I'm Done Watching Shows That Are Still Airing

tvI'm fairly certain I'd enjoy Game of Thrones. Friends who agree with my love of The Wire have convinced me of that. I'm also pretty sure I'd enjoy Boardwalk Empire, Homeland and Sons of Anarchy. That's four quality shows I should try, but I'm not going to. At least, not yet...

I've made a decision to stop watching shows that are still airing. I'll wait for the series to conclude and then watch it from beginning to end without interruption. That's the way I enjoy following a drama.

Note, this rule doesn't apply to comedies, just dramas. And there are two unfinished series I'm currently following: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. They're exempt from my new rule. I'll finish both in real-time.

I watched The Wire on DVD after the series was complete. I didn't have to wait nine-months or longer for a new episode. I got to do it back-to-back-to-back and it was brilliant.

That's how I roll from now on. Let me know when Game of Thrones airs its finale. I'm looking forward to starting that one shortly thereafter.

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Comments (34 - click here to join in!)


This idea makes so much sense yet I never considered it.

Why wait months between episodes if you don't have to?

I'm following your lead, Mike.

February 6, 2013 @ 10:47 AM


My favorite show is Mad Men. I've never watched it on conventional television. I've either rented the series or bought the seasons at BestBuy.
I'm also one of those people who watches the special feature commentaries. Those are only available on DVD. Luckily for me Mad Men usually provids 2 commentaries for each episode. One by the director and/or/writers and the other by the actors involved in that particular episode.

February 6, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Mad Men returns April 7, but you already know that. :)

I think there are two seasons left. I love the show as well.

I'm pretty sure when Mad Men finishes this season, the time slot on AMC goes to Breaking Bad which has 8 episodes remaining in the series. That should be a fun finish.

Meanwhile, I introduced my lady friend to Flight of the Conchords which we're banging off this week and next. She loves it.

If there are any other FotC fans, I just discovered this fantastic 14 minute charity single from the guys that's pretty awesome:

February 6, 2013 @ 10:58 AM


I am with you Mike, I have one show I watch as it airs and that is really only because it is the one night in the week my wife and I are together and can have "TV Time".
I do really like the way Netflix went with House of Cards though. I wasn't expecting it but I decided to watch it on Friday when it premiered only to see that EVERY episode was available. I guess because there is no commercials to pay for the content, they can just pop it up and leave it to the viewer when to watch. Hopefully theu will do the same when they have the new Arrested Development episodes up as well.

February 6, 2013 @ 11:49 AM


Old School.
Watch a retro series. Something of 1950-1990 vintage. They don't serialize themselves to death.
I've tried watching three hours of modernTV within a single DVD seating. It was numbing. One at a time is the way to go.

February 6, 2013 @ 12:07 PM


You realize that if everyone did that then no one would watch these shows as they appeared and they wouldn't last a season?

Then these channels (HBO, AMC) wouldn't spend the money to invest in further television series.

February 6, 2013 @ 12:07 PM


Hey Mike, I commented awhile back on a post you had regarding the wire (I think it had to do with the Family Guy mention of the show).

I had just finished watching the wire and had mentioned I was planning on starting Homeland. Many people I spoke with told me that you enjoyed the wire you would love Homeland.

Now that I have completed season 2 of Homeland, here's what I have to say (spoiler free):

This show is nothing at all like the wire, it is much closer to 24. The character played by Claire Danes, is one of the most over the top character's I've ever seen, and I believe no matter how incompetent the CIA is, there is no way she would be employed there.

The is a major need to extend your disbelief if you want to enjoy it.

Some of the other characters are poorly cast or poorly acted.

I have a hard time understanding the critical acclaim behind this show.

Having said this, it was enjoyable, as long as you realize there is nothing similar between this show and the wire.

February 6, 2013 @ 12:10 PM


Games of Thrones is ultraviolent medieval porn.

February 6, 2013 @ 12:26 PM


You got to watch The Shield. It was and excellent show from start to finish. Never a dull episode.
After reading the many post on hear about The Wire. I finally watch The wire last spring when the whole series was on on demand. I Loved the first 2 season, like the 3rd, hated the 4th,and like the 5th. Over all I liked the series but I think The Shield is a way better show.

February 6, 2013 @ 1:06 PM


I have to agree with Derrick.

Commercial TV is being hurt by cable and eventaullly cable will be hurt by DVD sales.

Does anyone know if PVR/DVR recordings are included in the ratings maeaures?

February 6, 2013 @ 1:57 PM

Mark H.

I think you're on to something ONLY when it comes to network TV dramas. 20+ episodes, broken up so they can run September to May can really take you out of the groove.

However, when it comes to 13 episode cable dramas that play over tight 13 week schedule, I like being up to date.

I've watched series straight through before or watched multiple seasons to catch up...but I've also burned out on shows that way as well (The Shield being example #1)

February 6, 2013 @ 2:25 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Interesting points...

I tried 24, and made sure to finish the first season, but it never left me wanting to see season 2. I was completely underwhelmed by it.

As I've written before, The Wire has sort of messed me up when it comes to hour-long dramas. Mad Men and Breaking Bad are the only two that have managed to hold my attention since, and as much as I like Breaking Bad, it's nowhere near as fulfilling as The Wire.

February 6, 2013 @ 2:29 PM


I totally agree in principal with you Mike. I watched "Rome" that way, "Dexter" and "Sons of Anarchy" too. Problem is, if you're a law-abiding citizen, and don't steal the shows, you're going to be spending a lot more on programming than you would by watching during the regular season. One thing I always do is record everything to PVR and watch it outside of the regular time so I can skip commercials. I'm amazed at how frequently people mention their favourite commercials, and I have no idea what they're talking about.

February 6, 2013 @ 2:43 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


When I wanted to see The Wire, I just blogged that I wanted to watch the 5 seasons on DVD and a nice reader named McNulty lent them to me.

That's still legal, right? :)

But you're right... if you don't know someone with the DVDs and want to go legal, it can get pricey.

February 6, 2013 @ 2:55 PM


I have to agree with Mike. It is the better way to go. The way the able shows broadcast it becomes increasingly more frustrating to wait a year between seasons. It makes my interest sometimes wane.

February 6, 2013 @ 3:14 PM



Add me to the list! About six months ago I started watching Sons Of Anarchy and Breaking Bad. Two quality shows.

February 6, 2013 @ 3:48 PM


I swore I'd do the same with sets of books after this Robert Jordan guy ruined fantasy series for me. (Dude even managed to die before finishing his 14 or so books.)

Then some jerk friend convinced me to try out this George R. R. Martin guy, that I HAD to read "Game of Thrones", and "don't worry, it's only three books!" (This was just before the third book came out.)

I can't even tell you how pissed I was when I got to the end of book 3 and that the series was still going. That was back in like 2001 or so, and only two out of four more books have been written since. (In fairness to my friend, it was supposed to be three books at some point...

February 6, 2013 @ 4:14 PM

Ryan Bonnar


Yes, PVR'd numbers are added to the final count. Some shows get a big boost from that, especially ones that go up against a popular program in the same slot on a different channel.

But do advertisers care about those PVR numbers? Yes, you're still watching the show at a later date, but most if not all viewers of that PVR'd episode are going to skip right past all the spots, essentially extending a big middle finger to the fine people who paid top dollar to have their 30" aired.

February 6, 2013 @ 5:05 PM

mississauga phil

You are so right Mike. I watched the first 4 seasons of Sons Of Anarchy in about a week and a half. Then had to wait 6 months for season 5 now in the midst of 9 months of waiting for season 6.....

That's why I'm waiting until Breaking Bad is done to watch it.

I really need to watch the wire, don't I?

February 6, 2013 @ 5:22 PM

Mike from Lowville

I kind of do the same thing....kind of. I wait for a good series to have at least two seasons out before I start watching. But, I don't sit for hours watching a season. Just one or two episodes a week......I have more than enough stuff to watch and not enough spare time to do so. Oh, and the waiting for the next season.....there is always some other series to watch, be it from the UK, Australia whatever.

February 6, 2013 @ 6:00 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Mississauga Phil

Trust me on this one... you need to watch The Wire.

February 6, 2013 @ 6:16 PM


My favorite ten non network tv shows

1. The Wire
2. Six Feet Under
3. Breaking Bad
4. Game of Thrones
5. Boardwalk Empire
6. Sons of Anarchy
7. The Walking Dead
8. Rome
9. Deadwood

Keep in mind I am about to do Mad Men and was not a big Sopranos fan so stopped during season 2.

February 6, 2013 @ 6:51 PM


@Toronto Mike
I wonder if you would be such a big fan of The Wire if you had watched in the traditional way, weekly, with each season. Was this the first series you watched entirely on DVD?

I just did this with Lost. Didn't see one episode when it was on TV. By the time you skip the recaps and intros, you're only in for 1/2 hour on each episode.

February 6, 2013 @ 6:58 PM


I'm not sure I could wait that long - what if I die before the show ends and I can get the entire collection?
Having said that, it is fun to watch shows marathon style. Here's some shows that I watched back to back episodes off well after they finished airing on tv:
1. Star Trek Deep Space 9
2. Babylon 5
3. Star Trek TOS
4. Angel
5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
6. Corner Gas
7. BSG
8. Stargate SG1
9. The X Files
10. Star Trek Voyager

There's a bunch of other shows I'm still watching and some which are on the air but I watched several of their seasons back to back as the shows are in their 6/7 or 8th season at the moment.

February 6, 2013 @ 9:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


How many Indians have Corner Gas in their top ten?

February 6, 2013 @ 9:34 PM


TO Mike Trust Me on The Shield. It is one of the greatest TV series of all time. You wont get "burnt out" like some of the people say they did. It is well worth the time to invest in watching this series from start to finish. It is a very under rated show! There are a lot of great actors and great characters in the show. And a lot of great story lines threw out the series. Trust me after all I am the one that gave you Josie Dye screwing up the nation anthem at the Rock game! LOL Love your site too!

February 7, 2013 @ 3:24 AM


They never showed it on any of the cable tv channels here. Truth is most Indians think Friends, Seinfeld, Full House & The Big Bang Theory are the only sitcoms in the world. 3 - 4 cable channels showing reruns of these show all the time.
I downloaded Corner Gas and a few people I know here have seen here. I tried introducing it to a few friends and they loved it. I will be sharing the whole season with them.

February 7, 2013 @ 3:33 AM


Derrick is right...if everyone does this, there will be nothing of quailty left to watch.

February 7, 2013 @ 7:56 AM


@mississauga phil

Re: The Wire. Um, no you don't. I tried to watch The Wire and could not get into it at all. Interesting storyline, but I found it to be quite disjointed at times, IMHO. I think you either love it (like Mike) or you're so-so with it.

February 7, 2013 @ 8:47 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


You're the outlier. :)

February 7, 2013 @ 9:05 AM


Come on folks, no one is watching Canadian TV. Why not???

We have awesome shows like Little Mosque on the Prairies, This Hour has 22 min and the comedic genius that is Rick Mercer.

February 7, 2013 @ 9:28 AM

Mike from Lowville

I can't believe no one has mentioned the Spartacus series!!! Blood,guts, adventure and explicit sex! Not for the weak.....minded. That means for the poster about this post.......

February 7, 2013 @ 5:56 PM


Now wait a sec Argie! First, Little Mosque was cancelled a couple years ago. I personally watch Mr. D, and find it to be very funny (yeah, you need to appreciate the low-key humour of Gerry Dee). I find Dragon's Den to be addictive and very entertaining. Although I never watched it, Flashpoint was deemed good enough to be picked up by CBS. Republic of Doyle gets respectable numbers too. All said, I actually think Canadian TV has been on an upswing over the past few years.

February 7, 2013 @ 7:18 PM


I have watched seasons as they finish, or start a season with a few episodes left, ending viewing as season ends. I don't think I'd wait for the whole series to complete. Early episodes/seasons may not be relevant anymore.
I have watched all series mentioned except the shield. I caught random episodes along the way and always wanted to start from the beginning. Maybe I will.
Lost was always a favorite of mine. Recently I saw a reddit post, "chronologically lost". Someone took up the enormous task of re editing the entire series. I just watched the first episode. It will be something I watch when I need something to fill in. I think I will enjoy this. Link for the torrent http://www.chronologicallylost.com/

February 8, 2013 @ 2:13 PM

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