The hardest part about becoming invested in a TV show, or any creative work for that matter, is that eventually, you know it has to end. Some programs overstep their boundaries by axing the main characters or pairing up siblings while others simply reach the end of their run and call it quits before things turn sour. As 2014 kicks into full gear, we must remember our fallen brethren, those courageous TV shows that endured through the good times and the bad, the ones that inspired us, captivated us, and desensitized us to images of crystal meth and serial killers.

1) Fringe

After 100 episodes, this sci-fi thriller reminiscent of X-Files was cancelled. While Olivia Dunham and Walter Bishop may not have had the same level of chemistry as Mulder and Scully, some of their cases were just as unusual, like when the pair realized they could access memories from a person postmortem using a giant brain-picking device. Yes, the plot-lines were a bit of a stretch but still. The series lasted 5 seasons, which was longer than some of Fox’s other sci-fi endeavors. (Need I remind everyone of Firefly?)

2) Breaking Bad

I am currently on season 4 of Breaking Bad, so I can’t say much about its supposedly perfect ending, and if you speak one word to me about it, I will hate you forever. However, from what I’ve seen, Breaking Bad seems to be a solid program. The themes are creatively woven throughout the series and Walter White’s transformation from well-meaning dad to criminal is entertaining to watch. If the show was secretly made as a form of anti-drug propaganda, then it has certainly succeeded, because the actions of the show’s drug cartels continue to give me nightmares.

3) Dexter

Though this psychological series about a cop-turned-serial-killer attracted a large following, it could only last so long after Dexter’s sister caught him mid-kill. With the main conflict out of the way, it was only a matter of time.

4) 30 Rock

Don’t even get me started on 30 Rock. Tears are already welling up in my eyes. From Kenneth’s fitting promotion to Liz Lemon’s happy ending with her boyfriend to Jack’s short-lived boating trip, the last season of 30 Rock was beyond perfect. Who am I supposed to relate to now? Who else can understand my workaholic nature and my inability to act like a normal human being other than Liz Lemon?

5) The Office

Everyone knew this show was bound to fail after Michael Scott’s exit, but that doesn’t make its ending any less sad. With Dwight’s surprisingly touching wedding ceremony and Jim and Pam’s continuing adoration for each other, the show that revolutionized comedy left on the highest note. It had a good run but I’m glad it finished before it got boring. (That’s what she said? For ol’ times sake.)

6) Touch

Touch was proof that Kiefer Sutherland should stick to high-powered action shows. Though it had a good idea behind it, a mute kid protagonist can only grab one’s attention for so long. Despite the allure of mysterious numbers (that same trick got me to watch the movie Knowing and I was equally as disappointed), Touch tanked in the ratings, only making it to season 2.

7) 90210

It’s difficult to do a revamp of an old show well and 90210 demonstrates this quite nicely. With its overly dramatic plot-lines and characters, this new drama attracted considerable criticism in its first season. And yet, the show lasted a total of 5 seasons, so someone must have been watching it.

8) Southland

I actually have never heard of this show but when I saw the title, I immediately questioned why TNT would make a show called Southland when Showtime’s Homeland was still dominating the ratings. Then I realized that Southland actually came before Homeland and that the latter had just taken the lead. So to that I say, bravo Showtime.

9) The Secret Life of the American Teenager

While some people considered this ABC Family drama kind of cheesy, the ratings say otherwise. The Secret Life’s season one finale garnered more attention than that night’s episode of Gossip Girl. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good show. In fact, when the first season revolves around a pregnant teenager trying to figure out if she should lie about the baby daddy for money or marry the true father, because, you know, getting married or enlisting as a sugar mama are the only two options when teen pregnancy strikes. To be honest, I haven’t been a fan of dramatic romance dramas since The OC ended so The Secret Life is more infuriating than anything.

10) Merlin

Merlin was a quality show. As a LOTR junkie, I can attest to the magical protagonist’s quirky adventures in Camelot and beyond. If the phrase “magical protagonist” wasn’t convincing enough, let me remind you that Merlin is played by Colin Morgan. If you’re still not interested, I don’t know how I can help you.

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