I have a love/hate relationship with television. I love to watch the shows. I hate that I HAVE to watch them. I hate being tortured by cliffhangers and “to be continued”s and “will they/won’t they” relationship arcs. Does that make me a masochist?
Anyway the summer months usually gave me a break from being jerked around by fictitious characters and a LOT of extra time in which to accomplish things, like reading books and writing stories and hiking hikes.
Now there’s this (relatively) new thing where some shows are continuing to show new episodes all summer long. I guess it was only a matter of time until this happened. After all, the reality TV shows have been doing new seasons in the summertime for years. I wondered how long scripted TV showrunners would stand for the summer usurping of their fan base.
No longer. This summer, some of my favorite shows will have summer episodes. And yet I am not happy. Because this is bad. Both for me and my free time and for showrunners. To illustrate why, I will use one of my favorite shows as an example: Cougar Town:
I think I’m the only one in my generation who likes this show. Everyone I know under 40 hates it.
I love Cougar Town. I have to make a special effort just to watch it because it’s on on my busiest day at the same time as a show I’ve been watching for much longer (Criminal Minds). But I make the effort. I do it because of ditzy Laurie (Busy Phillips) and sarcastic Travis (Dan Byrd) and quick-tongued Jules (Courtney Cox). But most of all, I do it for Grayson (Josh Hopkins), because he is cute and he plays funny songs on a tiny ridiculous guitar.
I lament episodes that pass without the appearance of the guitar.
However, Cougar Town was nestled into my TV watching schedule like a house of cards. You take away all the other cards, and you tend to forget there’s any left at all. With no other new shows to remind me that TV even exists (I don’t think I’ve turned on the television in over a month) I keep forgetting to actually tune in to Cougar Town. Hell, I keep forgetting when it’s Wednesday! And I’m sure I’m not the only one. Even if people do remember when it’s on, they’ve got vacations to go on and barbecues to host and campouts to have in the yard. They don’t have time for TV.
The result: ratings will plummet. Executives will start looking at the money it’s making vs the money they’re paying Courtney Cox to be in the show and find a disparity. And then Cougar Town will get cancelled. And I will have a tiny funeral for the tiny guitar. Reality TV doesn’t have this problem, because it’s extremely cheap to make. I’d rather Cougar Town didn’t get cancelled, which is why I think it’s better if scripted TV continued to take a summer hiatus.
So take the characters of Cougar Town and freeze them in place until September. Just like this:
Au revoir, mon amis.
If you start to miss them too much, try buying a Cougar Town: 2011 Wall Calendar to stare at or getting Cougar Town: The Complete First Season – 3 DISC DVD and watching the old episodes over again.