It’s official: with the amount of scripted series alone hitting the 500 mark and refusing to stop there, there is just too much content available to keep up with all of it. But although the quantity of series offered continues to grow, that does not automatically mean the quality increases as well. As such, no one should feel bad if they have to let go of a new show, no matter how buzzed-about or once-beloved it may be.
In keeping with that sentiment, here are all the series the Variety staff stopped watching in 2019.
“Arrested Development” (Netflix)
Maybe Netflix’s two-part release strategy for Season 5 is to blame. While it was fun to see the Bluths back together in the first half of the season, released in May 2018, I certainly wasn’t still on the edge of my seat by the time the second part was released nearly 10 months later, especially with so many other options on TV. It might be time to finally let this innovative comedy end.
— Alex Stedman, senior news editor, online
“Big Little Lies” (HBO)
I had heard such good things about the first season of “Big Littles Lies” that it made me read a book — a book! After finishing it and binging the first season this summer, I eagerly anticipated seeing how the second season would continue the story. And boy, was I disappointed. The lack of intriguing mystery and building tension failed to justify why the new season needed to exist. Not even Meryl Streep could save this trainwreck.
— Jordan Moreau, junior content specialist
No one’s saying that “BoJack Horseman” isn’t a product of immense creative talent and wit. But it is worth saying that its cult following has finally exceeded the series’ merit. We’ve seen everyone’s favorite alcoholic horse (Will Arnett) do terrible things, feel remorse of some degree, chase after sobriety, relapse and repeat too many times to count. In Season 6, Raphael Bob-Waksberg and team want us to believe that BoJack will get the message this time. Maybe he will. There’s still not enough attention to the fact that BoJack’s antics have irrevocably harmed the women in his life. In Season 5, BoJack, high on set, choked his co-star, Gina (Stephanie Beatriz); post that experience, touch becomes a PTSD trigger for Gina and she’s labeled difficult to work with. Only one of many BoJack atrocities. Especially given that Netflix declined to pick up a second season of the equally clever and — let’s be honest, fresher — sister series, “Tuca & Bertie,” I see no point in watching BoJack make amends with himself for the thousandth time when his actions have seriously derailed the lives of Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), Diane (Alison Brie), Penny (Ilana Glazer) and Sarah Lynn (Kristen Schaal).
— LaTesha Harris, editorial intern
Yes, the acting is fine. Yes, the production values are polished. But “Fosse/Verdon” concentrated on two massively self-indulgent people who treated each other and everyone around them so poorly it was painful to watch, as was the exasperating retro sexual politics of Bob Fosse and the vintage showbiz milieu. The show did come alive while parsing their creative partnerships, but it ended up sending me to track down clips of “Sweet Charity” and “Damn Yankees” on YouTube and “Cabaret” on Netflix. For a more compelling look at artistic genius, there’s Fosse’s autobiographical “All That Jazz,” clips of which can be found on YouTube and, hopefully, the whole film will be available to stream soon.
— Carole Horst, managing editor, Variety Focus
“The Goldbergs” (ABC)
When it launched, the show was a lovely throwback to the 1980s, but by last season’s end it had long past gone out of steam. So, when the older two kids left for college I dropped the show, too. Besides, the spinoff had taken a couple of tertiary characters that were interesting.
— Shalini Dore, intern coordinator and Focus features editor
“The Politician” (Netflix)
There comes a point where watching incredibly annoying, incredibly wealthy people yelling at each other and fighting for power becomes, well, incredibly annoying. I reached that point about five episodes into “The Politician.” In truth, part of the problem was that I was watching “Succession” at the same time and started suffering from an overload of rich white people problems as a result. I have heard that events take an interesting twist near the end, but ultimately “The Politician” failed to keep me interested that long with its fairly standard high school drama plot.
— Will Thorne, TV writer
“Ray Donovan” (Showtime)
2019 was the year I finally quit “Ray Donovan.” After Abby died, I was barely tuning in and this was the year that I cut the cord for good. I like refined Ray, not depressed and disgruntled Ray. Without his guiding light, he is just a sad tough guy from Boston. Sorry Ray, but “The Irishman” fills that void for me just fine.
— Meg Zukin, social media editor
“The Real Housewives of Orange County” (Bravo)
Vicki Gunvalson diehards may take this to mean I am protesting until she is back as a full-time titular housewife, but nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, I started the most recent season of “RHOC” excited for the limited takes from the self-proclaimed “OG of the OC” and looking forward to getting to know more about Gina Kirschenheiter’s secret bad marriage and who would be fighting with Kelly Dodd this time around. I was not disappointed on either of those points, with a sexcapade rumor about Dodd tossed out there in the first few episodes like the original series in the long-running franchise knew it was showing its age and was desperate to compete with newer, more salacious kids on the block. But after a wellness trip that saw Shannon Beador running to yet another hospital, I tuned out. At first, it was because I just got busy with other things, but as weeks went on and I wasn’t scrambling to catch up, I realized the series had lost much of its excitement, especially as “RHOA” returned with two bouts of baby daddy drama, while “RHONJ” followed Joe Giudice’s plight in ICE custody.
— Danielle Turchiano, senior features editor, TV
As the series prepped for Emmy Rossum’s exit, Season 9 of “Shameless” took the show’s usual chaotic energy and kicked it into overdrive. But, in Fiona Gallagher’s case, the young business owner’s life was turned upside down. Still reeling from the loss of her apartment building and boyfriend, the eldest of the Gallagher clan resorted to booze, lost her job and left the caretaker responsibilities to her younger sister Debbie (Emma Kenney). After consistently messing things up for her family members, Fiona’s character wound up resembling Frank (William H. Macy) a little too much. How the show will make up for the downfall of Fiona might be an interesting part of Season 10, but truthfully, the roller coaster that was Season 9 warrants a long recovery time.
— BreAnna Bell, editorial intern
The Best TV Shows of 2019: