that was bound to happen when you have characters that don’t age, evolve, etc because they are, well, animated, after all. The best thing may simply be that the show hangs up its hat at the end of season 25 (when they will have been on for a quarter century). That way, it could go out on a relative high note before people really begin hating on it. Personally, I have not watched either of the two episodes that made up the finale, and I don’t know if I ever will.
If you decide to continue on, then PLEASE stop with the multiple Grandpa Simpson back stories (one of the 2 this season was just plain awful) because we’ve have had more than enough of them. Also, don’t recycle older stories (Moe’s bar has become popular and then dropped back down to squalor at least 3 or 4 times by my count). Perhaps consider re-watching and analyzing older episodes to remind yourselves of what used to work and what used to make the show utterly hysterical and popular.