Everyone is a critic. Whether you want to be or not, at some point during whatever it is you experience, you have to decide whether you like it or not. Some people will go off their first reaction, others will dig deeper for meaning, and others still will analyze something until all meaning is lost. I tend to think I’ve seen enough movies, listened to enough songs, and experienced enough life that I can use my brain to produce original thought about something. I’m going to explore a few scenarios when TV, movies, or music start going south after being great. This happens fairly often when the initial story lines or newish appeal have been played out and the idea gets continued because it’s popular and makes a lot of money.

Django Unchained
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The movie that inspired the post because I watched it recently. Fantastic movie for 2 hours and then Christoph Waltz parted and the ending was abysmal. What I loved about the movie was the budding relationship between Waltz and Foxx, the attention to detail in their interactions, and the antagonist DiCaprio had me constantly wondering what he was thinking of doing next. Then the actual climax of the movie occurs when DiCaprio insists to shake Waltz hand, carnage ensues, and unrealistic nonsense follows. I lost interest when Foxx had 25 guns pointed at him and walked away. The ending just got stupid. No hero bullshit could keep me from caring at that point.

Dexter
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I think Dexter WAS a 1st class television show. The Ice Truck Killer, Lundy and the Bay Harbor Butcher, Miguel and the Skinner (the Skinner was actually kind of lame), and then the zenith with the Trinity Killer and Rita. 4 seasons of pure gold. Every episode had you on the edge of your seat wondering how Dexter was going to get out of the jam he got himself in. After season 4, there hasn’t been a quality season. Lumen and Jordan Chase, Travis Marshall, and finally Hannah McKay was all crap. Dexter just got played out and I think the villains make the show and the latter seasons just missed the mark. I’ll still watch the show but I know that it’s not what it used to be.

Family Guy
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After 11 seasons and 205 episodes, this show has gotten whack. I absolutely loved the first few seasons. Their ideas were fresh, they took the jokes to a different level, and the 22 minutes of entertainment was delightful. Somewhere along the way Seth McFarlene became bigger than the show itself and the writers took over. This new thought doesn’t have the same pizzazz as Seth and the show isn’t as good. Same thing happened with the Simpsons over time. People start to lose interest. 6-7 seasons is a solid run but once the ideas start cramping, it’s time to quit.

Weezer
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I would go as far as saying I hate every new Weezer song. The Blue album was top notch. Every song was worth listening to. Songs like My Name is Jones, Holiday, Surf Wax America and In The Garage were classics and they weren’t even the hits. Pinkerton was pretty average but The Green Album hit again with songs like Hash Pipe and Island in the Sun. After that it’s been complete crap with Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, and Troublemaker. Strange how everything after their first album hasn’t been as good. Rivers must have lost his mind somewhere along the way.

U2
Boy, October, and War had a few decent songs (I Will Follow, Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day) but the pinnacle of U2 is the Joshua Tree. I’ve included the full album below so you can listen to one of the greatest complete albums of the 80’s. U2 never actually went out of fashion and made good music since The Joshua Tree (Even Better Than The Real Thing, Mysterious Ways, Vertigo, Beautiful Day, One) but nothing in my estimation can match the Joshua Tree as a whole. One of my favorite albums ever. I think Bono is such a humanitarian that he doesn’t have as much time for the music and lost some passion along the way.