The Dead Zone - Season 5 (2006)
Season 5 has severely dented my liking for this show. I was quite favourable towards Season 4 almost exactly a year ago, but most of the plus points I mentioned have gone and the negatives have exacerbated, with the end result being a truly mediocre season.
The first major problem, and this is something I had issues with before as well, is the low visibility of the Stillson arc - this season is even worse than the last in this regard, with the Stillson story being touched on in only the first and last of the 11 episodes. And this time around, despite there once again being only 11 episodes, there is plenty of stuff that feels like filler. The stories are starting to feel tired and repetitive despite the introduction of a few new ideas, like villains who try to manipulate or subvert Johnny's powers. The writing is stale and goes through the motions and most episodes don't even have enough content to make it to the 40 minute mark! Where character development was lacking before, it has now become virtually non existent. The sense of camaraderie between cast members can't really be commented on because they barely interact together anymore, with many of the cast being absent from a lot of the episodes (this in a show that only has 4 lead actors). The performances also seem weaker, especially Anthony Michael Hall who often appears to be just phoning it in and hitting character beats reflexively. The guy is still funny and isn't bad per se, but just isn't as good as he used to be.
All in all it's a disappointing season. This is the stage when the series should be ramping up and doing new and interesting things, not wallowing in the same old stories. To make matters worse, not only does the show spin its wheels, it also dips in quality with many elements being inferior to what has come before! The season is so insubstantial that most of the major events and characterization could have been condensed into a handful of episodes, and to be honest based on how the season ends I think one could conceivably skip from Season 4 to 6 without missing out on much. And that's assuming Season 6 actually has content worth watching. Since I've been a fan for so long I'm going to give it a chance and see if the creative impetus of the show returns. If not, I will sadly have to part ways with what was once a pretty good, entertaining television series.