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Tim Allen as Mike Baxter and Nancy Travis as Vanessa Baxter in this image from Hulu
Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) and his wife, Vanessa Baxter (Nancy Travis) discuss finding better shows to star in. (Image: Hulu)

It’s not unheard of to start watching a new show, give it a chance, and give up on it before you finish. With so much to watch, it doesn’t make sense to waste your time on something you don’t enjoy! There’s a time and place for good, old-fashioned trash TV to hate-watch, but with some shows, there’s so much to hate that it becomes exhausting. Maybe a show couldn’t find its stride or there was a sharp decline in quality as seasons progressed, but one thing is certain: Life is too short to watch things you hate. Here are a handful of shows I couldn’t stomach the idea of finishing.

‘How I Met Your Mother’ (2005 to 2014)

Josh Radnor as Ted Mosby and Neil Patrick Harris as Barney in this image from Hulu
Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) tries to plot his way out of such an uninspired show. (Image: Hulu)

When I first started watching “How I Met Your Mother,” there were at least six seasons on Netflix. I was in love from the very first episode, to the point where I watched the first four seasons in three days.

I haven’t been able to enjoy a single episode since. By the end of those three days, I felt like I’d seen the same episodes two or three times. Maybe I overindulged and became too familiar with the cast of characters too quickly, but I stopped being surprised by “twists” (I use the term loosely here) and just started getting bored. The whole ordeal reminded me of when I got my wisdom teeth removed and drank the same smoothie for three days until I threw up. To this day, I gag at anything orange cream–flavored. I don’t even care who the mother is. Why are you telling your kids about all these other women you’ve had sex with? Weirdo. Not even Neil Patrick Harris could save this show.

You can watch all nine seasons of “How I Met Your Mother” on Hulu, and I give you credit if you make it further than I did. Godspeed.

‘The Big Bang Theory’ (2007 to 2019)

Mayim Bialik and Jim Parsons in this image from HBO Max
Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in “The Big Bang Theory.” (Image: Max)

Early on, I was a fan of “The Big Bang Theory.” I thought it was fun to watch a bunch of comic book, sci-fi, and fantasy nerds joke about and parody nerd culture. It felt like jokes for nerds, but at some point it started to feel like jokes about nerds — like they were punching down. If they were original, inspired jokes, the show may have earned a pass, but I kept guessing the punchline halfway through the setup. I got bored. Nerds deserve better.

‘Mike & Molly’ (2010 to 2016)

Billy Gardell and Melissa McCarthy in this image from HBO Max
Mike Biggs (Billy Gardell) and Molly Flynn (Melissa McCarthy) share many classic, if overdone, sitcom moments in “Mike & Molly.” (Image: Max)

While we’re talking about boring sitcoms, I would be remiss in ignoring “Mike & Molly.” This romantic comedy follows the relationship between police officer Mike (Billy Gardell) and school teacher Molly (Melissa McCarthy) as it progresses through various stages. It was occasionally sweet and heartwarming, but it often fell flat for me. I found myself looking at my phone more than the TV screen, and I knew it was time to move on when I was tuning out for entire episodes. It felt like the TV equivalent of a mushy, unseasoned TV dinner — reheated and still cold in the middle.

You can watch “Mike & Molly” on Max.

‘Last Man Standing’ (2011 to 2021)

Tim Allen in this image from Hulu
Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) as a dad from a different time in “Last Man Standing.” (Image: Hulu)

I grew up watching “Home Improvement,” and I consider Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor (Tim Allen) one of the all-time great TV dads (even if he didn’t make our list). “Last Man Standing” made me react with the same confused grunt that Tim Taylor popularized on “Home Improvement.” What wanted to be a smart comedy about a man stuck in his ways ended up using the same sitcom tropes we’ve been force fed for the past 20 years. I’ve never seen an attempt at comedy fail so spectacularly simply by being stuck in the ways of the past. When the laugh track is the best part, it’s time to change the channel.

You can find “Last Man Standing” on Hulu, but don’t bother waiting for it to get better.

‘Sense8’ (2015 to 2018)

Tina Desai, Max Riemelt, Brian J. Smith, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Onwumere, Bae Doona, and Miguel Ángel Silvestre in this image from Netflix
What “Sense8” lacks in quality, it makes up for in the size of its cast. (Image: Netflix)

Speaking of watching something better, you might as well skip the Netflix Original “Sense8.” The series has a cult appeal, but I don’t get it. It felt like a contrived attempt at cataloging the “oneness” of the human experience across cultural divides, which is an admirable concept for a series if you can remove the word “contrived.” It was like someone did mushrooms and decided to write a series about what it would be like if eight strangers all ended up on the same trip, but they didn’t take anything, man.

This one is also on Netflix, but it lasted only two seasons before it got the ax.

‘Disjointed’ (2017 to 2018)

Missi Pyle and Dougie Baldwin in this image from Netflix
Mary Jane (Missi Pyle) and Pete (Dougie Baldwin) as bad caricatures of dispensary employees in “Disjointed.” (Image: Netflix)

While we’re on the subject of Netflix shows that fell way short, we have “Disjointed,” a comedy about a marijuana dispensary and its staff. The show felt like a bad imitation of “That ’70s Show” written by people who have, for the first time in their lives, heard about marijuana dispensaries. After Googling “indica” and “sativa” and deleting their browser history so they don’t end up on a watchlist, they wrote this attempt at a comedy about a bunch of stoner tropes. They may have counted on the audience being a little baked.

Grab your munchies and watch both seasons of this series on Netflix, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

‘The Witcher: Blood Origin’ (2022)

Laurence O’Fuarain and Sophia Brown in this image from Netflix
Fjall (Laurence O’Fuarain) and Éile (Sophia Brown) in “The Witcher: Blood Origin.” (Image: Netflix)

I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, but I’m really upset about this one. “The Witcher: Blood Origin” had so much potential, and I wanted it to be a “Game of Thrones” or “Rings of Power” kind of hit, with characters to love (and loathe), mysteries, twists, and excellent writing set in a fantastical setting — one I was already a fan of. The hackneyed, derivative attempt at a modern, gritty fantasy we got instead was a rip-off of those already popular series at its worst and a knock-off at its best.

In the spirit of transparency, I’ll admit I finished this one if only to confirm it was nothing but a lost-in-translation, rushed attempt at telling the story of a power-hungry dragon princess — has anyone heard that one before? — and the lives of the individuals at the end of an empire. If this is the direction “The Witcher” is headed, the reasons behind Henry Cavill’s departure start to become much clearer. As a huge fan of “The Witcher” books, he likely resents the decline in quality.

You can watch all four awful parts of “The Witcher: Blood Origin” on Netflix. Or you could watch something better instead.

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