In these times, a lot of us are revisiting shows that we’ve watched before. We’re checking in with old favorites, even some we haven’t checked out in a while. Some of them very much hold up. Like, for example, 30 Rock. I’ve been watching a ton of 30 Rock and it’s as funny and sharp as I remember. Other shows, though, don’t hold up as well when you return to them. That’s the question for this week: What show that you really enjoyed didn’t hold up when you revisited it?
For me, I have to go with the show Psych. I was not much of a USA network watcher during their “blue sky” era. I didn’t watch Burn Notice or Royal Pains or whatever. I like comedies more than dramas, though, and the idea of a comedic mystery procedural appealed to me. As such, I decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed it. I began watching it during the first season, went back to watch the ones I missed, and then watched the show through its entire run. I came to view it as a great show. The show was littered with pop culture references and did a lot of genre-riffing episodes. It was a ton of fun.
I even rewatched a lot of episodes. They used to rerun it in marathons on a channel called Ion on the weekends. This was when I had, like, 10 channels and that was one of them. This was also before streaming was ubiquitous. Netflix used to have it to. I have the entire series on DVD, but because I got it to review it. A lot of the shows I love, The Simpsons, Arrested Development, 30 Rock, etc, have plenty of proponents. Psych wasn’t a show that got as much attention, but I still really dug it.
Then, I tried rewatching it from the beginning with somebody. The early episodes were…fine. I showed somebody else an episode at random I remembered being really good. It was…pretty good. Around this point I realized that maybe Psych wasn’t quite as good as I remembered, or rather that it wasn’t really holding up. I started to think that Psych was the first show I was aware of that felt really 2000s. You know how you rewatch some shows and you think, “Oh that feels so ‘90s?” or “That show is super ‘80s.” Psych kind of feels like that.
I realize that it’s just an easy, breezy, relaxing show. When it ends, I feel happy and content, which may have played with my memories of the show’s quality. I’m not saying Psych isn’t good. I still watch it and it is indeed good. It’s just not great. In the end, it really just is like so many bits of procedural comfort food. It’s silly and fairly light and there are some fun jokes and bits. However, it’s not a show that holds up to a true critical eye, which, to be fair, it probably isn’t intended to. I can still enjoy it, but I definitely don’t espouse it’s quality to the same degree as I once did.
How about you? What’s the show that, over time, your opinion has dropped on because it hasn’t quite held up.