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Old 09-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #1
gweempose
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Shows that started off strong and then quickly went downhill ...

I was thinking today about how some shows get off to a great start, and then rapidly devolve into a complete turd. It's amazing how the writers/showrunners can take something so great and ruin it so quickly.

Here are a couple examples that spring to mind:

Heroes - I consider its first season to be among the best single seasons of any show I've watched. The second season was extremely average, and the subsequent seasons were just garbage.

The 4400 - A very cool idea that started off strong and then completely went off the rails.

True Blood - This show didn't fall as far or as fast as the others, but each season has gotten progressively worse. I absolutely loved the first couple seasons.

What other shows would you guys add to the list?
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gweempose View Post
I was thinking today about how some shows get off to a great start, and then rapidly devolve into a complete turd. It's amazing how the writers/showrunners can take something so great and ruin it so quickly.

Here are a couple examples that spring to mind:

Heroes - I consider its first season to be among the best single seasons of any show I've watched. The second season was extremely average, and the subsequent seasons were just garbage.

The 4400 - A very cool idea that started off strong and then completely went off the rails.

True Blood - This show didn't fall as far or as fast as the others, but each season has gotten progressively worse. I absolutely loved the first couple seasons.

What other shows would you guys add to the list?
I thought "FlashForward" had an *incredible* pilot episode, but then it just spiraled down the drain under the weight of an increasingly byzantine conspiracy (and Joseph Fiennes' wooden acting).

Much the same could be said about "Revolution," replacing Fienne's wooden acting with the annoying acting by the woman who plays Charlie.

Does the original "Star Trek" count? Season 3 was pretty horrendous.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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I just thought of a couple more:

Alias - The show was positively brilliant in its first season. Unfortunately, it became a convoluted mess with the whole Rambaldi story arc.

Nikita - I enjoyed the first season way more than I ever would have thought possible. The second season paled in comparison, and I'm struggling to even finish the third season.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:09 PM   #4
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Heroes was my first thought.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Sadly, Community
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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Heroes, Prison Break, The Following...
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:22 PM   #7
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggie Bear View Post

I thought "FlashForward" had an *incredible* pilot episode, but then it just spiraled down the drain under the weight of an increasingly byzantine conspiracy (and Joseph Fiennes' wooden acting).
I always lump FlashForward together with The Event. They both started off great, but never found their footing.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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Sadly, Community
Let's hope Harmon can get the show back on track. I have serious doubts.
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Heroes. I think the perception of season 1 was helped by some really great endings to episodes. But starting with the last few episodes of season 1, it started to go downhill.

How good the first episodes were was almost an impossibility.

I think Prison Break is a good example. It almost couldn't be good after season 1 with it's premise.

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Old 09-16-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:57 PM   #12
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Heroes ... How good the first episodes were was almost an impossibility.
Yep. There has certainly never been a show that has fallen as far so fast. It simply wouldn't be possible for most shows to fall that far, since it's rare that a show is that good to begin with.

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I think Prison Break is a good example. It almost couldn't be good after season 1 with it's premise.
I have to admit, I enjoyed season 2. It wasn't nearly as good as season 1, but I thought the writers did an admirable job coming up with entertaining plots outside the prison. The third season was just bizarre.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:12 PM   #13
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I just thought of a couple more:

Alias - The show was positively brilliant in its first season. Unfortunately, it became a convoluted mess with the whole Rambaldi story arc.
Good answer.

For another "classic" example, I'd say SeaQuest DSV. First season was interesting, but apparently the network thought it was too boring and didn't attract a young demographic, so they dressed the cast in wetsuits that were perpetually half unzipped, dropped some of the characters that "didn't test well" (i.e. they were older or didn't look good in a wetsuit) and cheesed up the show. When THAT didn't work, they thought "Aliens are cool now. Let's do that" and things got weird fast. By the time they realized "oh, crap, we've meddled too much" and tried to reset the show for season 3, it was too late.

I'd personally add Covert Affairs. It started off with promise, with actual location shoots every week, lots of good and believable action, and great cinematography, but then quickly the show turned Annie into the worst spy since... well... Alias's Sydney Bristow.

Last edited by LoadStar : 09-16-2013 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:14 PM   #14
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Also agree. When it became blatantly apparent that the shows's creators didn't really care too much about the whole "hook" for the show -- "all events occur in real time" -- the show just became Die Hard for TV.
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:23 PM   #15
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
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To add a little flavor to the Heroes comments: Tim Kring's* original plan was to kill off the majority of the characters in the first season. Should it get renewed, he would use just a few carry-overs to "re-boot" a second season.

TPTB saw what a hit it was, and supposedly ordered him to save everyone. Hence the season finale, which had to go down in history as the first ever series to get an "F" for a finale in a season rated "A".

And now you know the rest of the story...

I think I stuck around for S2, purely on the goodwill of S1. After one or two eps of S3, it was adios.


* Tim Kring--showrunner for Heroes
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Old 09-16-2013, 06:56 PM   #17
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I think the biggest drop in TV history may be Homeland, which went from being one of the best shows ever in its first year, to ordinary at best in its second.
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...The Following...
Oh, come on, when was The Following even remotely good? It was exactly what it was from the beginning!
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Nikita - I enjoyed the first season way more than I ever would have thought possible. The second season paled in comparison, and I'm struggling to even finish the third season.
I actually thought it improved in the second season, and I still liked the third although not as much as the second. I admire the way they genuinely shake up the status quo every year.
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Old 09-16-2013, 07:33 PM   #18
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Weeds
It's interesting that you should say Weeds. I only watched the first season, and I just thought it was okay. After I quit the show, it seemed like everyone was talking about how awesome it got. I've actually been thinking about going back and watching all the episodes from season two on.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:30 PM   #19
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How about Chuck? Another great show that they ruined.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:41 PM   #20
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It's interesting that you should say Weeds. I only watched the first season, and I just thought it was okay. After I quit the show, it seemed like everyone was talking about how awesome it got. I've actually been thinking about going back and watching all the episodes from season two on.
Just stop after season 2 or 3. It gets unwatchable the last 2 seasons
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:01 PM   #21
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #22
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How about Chuck? Another great show that they ruined.
I disagree. I thought Chuck remained solid throughout.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:04 PM   #23
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Nah, I can't even type it with a straight face.

Someone mentioned "The Event" - totally agree with that one. My wife and I were really into that one, and it just went to hell.

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:27 PM   #24
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #25
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While I agree with many of the suggestions above, I believe Twin peaks was the ultimate show that fell off the cliff. It was wildly entertaining and supremely weird. But after they figured out "Who killed Laura Palmer," what else was left? Season 2 sucked, and the movie was just a cash grab.

I think American Horror Story has figured out a formula that works. A self contained mini-season, and a complete reboot the next season utilizing many of the same actors. Keeps everything fresh and interesting.
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Old 09-17-2013, 03:17 AM   #26
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There were a few short lived shows years ago that I really liked, then they were retooled and became junk. These two I am thinking of are so obscure, I doubt many will even remember them: "The Burning Zone" (1996) had a terrible pilot episode, which I missed, but went on to be a good series until they fired the cast and replaced it with a single actor. "M.A.N.T.I.S." (1994) was at least okay until they retooled it to oblivion. Horrible decisions on the part of the network!
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:39 AM   #27
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You all covered most of the ones I was thinking. I'll add Last Resort, from last year, which had one of the better pilot episodes I've ever seen, and then quickly went downhill.

Smash was another one, although I never loved the show, the first few episodes of S1 were pretty interesting.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:23 AM   #28
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #29
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1. Heroes - first season was among the best ever. S1 Finale stunk, S2 and beyond plummeted.

2. Prison Break - it really should have been a single season.

3. 24 - great start, but got repetitive.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:39 AM   #30
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Homeland. Great first season. Second season not good. Hoping season 3 gets back on track.

Dexter, interesting premise, good guest casting, then fell off the cliff and is limping to the end this week.
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