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We invest a lot of time and energy in our favorite shows, but when that passion is no longer productive, watching the show in question is doing more harm than good. The blowup after the Glee finale, with miles of the “This episode was terrible!” and “Then don’t watch the show!” exchange that never goes anywhere, is a perfect example.

Here are some warning signs that it might be time to drop a show before you go cray-cray.

5. You keep checking your watch or email during episodes

This first warning sign is disinterest. You may find yourself checking your watch to see how much longer you have to sit through this episode. Soon, you’re checking your email or favorite social media sites rather than paying attention to what’s on the screen.

To be fair, most shows are victim to a bad episode here and there. If checking your watch or email isn’t a common occurrence, it’s one thing; but when this is happening on a weekly basis, there’s probably trouble on the horizon, Captain.

4. You’re angry or, worse, bored after most episodes

Good stories will evoke strong emotions in an audience. A well-executed death scene should have the audience bawling, while a particularly good joke means laughter. But if you’re angry when the show wants you to be laughing, then there’s a disconnect that means trouble.This was common in much of Glee’s third season; the writers were clearly trying to evoke one emotion but would leave a good chunk of the audience on the other end of the spectrum.

But emotion of any kind is better than boredom. If you can’t connect to the characters or their stories, there’s no point in tuning in. This was a common complaint after the latest Glee finale, when the writers were going for something poignant. Not good.

3. You’re expending a lot of negative energy on the show

Think constant angry tweets and Facebook statuses, seeking out episode reviews and leaving scathing comments, blogging about how bad the show is, telling anyone who will listen how much you don’t like the show and that they shouldn’t watch, and so on.

Basically, if the energy you were once expending in a productive manner has shifted into something particularly negative or destructive, it’s time to back off and assess whether the exhausting negativity is worth it. This might happen after a particularly bad episode or because of a particular plot point you don’t like – that’s normal and is completely different than something happening week in and week out when the constant negativity must be seriously disrupting your chi.

2. Episodes are stockpiling on the DVR

Now, you might have a perfectly legitimate excuse as to why you have six weeks’ worth of unwatched episodes on your DVR, like, a job or school. Obviously you’d rather be watching, so you’re excused. But when you have the time to watch and you just don’t, well, Houston, we have a problem.

You might build up a backlog of episodes and then marathon them over a day or two, only to start the cycle all over again. But disinterest is clearly mounting when watching the show is one of the lowest items on your To-Do List, so why bother?


The last, and most obvious, sign is dreading the show. This goes beyond a lack of anticipation — that’s a neutral reaction, common to the average viewer. This is realizing that it’s [insert day] and groaning as X o’clock approaches because the show in question is on.

This is having the same feeling about watching the show as you would about going to a dentist appointment. If you’d rather be having your teeth pulled than sitting down to watch the show — whether live or getting into that backlog of episodes you’ve got going — then it’s probably time to make a clean break.

How about you, dear readers? How do you know it’s time to break up with a show?

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Magazine and Photos.com

  • BoyOnFire

    Funny enough I’ve had small bouts with all of these while watching glee this season lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

      I think everybody did. lol

      I keep telling myself: “Maybe next season will be better.”

      I think that, if it doesn’t happen this time, then I’m probably going to be done with the show… :S

  • gcw07

    I stockpile shows a fair amount. Sometimes I save them and watch them in summer when other shows aren’t on. Sometimes I end up just deciding I don’t care anymore and delete them all. I did that to Supernatural this past season. I had 20 episodes from last season and 10 or so from this season and ended up just deciding I didn’t care anymore and deleted them all. I have a stockpile of Ringer, that I’ll probably end up just deleting too.

  • Erin

    Bye bye, Glee!

  • akacj7

    when I change the channel during a commercial and forget to change it back 
    –>if i like the show i won’t change the channel – commercials become a short period of time to take care of small chores and/or go to the bathroom so i won’t miss a second of entertainment!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joey-Mangum/1820064015 Joey Mangum

    I’m guilty of two of these with Glee… Let’s see if next season can add more to the list… >.>

  • http://forgiveyourmind.tumblr.com/ Tariq

    I love this article because it’s so true. 

  • Blair Warren

    I feel this way about Gossip Girl and Glee -_-

    • http://twitter.com/Tygridia Tygridia

      Specially Gossip Girl, to be honest

  • aschech626

    soooooo……the whole point of this article was to tell fox to drop glee

    • http://twitter.com/purplehrdwonder Caitlin Kelly

      The point was more to tell the people that are still watching Glee, or any other show (because this describes me and Smash as well), despite hating it that sometimes we just need a clean break to save our sanity (and the sanity of the people around us who get sick of hearing our complaints). Has nothing to do with the network :)

  • Emmalou

    Exactly describes my emotions towards Glee. I think I’m gonna give it one more season before I make up my mind tho.

  • http://twitter.com/emilyecstasyTM Emily Bryan

    Ahhh, it’s the horrible truth! I sadly felt this way for most of Glee during season 3. Yikes :/

  • http://imnomuggle.wordpress.com Im_No_Muggle

    The “piling up in DVR” is exactly what happened to me with Alcatraz and Terra Nova. I kept saying to myself that I’d watch them, but then just realize I didn’t care.

  • grapes9h5

    its what happend to me with Glee finally.

  • Meg

    Fifth season of Chuck, sadly.

    • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

      third season of Chuck, for me sadly :/. I still love 1 & 2 though, and pretend the last 10 minutes of the season finale never happened. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ODMXKO5Y6T7TIK5664E6AFY6QI Jael

    Two and a Half Men.  I don’t see why my mum and sister still watch this show but I can’t stand it.  Unfortunately, I get stuck watching it with them because that show airs when we have dinner.

  • Caroline Taylor078

    I wish the majority of people on ONTD Glee would just stop watching it instead of boring everyone with their tiresome opinions every episode, if I despised a show I would stop watching it, I have given up on quite a few shows over the years!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SKNCBKG3PLZ6X2PETGSQQ6HIYA Tiffany

      This! I love to live chat with people during glee but it just seems that no one on there really like the show. They love to bash it more than enjoy for what it is. 

      • KristenKranz

        I agree with both of you. I love Glee. I know its not perfect, but I still absolutely love the show just for what it is. Glad to see there are others out there like me!

    • galadriel

      I completely agree. I’ve given up on a few ONTD comms for this very reason.

  • LilyLuna

    I don’t think I’ve gotten to that point with Glee yet, it has it’s moments, but I do still love it.

    I do let Suburgatory stockpile up ont he DVR alot, but I end up enjoying it when I do find time to watch. I guess the unrealisticness of the show gets to me occassionally.

  • stark447

    Haha this is Glee and Smash for me. 
    Parts of it are The Office

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    this is me with vampire diaries and Fringe. It got to the point where I had 20 episodes of each on my DVR and every time I’d go to watch them I’d decide not to because I didn’t actually want to. I did the same with House but that was way back in season 5.

  • Jay

    This happened with me with Grey’s Anatomy this season.  I ended up cramming the whole season into the last few days before the finale aired.  I hope next season will be better, because I hate to think I won’t watch it next season after investing seven years into it.

    • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

      I felt like that during the fourth season of Grey’s. Kudos to you for lasting so long! :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33411927 Ashleigh Morgan

    It’s time to break up with a show when the network starts purposefully airing episode out of order in an attempt to boost ratings…

    • Tony

       That happens? What show was it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=33411927 Ashleigh Morgan


  • Amanda


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1683360003 Paige Barton

    guess I’m dropping Glee, then…

  • Hal

    Wow. 95% of comments refer to Glee. That’s impressive!

  • Thegarbar13

    Glee for me but I’m attatched to Finn and Rachel story line!!! And of course I’ve supported Darren since his Starkid days:) Why quit now? Been with Glee since the beginning… Its a hard habit for me to break but I won’t go insane because there are a few characters that make me practically jump up and down when they are on screen!

  • http://www.eigakanthemovietheater.blogspot.com Jenny Leigh

    I disagree about the DVR backup to an extent. I got behind on Pushing Daisies back in the day. That show is excellent!

    • http://twitter.com/purplehrdwonder Caitlin Kelly

      Well, there’s a difference between having a backlog that you *want* to watch and a backlog you keep putting off facing (an “I have 12 episodes of X show to watch… maybe I’ll go paint the house” type of situation). I was thinking more of the latter.

      I was 8 episodes behind on Fringe by the end of this season but only because I got busy. At the same time, I had a backlog of Smash and it was like pulling teeth to actually sit down and watch it. Time to drop Fringe? No. Time to drop Smash? Possibly.

  • Glaciusx

    THIS IS ME WITH GLEE. Gah, I don’t really care what happens to anyone besides Blaine. Darren Criss is the reason why I started watching Glee, anyway. StarKid for liiife~

  • rdh014

    sadly…Heroes season 4…

    • isenhobbitz

      agreed. I actually stopped watching halfway through three because it became apparent no one could die EVER. I love rewatching season one though. :)

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    Wow sounds like I’m the only one who hasn’t reached this point with Glee yet hehe

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Alan-Sauberlich-Jr/510533062 Scott Alan Sauberlich Jr.

    By the end of season 3 of Glee this happened to me, but it was more over the fact that the character development would get to a certain point and characters would change quite a bit, but then after about three episodes they would revert to their season 1 personalities almost.  I just got so sick of seeing a good development in someone only to see it removed after the next two episodes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003861157030 Kitty Boots

    I thought this article was about stopping watching a show because it was consuming so much of your life through obsession… looks like im still screwed.

  • http://www.korracast.com/ Fravit

    Glee comes to mind.

  • galadriel


  • Tony

    Great article! Personally I think that point 3 is the most problematic, and can be applied to all forms of entertainment. I had this problem with Twilight and Gwen Cooper (Torchwood), where I spent so much time being irritated about them, that I started to loose time that I could have used to read other books/analyse the other characters I would enjoy more. I felt very liberated once I moved on from all the hate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344286489 Danielle Ross

    Supernatural. 1 and 2 hit after season 5. i loved it like breathing. i was a castiel fangirl but the whole “the series is ending after 5″ thing except not really….. and the direction the show went in when it did come back…. i had to let it go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/evalynda Evalynda Cayton

    Wow, it’s nice to know that other people feel the same way I feel about Glee. I loved the show in the begining but this season I dreading watching it, if not next season then I have to give it up. I also feel this way about Grey’s anatomy.

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