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Lost, GoT and The Office US: Binge-watch TV shows that went on for just too long

“The show that caught our imagination five years ago is still being flogged until its ultimate demise in the not-too-distant future”

Elisabeth Moss as June in The Handmaid's Tale

The most famous cartoon of all time, The Simpsons

Game of Thrones

The American version of The Office

The cast of Weeds

Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan

The cast of Scrubs

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson starred in the cult show the X Files

The cast of LOST

Daragh KeanySunday World

The Handmaid’s Tale returns to RTE this week as June continues her fight to find her daughter Hannah.

Yes, you read that right. Elizabeth Moss is still fighting the fight as Gilead’s influence expands in Canada. The show that caught our imagination five years ago is still being flogged until its ultimate demise in the not-too-distant future.

It is the latest TV drama blockbuster that has gone on far too long leaving viewers frustrated at station bosses trying to milk every last drop out of once-great shows.

  • The Handmaid’s Tale

Rotten Tomatoes is far from the bible, but when fan ratings for season one (2017) of The Handmaid’s Tale settle on 94pc and the most recent series (2021) struggled to a 70pc approval rating the show’s makers must know time is up.

Yet here we are with season five about to land and the eye-watering prospect of season 6 to come next year. At least they had the foresight to announce that would be the last. But it is at least three seasons too late.

Game of Thrones

  • Game of Thrones

Killing off lead characters was par for the course in Game of Thrones. As Ned Stark lost his head in season one, fans knew that no one was ever safe on the hit drama.

Unfortunately, fans weren’t safe either as we were treated to one of the worst final seasons ever with a mishmash of storylines and far too many strands left unanswered. Many see the shift in the show’s success coming down to the fact that the TV series moved beyond the books.

Show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had exhausted the source material of the books by the end of season five yet still insisted on taking it forward by three seasons. The result?

A catastrophic end with just a 55pc critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the dizzy heights of 97.8pc for season four.

The American version of The Office

  • The Office

It’s not uncommon for series to take a critical hit when they lose one of their most important cast members.

Unfortunately for The Office, when the ‘World’s Best Boss’ (aka Steve Carell’s Michael) chose to move on the show just wasn’t ever the same.

Ed Helms as Andy, Will Ferrell as Deangelo and Idris Elba as Charles all tried their best to keep the light burning but the show should have ended with dignity as Michael finally said goodbye to his team at Dunder Mifflin paper company. Fans were left annoyed that it ran for another 46 episodes.

The most famous cartoon of all time, The Simpsons

  • The Simpsons

Will someone please stop the madness? 731 episodes over 34 seasons and still Fox churn this show out. It hasn’t been funny since the late 90s, yet Matt Groening and his team continue to draw their comic sketches but fail to make us laugh.

Amazingly, only one episode after season 20 makes it into the Top 50 episodes of all time. Barthood (season 27, ep 9) followed Bart into the future and cleverly mirrored the movie ‘Boyhood’.

So well done Fox for creating one good 22-minute sketch in 15 years. Time to hang up the crayons lads.

The cast of Scrubs

  • Scrubs

Remember this? I honestly thought it ran for 5 seasons, but a quick Google and I am reliably informed that it ran for 182 episodes over ten LONG series.

JD and Turk’s bromance was good for a few dozen episodes but the formula soon ran dry.

The best character was the all-singing lawyer Ted, but he only appeared in half of the episodes.

The cast of LOST

  • LOST

This is an obvious one to include as it is regularly referred to as a show that went on far too long. Season one was ground breaking, the cold opening on Season two was enthralling,

Charlie’s emotional death at the end of season three was tear-jerking and the flash forward at the end of season 4 was jaw dropping…then it was just shite.

Thirty-five drawn-out, hour-long episodes dragged the arse out of the show over two more years as viewer numbers haemorrhaged dramatically.

Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan

  • Dexter

One of the most widely watched TV shows from the 2000s, Dexter had a very compelling plot, which followed a psychopath who worked as a forensic cop and who killed the criminals who got away because of technicalities.

Viewers believe the show became repetitive, and the ending (after 96 episodes) left a lot to be desired.

The cast of Weeds

  • Weeds

Weeds proposed an interesting and hilarious plot in the beginning, which was about a suburban mum who decides to start selling marijuana as a way to keep the comfortable lifestyle that she had gotten used to before her husband's death.

However, soon enough she loses track and so the show itself.

Season 3 should have been the end.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson starred in the cult show the X Files

  • The X-Files

The X-Files is one of the most famous TV shows from the 1990s, and through which Gillian Anderson became a global superstar. As viewers, we loved Scully and Mulder’s dynamic and were thoroughly engaged in the cases the two agents had to resolve.

The only problem was that David Duchovny had to leave the show at the end of season 7, and it was not the same without agent Mulder.


  • Mindhunter

We were just getting into it. It was utterly brilliant. Just why Netflix?

  • The Office (UK version)

One of the best things Ricky Gervais ever did was end this show at that kiss.

  • Fawlty Towers

12 episodes. That is the entire show from start to finish.

  • My Name is Earl

The Fox comedy was really only getting warmed up when it was canned after 96 hilarious instalments.

  • Arrested Development

84 episodes sounds like a lot but fans were still lapping this show up when it was ended prematurely in 2019.

  • Love/Hate

Nidge being shot by Patrick Ward was a brilliant finale, but there was certainly a thirst for more Love/Hate when it ended.

  • Limitless

Based on the Bradley Cooper movie of the same name this show was brilliant from start to finish. It’s just a shame the bosses didn’t agree.

  • Flashforward

One of the most incredible seasons of TV of all time and it was cut from our grasp! I’m still hurting about this one.

  • Rome

Two seasons was just not enough. And when you look at the success of GoT you have to wonder are the bosses raging they pulled its plug.

  • Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld called it quits before “the funny was compromised” despite big money offers to continue

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