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Shows that sucked, and then were great

7999 Views 61 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  aadam101
Now obviously, this isn't going to have as many examples as the other thread but I can think of a few shows that sucked in the beginning but later became great. I'm sure there are more.

Seinfeld- I can still barely watch the first two seasons. No network would have kept that around today.

Episodes- This is the Matt Leblanc show on Showtime. I HATED the first couple of episodes but the show really grew on me and I'm looking forward to a second season. (It would still be better without Leblanc)

The Big C- I didn't really enjoy it in the beginning. I didn't find Cathy very likeable at all. I think the second season is a big improvement and it's becoming one of my favorite shows.
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I should add Buffy to the list. The first season is my next to least favorite season. (season 4 was the worst)
ST:TNG - Most of the first season is unwatchable IMO and all that comes after is greatness.
Big Bang Theory had a very weak beginning but was tweaked during the writers strike and came back much stronger for it.
30 Rock. I thought the first 2 or 3 episodes were just so so, and then the show just got funnier after that when the writing hit it's stride.

Game of Thrones. I found the first two episodes very hard to follow, and then the awesomeness of this show started to come out around ep. 3 and I was SO glad I stuck with it.
I prefer DS9 to TNG but TNG probably is the standard bearer for sucky to pretty good transformations.

Even though season 1 was very campy and often silly, I thought Buffy was pretty good throughout its run - except for season 6, which was awful.
i had a hard time getting into parks & rec when it first came out, i think they were trying too hard to be like the office, but then they got their own legs and started running
i had a hard time getting into parks & rec when it first came out, i think they were trying to hard to be like the office, but then they got their own legs and started running
This is the most recent example for me, as well.

I know this probably won't be a popular opinion (because many people liked the Showtime seasons), but I didn't really care for Stargate SG1 until it moved to Sci-Fi (Syfy). My roommate was the same way. He had never seen it, so I decided to do a re-watch and include him. He was going to give up early on, but I convinced him not to. A few seasons in, he said he was glad he stuck it out.
The first season of Torchwood was pretty tepid. The second was an improvement, and the third season was phenomenal. So far season 4 doesn't have the same magic.

Babylon 5: season one was necessary for storytelling purposes, but for me season 2 is when it started getting good.

FRINGE is also better now than when it began (though I liked it from the start). I know a good number of people who gave up on it just before it kicked into gear.
Seinfeld was pretty brutal at first. A couple of early eps were good, Chinese Restaurant, The Jacket (I wish Elaine's dad had been brought back a few times). Season 3 is when it took off.
Dr Who The original 1960's Dr. Who was awful cheese (as I remember it - it's been a while). It is still cheesy and silly now, but wonderful and immensely clever at the same time.
The US version of the Office had a really rough start. The first episode was basically a shot-for-shot remake of the British show. It wasn't until a few episodes in that they really started to let it develop it's own personality.

Now it's on the decline. :(
I think there could be a good argument for DS9 on this one. During the years that it overlapped with TNG, I wouldn't say it sucked, but it definitely was just average at best... very episodic and very much the same as all the Trek that had come before. Once TNG left the air and they were allowed to really go heavily serialized with the series, the show got so much more complex and so much better.
The new Battlestar Galactica. I really disliked the pilot, feeling that "the Cylons look like humans now" was a cop-out. But I watched the first few episodes once it started and it turned out to be really good.

Well, until the end, when it sucked again. :p
I started watching Bones because 4 or 5 seasons showed up all at once on Netflix (or I just happened to notice them at once maybe). It was a summer lull, so I figured something that lasted 5 seasons couldn't be too terrible. The first few episodes had me wondering though. Even though the series is a bit uneven, it certainly is a good deal better than the first few episodes.
It's funny because think about all these shows that never would have existed in today's time of yank-it-before-it-gets-a-chance-to-get-going
Then there are the late-night talk shows.
Conan O'Brien was awful when he started out, as well as Jimmy Fallon. Their nerves really showed. But they seem to have hit their stride.
People have my primary list covered, but an honorable mention goes to the anime show Full Metal Alchemist. As it starts out you are thinking it's just a weird show with a different plot each week. After a while every plot from the early episodes is tied into one sweeping plot arc in a completely unexpected, delightful way. Caught me completely off guard.

Also: Veronica Mars. Any show with Paris Hilton in the early episodes has a lot to overcome. It did so quite handily.
I wouldn't say "The Wire" sucked at first, but it took a long time (relatively speaking) for it to really get good and interesting. But going back and re-watching the first few episodes of the first season, they were all the same high quality as the rest, so I guess... never mind. :p
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