Five TV Shows that should've stopped while they were ahead

While many fans are celebrating the return of some of their favorite shows, like HBO's "Game of Thrones" and ABC's "Once Upon a Time," it's time to also consider the shows that far outstayed their welcome on the airwaves and led to the ultimate disappointment of their fans. These five shows, while once great, should have stopped while they were ahead rather than trudging forth with lackluster storylines and patched-together endings.

DISCLAIMER: For those currently streaming any of these series, there are spoilers ahead.

1. "Grey’s Anatomy"

As much as I have loved following the dramatic medical and personal lives of Meredith Grey and her fellow surgeons at Seattle Grace Hospital, or Sloan Grey Memorial as it is now known, this is a show that has long overstayed its welcome on the air. While I’ve heard quite a few people say they stopped watching around season five when Katherine Heigl’s character, Izzie Stevens, left the hit medical soap opera, I’d disagree. The drama was still going strong right up until season 10, when the producers decided to shoot for season 11. All of the romances that were built up throughout the series like Meredith and Derek, Jackson and April and Cali and Arizona are falling apart now and the storylines are becoming way too predictable. Christina Yang has flown the coop, and the series should, too.

2. "How I Met Your Mother"

Ted Mosby’s hopeless romantic search for the perfect woman, mixed with the shenanigans of his four best friends, made for a hilarious television show for about eight seasons. Unfortunately, the show kept going for a ninth one, and the writers made some terrible decisions when it came to ending the show. As a fan, I loved the sweet things that Ted did for Robin and the great lengths he went to make her happy, but I appreciated the fact that he was a good friend and knew she needed to marry Barney. I think other fans of the show would agree when I say I was disappointed that Barney and Robin’s marriage didn’t work out. The entirety of this show is dedicated to Ted finding the perfect girl, who he does eventually find, and everyone is satisfied. But the writers decided to take that all away and send Ted running back to Robin, which felt like a ripoff to long-time fans of the series.

3. "Two and a Half Men"

As funny as this series once was, the fact that it lasted for 12 seasons is ridiculous. As much as I love Ashton Kutcher, Walden Schmidt was no replacement for Charlie Harper. On top of that, are we really supposed to believe that the new owner of Charlie’s house would just let Allen still live there? I know the writers didn’t have much choice when Charlie Sheen was forced to resign because of his drug habits, but they really should have thrown in the towel altogether. I mean, getting hit by a metro train in Paris? They couldn’t think of anything better? The show just wasn’t nearly as hilarious without Sheen’s dry, calculated sarcasm. “Two and a Half Men” should have died with Charlie Harper back in season nine.

4. "The Office"

Although not everyone was a huge fan of “The Office,” I think even dedicated viewers of the show would agree that its time on TV was long outlived.  While this comedy series used to provide a lot of laughs, whether it was through stupid jokes or awkward characters, the series suffered a huge loss at the end of the seventh season when Steve Carell’s character, Michael Scott, left for Colorado. The same old jokes were long overused and the characters became stale. The show took a huge dive as soon as they decided to make Ed Helms’ character, Andy, the boss. I think it’s safe to say that when the producers aired their “Goodbye Michael” episode, they should’ve said goodbye to “The Office.”

5. "Glee"

While this musical teen drama was much beloved by fans, it never should have lasted six seasons. "Glee" was a clever and unique addition to television, but there’s only so much teen drama and singing you can air before people lose interest. The storylines started to lose their luster during season five. The unfortunate death of actor Cory Monteith, who played Finn Hudson, probably set the show back quite a bit and might have lost a few fans as well. Many fans struggled to accept the new cast of "Glee" members that were brought later in the series. Maybe "Glee" should have graduated from television when its original cast members graduated from high school.

Reach the reporter at bridget.dowd@asu.eduor follow @bridgetbernice on Twitter.

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