Sometimes TV Shows Need to End

I just read that My Name is Earl has been canceled by NBC after its fourth season. Frankly, I don’t really care. Not, because I don’t like the show, but because I’ve come to believe that for most shows, running for four seasons is enough.

Actually, for a good show, I’d put a nice number of seasons at five. That’s plenty. Four is good. Three is still okayish.There are a couple of shows that I love that I wouldn’t mind lasting longer than five, but I wouldn’t cry out if they didn’t.

Maybe it is because I saw some really good shows get worse with the seasons. Or maybe (and I suspect that’s a more likely reason) I saw some really, really good shows get canceled after one season or less1 and honestly, I’d gladly have sacrificed some later season of a long running show (even if I liked it) to get at least one season more of that. I mean, just imagine: two seasons of Firefly! How cool would that have been? I would totally give you season six of Buffy for that. I also would have liked another one or two seasons of Veronica Mars and Arrested Development but from what I know about the ratings, I always counted myself lucky to even get three seasons of each.

That said, I always am sad when a good show ends. But given the number of new shows starting each year and the fact that try as we might, we just can’t get more than 24 hours into one day, other shows have to end. And sometimes they’re good ones. And sometimes they would probably have stayed good even for another couple of seasons. Who knows?

Right now I think the only show I would really, really miss is How I Met Your Mother. I also still think that Pushing Daisies should have lasted longer. Other than that I think I’m fine. Of course everything with a cliffhanger has to come back next season. (One of the things I can’t stand is when a show ends with a season cliffhanger and then gets canceled. That’s just cruel.)

1Firefly and Wonderfalls, to name two.