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MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: When great TV shows disappoint

Television
by Matt Zoller Seitz
November 30, 2011 1:15 AM
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Why off-key episodes of "Homeland" and "Boss" made me revise my enthusiasm for two favorite new shows
Why off-key episodes of "Homeland" and "Boss" made me revise my enthusiasm for two favorite new shows

As regular readers know, I sometimes fall head-over-heels in love with promising new shows, and when they deliver a problematic or outright bad episode, it’s disillusioning. I tell myself it’s the nature of the beast — that it’s hard to make just one great half-hour or hour-long episode, let alone 10 or 12 or 26 in a row. The law of averages has to catch up eventually. But that doesn’t change the fact that a show that once seemed to have excellent judgment suddenly made what felt like out-of-character or flat-out stupid choices. A botch-job episode can make you wonder if you were right to like the show in the first place. At its most misjudged and tone-deaf, a bad episode of an otherwise terrific series can emphasize flaws you were previously inclined to overlook. It can even make you second-guess the things you praised in the past.

I’ll give you two recent examples, then pose a few questions and open the floor for readers to share their own experiences. I’ll place the examples within self-contained sections, so that you can easily skip them if you’re afraid of spoilers.

You can read the rest of Matt's recap here at Salon.

Matt Zoller Seitz is publisher of Press Play and TV critic at Salon.com.

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