The famously hilarious nineties sitcom ‘Friends’, following the life of six individuals living in New York, aired its finale on the sixth of May 2004. Their tale was over, the past ten seasons bringing laughter to people around the world, even ten years later. The renowned piece of television has undoubtedly inspired many to create this formula, shows like ‘How I Met Your Mother’ being widely interpreted as an updated version of one of America’s most adored programs. An asset of the sitcom was that the story managed to be a little repetitive, creating a sense of familiarity for the audience, without becoming either ridiculous, or boring. Whilst there are certainly a few exceptions to this rule, it appears that many, at first wonderful, stories, can slowly slip into exceedingly dull and routine narratives, or become erratic in their storyline, the writers desperately grappling for any ludicrous plot which makes little to no sense, but still finishes an episode.
Of course, this is not the case with every single show on television. ‘The Simpsons’, for example, has more than ten seasons, and still manages to amuse and charm the audiences of today, just as well as it did in 1989. This is achieved due to both the fact that it is animated, and the lacks of an overarching plot. The former point prevents the reality of time, which, coupled with the latter, means that those who started the show from its twenty sixth season may as well be beginning from its sixth, or its sixteenth. The show is, essentially, timeless. This allows relevant topics to be discussed by the characters, meaning that it never runs out of themes to discuss. This is certainly not the case with other shows, which have exceeded the ten series limit. The hit fantasy series ‘Supernatural’ was, this year, renewed for its eleventh season, which, for those who are still fans, is a wonderful thing. However, many have admitted that they feel the episodes have become a little tired, giving understanding nods after hearing friends declare their reluctance to continue their viewing, rather than an enthusiastic implore to continue. The online reaction to the news of its continuation was, in summary, that it was certainly getting worse, but frankly, individuals would keep watching because of their investment in the characters. It also suggests that this, and other shows which reach past ten seasons, are being made for the money, rather than love of the show itself, which is never a good sign.
Whilst it is certainly a sad thing to have your favourite series end, it is important to recognise that it was likely finished for a reason. The utterly brilliant ‘Parks and Recreation’ said goodbye after its seventh season, which was certainly unhappy news for many. But, this means that in the future, no-one will have to follow a comment praising the show with the phrase “too bad it got bad.” It can be enjoyed for what it was, and how much love was involved in its creation. So, maybe a show ending “prematurely”, may not be such a bad thing after all. Except Firefly. Everyone’s still angry about that.