Watching TV can be so damn time consuming, and especially where it concerns network television, it’s often not worth it. Sometimes we will begin a television series but we’re not invested enough in the outcome to follow it through. Nevertheless, there’s a certain nagging curiosity some of us may have about how the show has progressed or has resolved, but it’s not nagging enough to actually put in the effort to watch. This is where I come in. Here are some very brief spoilers to 12 television series that you may have given up on. I will place non-spoiler images in front of each description so that, should you want to do so, you can avoid the spoilers on individual shows. I should note that, because I plan on catching up with them over the summer myself and don’t want to be spoiled, there are no spoiler-caps to “Fringe” and “Once Upon a Time.”
Castle — “Castle” is a show I stuck with for the better part of three seasons because I’m a huge Nathan Fillion fan. But after last season’s ridiculous season finale — in which Kate was shot and Castle confessed to her that he loved her while he thought she was dying — I gave up on the show. The will they/won’t they relationship between Castle and Beckett that bookended each season wasn’t enough to sustain a fairly banal procedural. I wasn’t surprised to learn, however, that it took the ENTIRE season for a payoff to last season’s finale. Apparently, Kate ignored Castle’s admission all season long, and only waited until this year’s season finale — when they were tracking down the guy who shot Kate last season, and who is tied to the murder of Kate’s mother (a murder that is still unsolved) — to reciprocate. “He got away, and I didn’t care,” she said in the finale. “I almost died, and all I could think about was you. I just want you.” With that, Kate and Castle are finally a couple, and I’m sure the series will only get progressively worse as they slowly move through the stages of their dating relationship culminating in an eighth season wedding when they will FINALLY solve the murder of Kate’s mother.
Desperate Housewives — I watched the opening season of Marc Cherry’s “Desperate Housewives” because it was a somewhat novel show at the time. It’s been so long, and it’s gotten so bad, I have no idea why I once considered it novel. The series finally ended after eight seasons, and if you know who the main characters are, this is all you need to know: After attempting to confess to a murder she didn’t commit to save a friend, Bree (Marcia Cross) was acquitted when someone else confessed. In the epilogue, Bree moved to Kentucky and became a state legislator. Meanwhile, Gaby (Eva Longoria) quit her time-consuming job to spend more time at home with her husband (still Carlos), and they started their own personal shopping website and moved to California and lived happily ever after. Lynette (Felicity Huffman) reunited with her husband, Tom (who I believe has been her husband the entire series) and they moved to New York where she became a CEO of a company. Susan’s (Teri Hatcher) daughter had her own baby and Susan moved away from Wisteria Lane. Oh, and Mrs. McCluskey — who you may remember as Mrs. Landingham from “West Wing” — confessed to the murder at the center of the episode, even though she didn’t commit it, and then she died. Oh, and also: That blonde lady with all the plastic surgery: She was killed off last season, I believe.
Revenge — Again, a show that was heralded by critics early on and grew stale quickly. For those like me who quit at midseason, the finale did absolutely nothing to persuade me to return to the show. It was nothing but soap-opera cliffhangers piled on top of cliffhangers, most notable of which was the fact that Victoria (Madeleine Stowe) appears to have blown up in an airplane on the way to testify against her husband for killing Emily’s father. Meanwhile, Charlotte (the Grayson daughter) attempted to commit suicide and her fate is left unknown. Also, Amanda — the woman who took Emily’s old identity — is pregnant with Jack’s baby (Jack is the guy that Emily is secretly in love with). Emily and Daniel have also broken up. Finally, Emily is now in search of her missing mother.
Modern Family — Most of you who watch “Modern Family,” probably stuck with it until the end, but if not, Cameron and Mitchell were not able to adopt a new baby. However, Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is pregnant.
The Office — If you were smart enough to quit the show many seasons ago, you should know that it’s somewhat reset itself. Robert California (James Spader) is out as CEO and David Wallace bought the company and turned the manager’s job back over to Andy. That means that Nellie (ugh, Catherine Tate) is no longer Dunder Mifflin branch manager, but she still does have a job with the company.
House — I watched a few seasons of “House” but gave up several years ago after it devolved into a repetitive procedural. In the series finale, basically House fakes his death to avoid going to prison for a prank and decides, instead, to spend all of his time with his best friend, Wilson (Robert Sean Leonard) who has only a few weeks left to live.
How I Met Your Mother — I still have a lot of affection for the show, even though I know many people have bailed in part because they can’t stand Ted and because the bad episodes are really bad. The twist in the season finale really wasn’t that much of a surprise, though it was kind of sweet: The wedding in which Ted will eventually meet his wife is that of Barney and Robin, as it is revealed that Robin is the bride we got a glimpse of oh so long ago. Also, Ted drove off with his old flame Victoria on her wedding day, proving once again what a huge douche Ted is, breaking up a wedding even though the same thing had happened to him with devastating consequences. The clincher, of course, is that Victoria won’t be the mother because Ted first meets his wife at Barney’s wedding.
Big Bang Theory — I’ve seen maybe three episodes in the entire run, enough to know who Howard (Simon Helberg) is. He married Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) and took a Russian rocket to the International Space station. Naturally.
Parks and Recreation — I hope to hell you watched this because it’s the best comedy on network television now, including “Community.” If you didn’t, Leslie Knopes (Amy Poehler) bested Paul Rudd’s character in the city council election and Ben (Adam Scott) took a job in a Senate campaign in D.C. But don’t worry: Leslie and Ben will make the long-distance relationship work.
Grey’s Anatomy — It’s been a very long time since I saw an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy,” and I barely recognize many of the actors involved with the show. However, the big shocker at the end of the season was the death of Lexie (Chyler Leigh), who died in a plane crash.
Glee — I quit watching “Glee” at after the end of the first season, and I probably should’ve quit much sooner. Rachel got into a theater college in New York City. Kurt and Finn did not get into college. Santana declined her admission. Puck passed high school by the skin of his teeth, and Brittany did not. Mercedes got a contract as a back-up singer and is going to UCLA. Finn broke up with Rachel on their wedding day so that she could pursue her dream, and Finn enlisted in the Army.
Awake — The series finale to “Awake” was outstanding, and I’m not going to reveal what it was. Why? Because even though the show was canceled, the season finale works just as well as a series finale, and when “Awake” shows up on Netflix, it is a perfect 13-episode show to watch over the summer. You can join me in whining about its cancellation over the next few years.