TV Insider’s 6 Shows We Wish We Could Quit

Show We Can't Quit

Television is a commitment. A single show can demand attention for dozens of hours, spread out over the course of years. Like any long-term relationship, those between viewers and their shows often sour for one reason or another. But, again like any other relationship, breakups with TV shows are hard. Some combination of obligation and familiarity keeps people coming back to the same old series that treat them wrong. Here are 5 shows that the TV Insider staff wish they could break it off with.

Dancing with the Stars

Matt Roush, TV Insider and TV Guide Magazine Senior Critic

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, as one who cringes every time a new Dancing With the Stars cast is announced—not just for the “Who are these people?” factor, but because I know that, even in this age of “peak TV” when every hour of TV consumption involves making tough choices, I’m probably going to get sucked back in, against my will, to this cheesy circus of spray-tanned, sequin-bedazzled, tom- (and Tom Bergeron) foolery. Part of the lure is, I suppose, nostalgia: Last season it was all about my childhood crush Marcia-Marcia-Marcia at first (The Brady Bunch’s Maureen McCormick, with her TV mom Florence Henderson, a former contestant, rooting from the stands shortly before she passed away). But then, as usually happens, celebs with whom I had no previous acquaintance—IndyCar racer James Hinchcliffe, Little Women reality star Terra Jolé—become show-stoppers, as perseverance reveals personality and genuine new TV stars are born. (The season before, it was deaf model Nyle DiMarco.) While the epic fails (Rick Perry, Geraldo Rivera, Mischa Barton) make for fun schadenfreude, the joy of Dancing comes from finding yourself rooting for someone who weeks earlier was a complete stranger.

The Walking Dead

Evan Lewis, TV Insider Writer

My relationship with The Walking Dead has been complicated since the latter episodes of Season 1. The pilot was fantastic, and the next few episodes carried that momentum reasonably well, but once the CDC came into play, my appreciation for the show shifted from legitimate character drama to genre fiction goof. I got into the comics as a curiosity after watching the first couple of seasons, and for a while, making comparisons between the page and the screen was entertaining enough to keep me interested. Still, much of seasons 2-6, I watched half seriously and half mockingly, and that balance keeps skewing more and more into hate-watch territory as the show lurches on. But now, no matter how bad it gets, I’ve survived it for seven years, and I’m determined to keep it up.

Game of Thrones

Jason Clark, TV Guide Magazine Associate Editor

As any studious Emmy prognosticator knows, you really only need to watch the last two episodes of Game of Thrones in any season to be fully in-the-know, as that’s where the creators backload all the best and most talked-about stuff. So why do I actually watch the eight that precede those last two episodes year in and year out? Maybe it’s my deep appreciation for the day players of the United Kingdom, or the hopes of seeing a pristine CGI dragon, or maybe just because there is a deep-seated responsibility to be a true completist regarding the most-watched television show on a pay-cable network.

House Hunters

Kellie Freeze, TV Insider and Channel Guide Magazine Writer

I’m an addict of HGTV’s House Hunters. It started when the series first premiered; I was a college student and dreamed of someday owning my first place. This was reality TV’s early days, when TLC had Trading Spaces and A Baby Story, and lifestyle shows about normal folks were a TV rarity. When I got married, my husband joined me in my obsession, and together, we’d join the televised homebuyers as they peeked into strangers’ closets and critiqued wall colors. The series has made changes—branching out into specialty series for tiny homes and luxury homes and vacation homes—and after becoming homebuyers and parents, our House Hunters relationship has evolved, too. We’re no longer watching it in primetime, but at bedtime, when the dulcet sound of the series’ opening doorbell and low-stakes storylines lull us to sleep. And it’s the franchise’s International series that now most piques our interest. After a day of watching and writing about dark and cutting-edge TV for work, House Hunters is and will always be my cozy, milquetoast TV pal, whom I love despite rumors of TV fakery and its plethora of gold-toned bathroom fixtures.

Pretty Little Liars

Emily Aslanian, TV Insider and TV Guide Magazine Assistant Editor

Since the Freeform drama held that fated funeral in its premiere episode seven years ago—back when Freeform was still ABC Family, and the mysterious “A” sent a mass text to Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna, half of whom still had flip phones at the time (before “A” abused emojis)—I’ve been hooked on this bonkers show. Despite dozens of red herrings and enough A’s to fill a classroom, I can’t stay away from the twists and trysts (#Haleb forever, though, you guys). Luckily, and unluckily, only 10 episodes remain for the series return in April, and I’m prepared to spend hours scouring internet theories one final time. Here’s to hoping for a little resolution, and maybe even a bit of revenge for my favorite Liars. As that first group text said, “I’m still here bitches, and I know everything.”

Grey’s Anatomy

Erin Medley, TV Insider Editorial Director

There are weeks when I spend the eight o’clock hour on a Thursday evening yelling, “Leave Meredith alone!” at my television. For the past 13 seasons, Meredith Grey has had every hardship imaginable thrown her way, including her sister dying in a plane crash; getting beat up by a patient; her husband dying in a car accident; an her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, which she found out she is genetically predisposed to having herself. How unlucky can one woman be? However, through it all, she persists. Her friendship with Cristina Yang is one for the ages, and her rise from intern to Chief of General Surgery is admirable. I can’t see myself giving up on Grey‘s after a 13-year investment, but I do wonder what tragedy they’re going to throw at Mer and the docs of Sloan-Grey Memorial Hospital next season.