Telltale Signs Your Favorite TV Show Is Running Out of Ideas

We love True Blood. We really do. But despite our enduring affection, we’re also feeling decidedly uncomfortable about the way the show’s heading. After a fairly strong beginning, Season 4 is starting to get awfully silly — and, more worryingly, it’s showing some classic symptoms of Running Out of Ideas Syndrome. This affliction is something that affects the writing staff of pretty much every TV show sooner or later, and not many of them have recovered from it, so we’re fearful for where True Blood might go from here. As a public service announcement, we’ve also listed telltale signs of a series that’s running out of ideas after the jump. Be vigilant! Your favorite show could be next!

Overuse of dream sequences

Classic example: Dallas

There’s been a troubling number of dream sequences in True Blood of late: Jessica kills Hoyt and gets it on with Jason… No! Wait! It was just a dream! Sookie gets it on with both Eric and Bill… No! Wait! It was just a dream! This is always a bad sign, a cheap device to generate dramatic tension without diverging from what’s shaping up as a ropey plotline. Still, nothing will ever rival the gold standard for script-writing volte faces (or hopefully not, anyway) — the writers of Dallas contriving to dismiss an entire season as a dream.