One thing that always points to a show going downhill, and fast, is when a character or characters on a show become parodies of themselves. Sometimes it’s their own fault, sometimes it’s the writing but either way it’s cringe inducing. Now most people just blindly follow a show because it’s like fried chicken to them, comfort food that is probably bad for you, but regardless of how comfortable it feels it’s still bad.
Here are some examples of this bad metamorphosis:
- Ross and Monica from Friends. When they started the show, Ross was a sweet, slightly nebbishy type of guy and Monica was also sweet and mothering in a way. They both had their quirks but nothing too unbelievable. By the end of the show, Ross was a freak show and Monica became this shrill, loud unlikeable character.
- Barney from How I met Your Mother. No character had slid down as quickly as Barney did. It was almost like Neil Patrick Harris forgot how to play the part, perhaps all his theater work made him forget how to act “non-theatrically” and subtle. By the end it was painful to watch. Compare any episode in the last few seasons with the final scene in the Possimpible classic to see what I mean.
- Alan Harper in Two and a Half Men. Similar to Ross, he started out as a decent nice guy who wasn’t great with women and struggled in life. But still an admirable guy. He then turned into this moochy, effeminate, weirdo devoid of any redeemable qualities whatsoever.
So who’s next? I’m sad to say but based on the first two episodes of the Big Bang Theory season 8, it looks like Jim Parsons has caught the Neil Patrick Harris disease. Did he act in theater in the off-season? Because he is way overdoing it and a show that has been consistently solid and enjoyable, is in danger of losing it. maybe the money has gone to his head or maybe the writers are out of ideas and feel that louder is better. But I hope they fix it soon or else Bazinga, the show is done creatively.