Dear Raising Hope,
I saw the news recently that after four seasons you had been canceled by Fox (with your last episode airing on April 4), and I wanted to offer my condolences. However, there is something you should know — it’s all my fault. Okay, maybe not all my fault, but I do feel partly to blame. Allow me to explain.
I like you, Raising Hope. I really do. I think Martha Plimpton is the foxiest grandma on TV. I was able to overcome my lingering confusion over Garret Dillahunt playing two completely different characters on the same show back in his Deadwood days. And dammit if Hope wasn’t the cutest baby in the history of babies! But I strayed. Episodes that I used to watch live turned into episodes watched days later on the DVR. Then at some point they weren’t even watched at all. Which all led up to the final indignity: a canceled season pass. It was over between us.
I know breakups are never easy, but let me assure you of one thing: It’s not you, it’s me. Or, rather, my viewing habits. The problem essentially boiled down to this: You were a really good show, Raising Hope. But on television these days, being really good just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s because TELEVISION IS FREAKIN’ AWESOME! Seriously, the medium has never been better.
But there is a downside to that as well. As someone who lived through the national nightmare that was Shasta McNasty, I never thought I would say this, but here it is: There is just too much great TV on these days. And because of that, it is virtually impossible to keep up with all of it. Let’s look at a single hour of television to illustrate my point: Sunday, March 9, at 9 p.m. During this one hour, you had the finale of True Detective, the debut of Cosmos, the premiere of the heavily hyped Resurrection, the much-anticipated return of The Good Wife, and, oh yeah, another installment of the biggest show in the history of cable television, The Walking Dead. Again, these were all on at the exact same time.
And if that’s not bad enough — which is to say, good enough — other new players are constantly entering the fray. Rookie outlets like Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network have intriguing fare such as From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. Places like BBC America that only used to import programs are creating hip shows including Orphan Black. Even channels like Bravo and E! that have acted merely as quarantined holding cells for Housewives and Kardashians are now jumping into the scripted-TV game. And Netflix? Don’t even get me started on Netflix. (Or Amazon, which has the wonderful transgender comedy Transparent.)
This veritable assault of top-notch programming explains why we have all developed pop culture blind spots — those shows you know you should be watching but aren’t (Justified in my case). And it’s why we sometimes have to cut the cord even when a program is still humming along just fine. That’s where you come in, Raising Hope. You deserved better. But we’re currently in the midst of a television revolution, and, well, every revolution has its casualties. See you in syndication. Or, you know…not.
Thanks for the laughs,
cc: New Girl, Nashville, and Revolution, all of which could be receiving their letters soon