The Huddle: Best Show, Worst Storyline

Sometimes you love a show so much, you’ll stick with it even when it has a godawful storyline that makes you want to throw things at your TV. This week’s huddle is dedicated to that kind of, well, dedication we have to series we love, despite their misteps.

Lucy Hallowell: This is truly pushing the limit of the definition of “great show” but do you remember that episode of Queer As Folk when they fucking rode their bikes semi-aimlessly for 39.5 of the 42 minutes of the show? I have watched specials on PBS that were more interesting than old one-nut Kinney biking across Canada (or where ever the hell they were supposed to be).

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Dara Nai: Dana has cancer.


Chloe: Stannis Baratheon’s entire storyline in Game of Thrones is tedious on screen and on the page. I read the books, so I know Stannis has a somehow important part to play in the future, especially in regard to the wall and white walkers, but I really just don’t enjoy any part he plays and think it was a mistake to make his storyline so prominent and insufferably longwinded. Especially with the flaming Christian inquisition/Satanism hybrid of zealotry he’s got going on with his mistress/manipulator Melisandre. I can only pray George R.R. Martin is going somewhere really good with this because right now it’s overreaching and failing.


The last couple seasons of Californication warped an irreverent, brutally funny satire into one long masturbatory middle aged man wet dream by loading on grotesque, unlikable, narcissistic male character after male character and reducing the female characters into one-dimensional Madonna/Whore archetypes or eliminating them all together save for a scene or two where the woman inexplicably throws herself at Hank Moody.

Kim Hoffman: I was so into Weeds until, oh—I don’t know, everything became SO COMPLICATED. I couldn’t keep track, but I kept watching because Nancy is a mystical creature and I made a pact with myself circa Season 1 to always know what she was sipping on. But by the time they had abandoned houses for RVs and airplanes and hide outs and new alliances and new enemies and the kids turned into little psychos, I was just so lost, and all I wanted back was Agrestic. Just for a moment, just to see the countless wine bottles around Nancy’s jacuzzi tub and the sight of Andy and Doug roasting a bowl to just kill the day—the glory days.


Heather Hogan: I’ll go with the beginning of Friday Night Lights‘ second season when Tyra and Landry killed that guy. The showrunners obviously hated it too, and as soon as NBC got their stupid grubby hands out of there, the writers torched that thing like a piece of incriminating evidence and literally never mentioned it again. Friday Night Lights is quite possibly the greatest show to ever grace our TVs, and that shit was straight out of The Big Book of Soap Opera Plot Twists. Poor Adrianne Palicki. Saddled with that and she would have been such a wonderful Wonder Woman, but, again, stupid NBC with their stupid manhands messed that up too. Come on, y’all.


Dorothy Snarker: Orange is the New Black and any storyline that has to do with Larry. UGH, LARRY.


Ali Davis: I love House of Cards to pieces, but all the dick-swinging with Industrialist Tusk this season should have been cut down by two thirds. I want Frank Underwood murdering people and Claire Underwood breaking their souls with a few choice words and Rachel and her girlfriend riding that fine line between hot and wholesome. And Cashew. Less dick-swinging and WAY more Cashew.


Elaine Atwell: Absolutely any moment containing Shepherd Book in Firefly. Like a screechy oboe in an otherwise beautiful song.


Marcie Bianco: Willow. Kennedy. THE END.


Jenna Lykes: Willow’s magic addiction. It’s the worst because there was actually a lot of potential for it to be a strong and interesting storyline. From the beginning of the show, there were seeds planted about Willow’s insecurities and her need to feel worthy. Even before she started dabbling in magic, she leaned on her computer hacking skills to solidify her place as a useful member of the gang. She and Giles shared a lot of similarities, and Giles saw a piece of Willow that reminded him of his Ripper days.


Karman Kregloe: My beloved Eastbound and Down lost some steam for me in Season 3 when they saddled Kenny Powers with a baby.  When he turned his porn dojo into a nursery it made me super, super sad. However, I did love that he gave his infant son a pet hermit crab (Spurgeon!), which took up residence in Kenny’s favorite pipe.


Bridget McManus: I used to be a super fan of New Girl but as soon as they made Jess and Nick have ridiculous relationship problems and have a lame break up I decided to jump ship. And for some odd reason, Prince guest starred to help Jess sort her feelings for her own boyfriend. WTF?


And True Blood should have ended after Season 3. Everything else has been a hot mess of storylines.

Dana Piccoli: True Blood is notorious for introducing soul-sucking storylines that take focus from the characters and stories we actually care about. God rest Terry’s sweet soul, but that Ifrit arc was just awful. We could have had so much more Lafayette or Pam zingers without Terry and Scott Foley being chased by a pissed off ghost.


Valerie Anne: Pyka.

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Grace Chu: Heroes was only good for two seasons, but when it was good, it was good. The Claire and Gretchen storyline emerged after the series lost its luster, but the lesbian love affair that failed to launch was one of the most pointless and uneventful plot arcs on primetime television.


Trish Bendix: Kalinda’s husband. Girl, bye.

Jill Guccini: The Horrible Husband storyline with Kalinda in Season Four of The Good Wife. I think the writers knew that the viewers hated it from day one, but for some reason they kept dragging it on throughout the entire season. Kalinda, always fierce, independent, doesn’t take any shit from anyone, suddenly tainted by this domineering, asshole-ish dude that came out of nowhere.

Of course, the fact that we did still get to see Kalinda kick ass a lot, and wield guns a lot, was almost still preferable to Season Five Kalinda, who was pretty much non-existent except for the pivotal episodes surrounding Will. Which, again, pivoted her entire storyline around a man. Ugh.


What show did you not give upon even though it had that one terrible storyline?