There are exceptional TV shows I watch. The series I have to watch the same night come hell or high water. The bodacious brilliance of BREAKING BAD, the gut-wrenching grit of GAME OF THRONES or the masterful melancholia of MAD MEN. There are a handful of others, but I wanted to spare the world more absurdist alliteration.
Then there are great shows I watch, that might not QUITE be on the same tier, but are damn close and totally worthwhile. Maybe I won't watch them the same night, but I will make sure I plow through them the next day. Be it the sly wit of JUSTIFIED or the array of well-defined characters on THE GOOD WIFE, my DVR will always be humming with such series.
Finally, there are shows I watch that are just plain fun. Brain candy. It could be a USA Network show, it could be a prime time soap or simply a light comedy. I rarely view them right off the bat. Hell, they may sit in the queue longer than the latest Daily Show or Colbert Report. But within 3 to 5 days, I will have enjoyed a mental siesta with any and all of them.
But once I make the determination that a show no longer falls under any of those categories (sometimes I realize that after one episode, other times I may wait it out through a few), then it's time for DVR deletion. Outside of stockpiling episodes of THE SOUP or old films from TCM for a flu-ravaged rainy day, there's no good reason to cling to a show I lack the motivation and desire to bother with anymore. Life is too short to waste yet another hour a week on something that doesn't merit it. Especially as I know far better TV series are often a month or two away.
And if it turns out I was premature in my DVR dumping, then I can always catch up a year or two later thanks to Netflix, Hulu and various other venues for ongoing series.
The latest show to fail my multi-episode sniff test...is THE FOLLOWING.
The pattern of a serial killer (figuratively) drumming his fingers and twirling his imaginary moustache from a jail cell while the FBI run around like headless (or should I say brainless) chickens in pursuit of the somewhat irritating cult members became rote for me after only a few episodes. The Edgar Allen Poe-connection was contrived from the get-go, and every mention of it made my eyes roll more than John Boehner's at a Presidential love-fest.
Bacon's burned out agent with a drinking problem is a cliche I really have done without. Outside of the graphic nature of a few violent scenes, nothing about this series truly feels fresh in any way. The writing is less clever than your average procedural, and the acting hasn't been much better. Finally, more than anything or anyone else, I've grown tired of "Keifer Bacon".
At least FX Network's THE AMERICANS seems like something new, something different and something unexpected. THE FOLLOWING has never accomplished any of those things for me.