We're but a few scant weeks from the first premieres of the 2011-12 fall TV season, and anticipation is growing -- I guess -- for the likes of a new Charlie's Angels and another allegedly hilarious season of The Big Bang Theory.
But for all the dutiful effort by the networks to provide more white noise to distract us from the increasing desperation of our painfully ordinary lives, there are dozens of shows, and characters, that outlasted their shelf life long, long ago.
[There must be a happy medium between how the British do television (three episodes of Sherlock, then nothing for two years) and how we do it (210 episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond). Some way to keep us engaged without eventually breeding contempt. I suppose science has better things to do.]
It's difficult for any TV show to stay fresh for more than a few seasons, and this is compounded when the characters just aren't fun to watch anymore, which is the case I'm going to make for these folks. However "enjoyable" their respective programs may be, these characters need to go.
I'll point out that these are characters from *existing* programs, otherwise we'd be forced to choose between everyone from Ross Geller to Nellie Oleson. That out of the way, here we go.
Adam Braverman (Peter Krause) -- Parenthood
Maybe it's just me, but Krause seems like he plays the same insufferably self-righteous character in every show he's ever starred in. The whole Parenthood experience is exacerbated by the Asperger's subplot. Gee, sorry your photogenic, highly functional autistic son is such a hassle, Adam.
Vince Masuka (C.S. Lee) -- Dexter
I forget where I read this, but I agree with the assessment that Vince is essentially live-action TV's version of Quagmire from The Family Guy, only somehow less repetitive and annoying with his "giggitys."
Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) -- How I Met Your Mother
Hey dude, I have an idea why you haven't met the "mother" of those kids you keep talking to (whom I'm convinced you actually snatched and are holding in your basement, torturing them with banal tales of your youth): It's because no woman would want to breed with a guy who is obviously the least interesting or witty person in his own circle of friends. Your eventual grisly suicide will be legen -- wait for it -- dary.
Rachel Berry/Kurt Hummel (Lea Michele/Chris Colfer) -- Glee
Man, I can't decide between the two. Rachel is an insufferable prima donna, while Kurt gives martyrs a bad name. For my money, they should just make Santana the main character.
Officer Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) -- Mike & Molly
Every so often (okay, every year) a show comes along I can't believe was created after 1982. Mike & Molly is what you get when you accidentally activate the "fat joke" randomizer along with the laugh track option on your network-issused Romantic Sitcom Crapulator. And what's that? He'd rather watch the ball game than take his girlfriend on a romantic date? Oh, that Mike!
Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) -- True Blood
Well, yeah...it's just about the worst Southern accent in TV history. But to top it off, if I wanted to watch porn, I'd just watch porn, minus the needlessly angst-ridden bayou Gothic subplots.
Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) -- Grey's Anatomy
Frankly, I could've populated this list with nothing but GA cast members and felt nary a twinge of guilt (except maybe for Denny, because trying to drive Izzy insane from beyond the grave was awesome). Meredith, as the title character, must absorb the brunt of my animosity, thanks in large part to Pompeo's brittle portrayal and that opening and closing voice-over she swiped from Doogie Howser, M.D.
Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel) - New Girl
I haven't seen minute one of this beyond the soul-flaying preview, but I defy any of you to defend it with a straight face.
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Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) -- Criminal Minds
I've always suspected characters like Garcia are part of a larger scheme by Anonymous and 4chan and the like to convince us computer hackers are happy, bubbly types and not, in fact, bitter, misanthropic assholes. See also Abby Sciuto from NCIS.