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Shows that went on way too long
"Californication" (seven seasons)
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs, and No. 3 Georgia stayed right in the thick of the national championship race with a 42-10 rout of Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Bulldogs (11-1) extended the domination of the Yellow Jackets, beating their state rival for the 11th time in 12 meetings. This one was a laugher from the start as the home team scored just over a minute into the game, built a 28-3 halftime lead and was up 42-3 before Georgia Tech (6-6) scored its lone TD.
Georgia will face No. 2 Alabama for the Southeastern Conference championship next Saturday. The winner of that contest will likely play in the BCS title game on Jan. 7.
Murray completed 14 of 17 for 215 yards, becoming the first quarterback in SEC history to pass from more than 3,000 yards in three straight seasons.
Gurley finished with 97 yards on 12 carries and now has 14 touchdowns on the season, one shy of Herschel Walker’s school freshman record set in 1980. Marshall, also a freshman, piled up 66 yards on just seven carries.
Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree came up big for the Georgia defense. Rambo stripped the ball away at the Georgia 1 to stop the Yellow Jackets’ first possession, as well as grabbing his 16th career interception to tie Jake Scott’s school record. Ogletree had 15 tackles, several of which were downright brutal and the highest total by a Georgia defender this season.
For good measure, the Bulldogs ran their season total to 456 points, breaking the school scoring mark set by the 2002 SEC championship team.
Georgia Tech, amazingly enough, still has a chance to win the Atlantic Coast Conference title next weekend and earn a BCS bowl bid. The Yellow Jackets clinched a spot in the championship game against No. 10 Florida State after Miami pulled out from postseason consideration, hoping to lessen the blow from a pending NCAA investigation.
The Yellow Jackets won’t have any chance of beating the Seminoles if they don’t turn in a much better effort than this.
Malcolm Mitchell returned the opening kickoff 47 yards to the Georgia Tech 44, and the rout was on. Murray completed an 11-yard pass to Gurley, Gurley broke off a 15-yard run, Murray hooked up with Arthur Lynch on a 15-yard pass, and Gurley ran 3 yards for the score. Four snaps, and it was 7-0. The game was 63 seconds old.
Georgia Tech appeared to be moving for a tying touchdown on its first possession. With nine straight runs, the Yellow Jackets ripped off five first downs and had the ball at the Georgia 20. Robert Godhigh tried to take it in from there, breaking tackles and staying on his feet all the way to the 1. But Rambo snatched the ball away before Godhigh got to the end zone, returning it 49 yards to midfield.
This time, the Bulldogs needed less than 3 minutes to put another touchdown on the board.
Gurley had runs of 15 and 10 yards, Murray passed to Mitchell for a 16-yard gain, and Gurley made it 14-0 with a 1-yard plunge.
Before the half was done, Georgia tacked on two more scores: Marshall’s 15-yard run and Murray’s 11-yard pass to Rhett McGowan. The Yellow Jackets ran for 220 yards in the first two quarters, but all they had to show for it was Chris Tanner’s 38-yard field goal.
Georgia Tech’s misery was epitomized by its final possession of the half. After another extended drive — 13 plays covering 56 yards — the Yellow Jackets had to settle for a field goal try on the last play. Tanner’s 36-yarder was wide right by a good 10 yards, the almost entirely red-clad crowd letting out a sarcastic cheer.
Georgia piled it on in the third quarter. Jay Rome hauled in a 24-yard touchdown from Murray and Marshall scored for the second time, sprinting around right end for a 17-yard TD.
The Yellow Jackets had another miserable defensive effort, giving up more than 40 points for the sixth time this season.
Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963
"Californication" (seven seasons)
"Entourage" (eight seasons)
Much like “Californication,” this man-centric show started strong and buzzy -- a perpetual nominee at the Golden Globes and Emmys, and a perceived gender-swapped “Sex and the City.” Then it ground on and on, and what might once have been read as a sophisticated satire of Hollywood materialism became a grinding conveyor belt of self-congratulatory guest-star appearances.
"Will & Grace" (eight seasons)
Hey, did someone say “self-congratulatory guest-star appearances?” Look -- it’s Jennifer Lopez, and Cher, and Janet Jackson, and Madonna! The latter seasons of “Will & Grace” effectively ruined the fun of watching the show in syndication now -- will it be a fun and jaunty early episode, or a later episode in which title characters enact an Ibsen play about having a baby together (really) while Jack and Karen meet one pop star or another? The fact that the show hastened a widespread acceptance of gay people that, then, made the show something of a throwback by the time it ended is one thing; the fact that the show itself seemed uninterested in relying on its actors’ sharp comic timing is quite another.
"The King of Queens" (nine seasons)
This CBS stalwart just kind of kept going, exactly as long as was needed to launch Kevin James’ film career. In the show’s final minutes, a formulaic sitcom became a mile-a-minute soap, with the central characters considering divorce and then having two children.
"Frasier" (11 seasons)
Though it ended strong, "Frasier" had something of the opposite problem as “The King of Queens”: While the CBS comedy chucked a whole bunch of plot at viewers toward the end, NBC’s Emmy magnet stayed stuck in familiar ruts, with Frasier questing endlessly for love and Daphne and Niles in fairly unthrilling domestic bliss. The jokes stayed good, but this maybe could have gone one or two years shorter.
"Weeds" (eight seasons)
As “Homeland” viewers may be learning, Showtime isn’t particularly good at keeping its shows coherent over time. (Maybe this is “Californication”’s issue -- we wouldn’t know!) This show changed settings and, effectively, organizing conceits so many times that by the end, it had few earnest defenders.
"Nip/Tuck" (six seasons)
This FX series, too, changed settings midway through, moving from Miami to Los Angeles four seasons in for no compelling reason. The show’s most gripping subplots had a way of petering out (remember the anticlimactic solution to the mystery of the Carver?), and its bizarre tendencies overtook any sense of fun.
"Glee" (five seasons and counting)
The series has, like its sibling show “Nip/Tuck” (Ryan Murphy created them both), switched locations, moving in large part to New York once its core cast graduated high school. But what’s the point of a high school series when the stars graduate? Despite some lovely moments, the show’s heat seems gone, and attempts to get back into the conversation (the school shooting episode, for instance) have been more desperate and tone-deaf than effective.
"Grey's Anatomy" (10 seasons and counting)
Here’s the thing: By all accounts, “Grey’s Anatomy” is not a creative failure. And it’s still widely watched. But when you begin your life as a world-beating hit, anything else seems somewhat marginal. “Grey’s Anatomy” has shed more regular viewers than many shows will ever hope to get in the first place (same’s true of “Survivor” and latter-day “ER,” to name just a few). Those who stopped watching once the Golden Globe nominations petered out may wonder why the show is still on; loyal viewers know better.
"The Simpsons" (25 seasons and counting)
Like the “Grey’s” doctors, the Springfield clan and their neighbors still draw a crowd. But “The Simpsons” is so omnipresent in syndication and in pop culture that the first-run series seems besides the point (not least because, though there are good episodes here and there, the show’s best days are universally agreed to be behind it -- like way behind it, in the 1990s).
"The Office" (nine seasons)
There was a natural break for this show, where it ought to have ended -- with the departure of lead actor Steve Carell in Season 7. The latter years were a creative fugue state, and as NBC’s Thursday night lineup continued to flatline in the ratings, one-time fans could be forgiven at their surprise that the adventures of Jim and Pam kept on unfolding.
"The X-Files" (nine seasons)
Once one of the show’s leads departs and has to be replaced -- as Steve Carell did on “The Office,” or David Duchovny did here -- the show faces a reckoning; if the lead is so central to the show’s plot as to make people wonder how the show could possibly go on, maybe the show shouldn’t. And even “X-Files” superfans might have been happier with fewer seasons of drawing out the conspiracy string toward a famously unsatisfying ending.
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