Alexandra Petri: Dear 2016: I would like to cancel my subscription

By Alexandra Petri comment

Joy Meuleners holds her niece Keira Abeln at a memorial for Prince at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. Photo / AP
Joy Meuleners holds her niece Keira Abeln at a memorial for Prince at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. Photo / AP

I think 2016 has jumped the shark.

All the plot arcs revolve around this weird, surreal election whose central character is Donald Trump, a real estate developer who speaks at a third-grade level and is obsessed with his hands. I don't buy this at all. If I wanted to obsess over the travails of a flawed male antihero, I have the rest of TV.

But what really pushes this year over the edge are the gratuitous deaths. David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Merle Haggard. Zaha Hadid. 2016 is slowly killing off everyone we were actually rooting for, the people who gladdened us with their songs or their performances or their architecture.

Please, no, 2016. You're not Game of Thrones. I don't want to watch everyone I love die, but if I do, there had better at least be dragons. But I don't see a single danged dragon.

And now Prince, too.

I have lost all confidence in the creative minds behind this show.

You can't keep doing this to loyal viewers. 2012 was enough of a letdown, what with all the centuries of build-up to a Mayan Apocalypse that never materialised and, on top of that, losing Whitney Houston. 2015 was lousy across the board. I understand: Even the greatest shows have their weak seasons.

But do you have a plan, showrunners? If so, what is it? Do you think you're building tension? Have you finally run out of ideas?

You are taking away all the people we actually want to spend time with and giving their share of the airwaves to weird antiheroes with terrible hair. There's no excuse for this. I feel, also, that the dialogue used to be better.

Election aside, what do we have to look forward to? More episodes of the Internet Getting Upset About Things? The news that something we thought we had successfully got rid of in the '70s or '90s is back and we must kill it all over again - sexism, wide-legged jeans, Full House? I don't want this. Nobody wants this.

This show is out of control and I don't want to watch any longer.

Look, we all know where this is headed. The arc of the show has been clear from the beginning. All our actions are just temporary pit stops on the road to inevitable death. It is like when you are driving to Tampa and stop at South of the Border: You can enjoy yourself, but in the back of your mind you always know what your ultimate destination is. We get it: The sun will burn out. Entropy will swallow everything that is good and beautiful. The Young Han Solo movie will happen.

Our only happiness comes in those brief moments when we are able to forget these unpleasant facts - moments of transcendence when we experience beauty, or find a connection to other human beings, or watch a great artist perform at the Super Bowl in the pouring rain.

And those are the things you seem dead-set on taking from us.

Enough is enough, 2016. You can't keep doing this. You can't run roughshod over all that is good and beautiful in this world. You can't take Prince, too.

Well, you can. But that doesn't mean I have to watch. As of today, I am unsubscribing from this year. Keep away from Betty White.

- Washington Post

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