While this site is primarily a numbers site, the people who visit here aren’t only interested in ratings. Here’s my view of how this season went from a fan perspective. Feel free to share your thoughts, too.
For me, this season was a failure for broadcast TV. The only new broadcast shows that I stuck with past the first couple of episodes were Running Wilde (I know it wasn’t the greatest show, but it had potential, that I kept hoping it might reach!) and Traffic Light (a ridiculously underrated show from a critical standpoint, though not something I am mourning the end of.) So I haven’t added a single show from ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or CW to my TV diet to carry over to next season.
I admit I didn’t watch The Chicago Code (or Terriers, for that matter) so I can’t really judge the one broadcast drama from this season that got some good praise (not counting Lone Star which was canceled too soon to be counted), but I sampled all of the new comedies except $#*! My Dad Says, and even the critical darling, Raising Hope, failed to keep me as a viewer.
I actually ended the season with fewer broadcast shows than I started with, since I finally stopped watching Community after the first episode of this season. I had grown tired of it about halfway through the first season, but figured I would stick with it, since I watched most of the rest of NBC’s Thursday block. But I realized I didn’t care enough to turn on my TV half hour earlier this season. And I somehow stopped watching Lie to Me without really thinking about it or meaning to do so.
But, as we all know, TV isn’t restricted to broadcast anymore. Cable was much kinder to me, despite the lack of Breaking Bad this season. Both Boardwalk Empire and Shameless quickly jumped close to the top of my favorite shows on TV list. Downton Abbey was quite good, though I wouldn’t rate it in the top five (which goes Breaking Bad, Parks & Rec, Archer, Boardwalk Empire, Shameless.) And none of the returning shows disappointed me too much either, though White Collar is skating on thin ice. I’m still watching for now, but even the gorgeous Matt Bomer cannot make up for what I fear is going to happen in the premiere.
Of course, it wasn’t all good for cable. I went into Walking Dead with high hopes, which were dashed by the second episode. I haven’t even bothered with The Killing yet, though I may watch it on DVD if the bad reviews take a sudden turn after the killer is revealed. The Borgias may have improved, but what I saw of it couldn’t hold my attention. I have also been reluctant to check out Game of Thrones, though I have a feeling it will be forced down my throat sooner rather than later, knowing the sort of people I am friends with. It’s amazing I’ve avoided it this long.
But I spent much more time this season watching Netflix, both streaming and on disc, than broadcast or cable. I finally finished watching The Wire, which went much faster once I got to season three, and actually enjoyed the show. (Though season five went back to being boring for me. I still say the show is overrated, since only two out of five seasons were really good, though those two seasons were definitely very good.) After that I started The Shield, though I have only watched the first season so far, so most of that will go into the 2011-2012 pile. I spent most of last summer watching (new) Doctor Who, finishing up with series five on iTunes, though I believe all five are now streaming on Netflix, with only one special not up. I think I had to get the discs for three specials last summer. And of course, there’s Top Gear, which is almost all streaming on Netflix now.
So while I was disappointed with broadcast, I still was able to maintain a healthy diet of more TV than I really should be watching. How did 2010-2011 treat you?