Worst Seasons of Good Shows

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by JirinPanthosa, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    Inspired by a discussion about Good Fight season 3 on a TNZ topic.

    Lots of shows out there start out awesome, then jump the shark, or have that one arc that really didn't make any sense. What are the most glaring examples of these?

    I'll leave it to other people to rant about GoT. To me it was a let down but not profoundly terrible enough to make my list.

    1. The Good Fight season 3
    I mean, what the hell? The first two seasons struck a balance between liberal activism, commentary on the insanity of the Trump presidency, and the kind of normal court stories The Good Wife offered. This season goes completely self indulgently off the rails, with one of the worst, least believable characters in TV history, bizarre shorts, and talking directly to the camera.

    2. Community season 4
    When it was announced Harmon was being kicked off the show, the new showrunner said "For those who are worried about the characters not being quirky, don't worry, I got experience with quirky characters when I produced Just Shoot Me!" Yeah...Community is a show that was a hit with its audience because it was specifically on their wavelength and NOT like normal network sitcoms. When you try to make a niche thing appeal to mainstream, the niche will be offended, and the mainstream will be uninterested.

    3. Stargate season 9/10
    I don't really blame the Farscape actors for this. First it was hard to make the same show anyway, since it was a show that started out with a very specific chemistry and a formula that involved using mundane military equipment to fight aliens, and they have elevated the power levels to a point the story had to revolve around a race for the next maguffin. But the Ori weren't interesting, the writing was stale, Vala was over the top, and they never found a new chemistry.

    4. Enterprise season 1
    I wasn't sure whether to have a separate list of 'Best seasons of bad shows' for Enterprise season 4, but I guess having one good season makes something a good show. At this point in the show everything fell flat. The temporal cold war stuff was untrackable, the cast was stiff, the Vulcans attitude was abrasive, the goal was unclear, and the storylines seemed like more repetitions of the safe TNG/Voyager path. And their attempts to make characters seem more down to Earth and folksy made them seem unnecessarily brash and lacking the sense of wonder Star Trek drives on.

    5. Battlestar Galactica season 4
    I think they had some good things going on in this season, it wasn't all bad. They just needed more time than they gave themselves to bridge the gaps between the rebel cylons and the humans and they needed not to end on such a blatant act of deus ex machina.
  2. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oct 19, 2007
    Space Massachusetts
    I don't agree with Stargate at all. Vala is awesome and really made SG-1 almost leave on a high note. (The last several episodes were kind of pointless.). Season 9 wasn't great but had a purpose. My least favorite SG-1 season is 7. It's all 'We must find Atlantis!' but they never really progress towards anything. At least 9-10 actually did.

    Season 7 of DS9. It's only like half horrible. The 'bad gods' storyline was really stupid and not at al needed.
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  3. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    I personally found Browder a bit wooden and Vala over the top sexualized. But my biggest issue with S9 was the Ori were not interesting and so powerful the only way to fight against them was to find the next ancient artifact. That problem started in season 6 but it was really off the deep end by this point. I agree season 7 and 8 weren’t strong but they still had the original chemistry and more balanced villains.
  4. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

    Oct 28, 2011
    Picket Fences, Year 4....at least most of it.
  5. Myko

    Myko Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 15, 2004
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Every season except the first of Heroes.
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  6. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Admiral Admiral

    Sep 14, 2004
    I've often stated in the ENT forum that my opinion of the series as a whole tends to be the opposite of majority opinion. I see this trend hasn't changed, as Season 1 was my favorite, while I would pick season 4 as the unwatchable one.

    As for the worst of the other Treks:

    Season 3 of TOS

    Season 1 of TNG

    The final season of DS9, just cause Ezri's in it.

    Seasons 1 thru 7 of Voyager

    The entire concept of Discovery.
  7. Aragorn

    Aragorn Admiral Admiral

    Dec 30, 2002
    Dexter already had a horrible season with season 6 (other than the B-plot with Mos Def but they still squandered that), but season 8 was the most lifeless, unimaginative, inconsequential season of TV in a long time. Batista wants to look into LaGuerta's death in the premiere, never brings it up again. Dexter kills a guy out in the open at a public shooting range but because it's in another jurisdiction somehow they'll never find him? Dexter stands outside in the open watching someone inside a restaurant and is shocked the guy knew he was there. Masuka gets a subplot where he discovers he has a daughter for what reason again? And then how they end the whole thing, holy crap.
  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    If every season is a bad season I’m not sure you consider it a good show. ;)
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  9. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    Season 7 - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    Season 4 - Angel
    Season 3 - Orphan Black

    And the treks

    Star Trek - Season 3
    TNG - Season 1
    DS9 - Season 7
    VOY - Season 7
    ENT - Season 2
    Discovery - Season 2
  10. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 4, 2009
    Buffy - 6 (the one that had way too much sex in it) (thanks @tomalak301 for clearing that one up)
    X Files - both 10 and 11 (it used to be 8, due to whiny Scully, but those last two replaced it due to poor writing and poor characterizations)
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Fleet Admiral Premium Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    That was season 6. Season 5 I thought was Buffy’s best season. That was the intro to Dawn and Glory.
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  12. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Sep 4, 2009
    Thank you! It's been too far long since I've watched it and forgot which season was which there.
  13. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 15, 2014
    Buffy season 7
    Angel season 4 (I’m halfway through it and it’s so awful!)
    nuBSG season 4
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    To me Buffy has some weak seasons but none fall below a C+.

    I might add, Family Guy, every season since it came back from cancellation, and Simpsons, every season since 8.

    In the beginning, Family Guy was a bit more of a Simpsons knockoff but it was surprising and doing all its bits for the first time. Then it got cancelled, sold a lot of DVDs, came back. Started repeating all the same gags over and over, going even more for the easy laughs, and just adopted this dickish vibe that makes it hard to watch.
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2002
    'Agent's of SHIELD:' No bad seasons whatsoever! ;)

    OK, seriously though, I think it's natural for shows to have their ups and downs, especially for long running shows where creatives can run out of ideas, may have painted themselves into a corner, been replaced by new creatives that don't really have the same grasp or priorities as the original team, or of course any number of crew, cast and studio related drama that can have untold impact on a season.

    Personally, I find it hard to single out particular seasons in episodic television as while the average quality can be low, there's usually one or two bright spots. And if not, well then it's probably not a very good show to begin with.
    The more heavily serialised shows are a little different as it's not the average episodes that's the problem but the main arc. A weak arc is like a weak movie in a franchise; it can be buoyed up by the stronger entries that surround it.

    That said, if the first season of a show is the worst one, then that's usually a good sign. It generally means they learned from their mistakes early and got better and better.

    I do disagree about the final seasons of SG-1 being poor. While I'll admit the medieval style Arthurian stuff felt a little weak, it was interesting to see them tackle themes of zealotry, extremism and how faith and genuinely good teachings can be twisted to an evil purpose. Considering the previous 8 seasons featured literal false gods somehow playing into almost every episode, one way or another it's surprising it took them that long to tap into that stuff. And I thought the new team dynamic was *fine*. Not as stellar as the original, but to be fair, even cast that took several seasons to really start to gel. Also, I was never a fan of the Jack/Sam will they/won't they thing. Just didn't feel at all natural.

    I was going to call out certain seasons of 24, but then I realised that the whole show is just a blur in my memory and all I really have is the general impression that the show got progressively worse and more hindered by it's format with each season. I can't even remember how many seasons it got!
  16. Galileo7

    Galileo7 Commodore Commodore

    Sep 19, 2010
    Space:1999 season two.

    Galactica 1980. Battlestar Galactica season two.

    Buck Rogers season two.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    I thought on SG1 Browder was wooden, Black was over the top and not believable for her role, and Ori were too powerful to make interesting stories out of.

    There’s a lot of shows whose “Worst season” are a result of trying and failing to replace a lead actor. I was never an X Files fan but I gather the season without Mulder is considered poor.

    Also more I will add, everything after season 5 of 24. After they killed everyone who seemed to be protection bubbled except Jack and Chloe in season 5, it became overly obvious the writers considered every character so expendable they would be inevitably killed for nothing more than a shock moment it became impossible to care who died anymore.
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I said out, dammit!
    Man From UNCLE season 3. They decided Batman-like camp was the way to go instead of Bondian spy drama and it was an utter failure. Robert Vaughn commented later that he knew the show was in trouble when he was doing the Watusi with a guy in a gorilla suit in a jungle girl's treehouse. They tried like hell to get back on course for the last season, but they never got the season one vibe back.

    Alias - I think the general consensus was, quote, "season three was ass."

    Both Lost and Heroes were great in their first seasons, then went to directionless shit.

    The John Larroquette Show, where he was a recovering alchoholic managing a bus station night shift, was a brilliant dark comedy in its first season, full of oddball, damaged characters. Season 2, they decided to make it a normal cheery sitcom with happy friendly people. It turned to shit.
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  19. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Commodore Commodore

    May 18, 2017
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    B5's season 5 was canceled then renewed last minute, but it was too late to reset the intended arc. As a result, 5 feels like a long epilogue that's equally out of place.

    Night Court's final season was a bit too silly, lacking the vibe seasons 4-7 cultivated.

    Quantum Leap still had some mojo, but it was going in some truly bizarre directions with vampires, an evil leaper where just holding on tight to a leaper as the leaper left would take the holder along with them for no reason (nor would there be explanation for where the body in the Waiting Room goes - as much as Carolyn Seymour steals the show as Zoey, the evil leaper concept was so loaded with plotholes it doesn't begin to work)... The original finale had more of a twist than the lame "Sam never leaped home" as well, that's how off-kilter its final year was.

    Sliders (on FOX) has a perfectly abysmal final (third) season. Interestingly, the Sci-fi channel takeover resulted in a generic season 4 that quickly turned the Kromaggs into any bog standard and repeatedly easily-defeated army, but an improved season 5 (series finale 4th wall aside).

    The War of the Worlds took a fair premise with polish and late-80s gore and turned it into a turd with no polish, also killing off the characters with the most interesting traits and backgrounds because the cast hated the changes.

    If you include miniseries, then both 1983's and 2009's "V" series are both rubbish in their final years (or in the latter's case, total rubbish throughout - despite the newer visual effects and trendsetting use of computer-controlled camera for interior CGI shots with actors.)

    In Living Color went out with a real fizzle...

    ALF's final year was awful, but season 3 pretty much started the downhill direction...

    Man From Uncle, as said, had succombed to the Batman treatment, it turned around for its 4th and final season - which was remarkably strong - but the audience did not return.

    Ditto for Lost in Space except its final season did turn around, reclaim a balance of camp with seriousness, and is a fair bit stronger than its second season. Especially when compared to the bilge of season 2. A 4th season might have been interesting.

    The Golden Girls may have been funny in its final year but the humor was more superficial and lampooning/playing on archetypes rather than having tighter and smarter situational drama. It works but it would not have survived an 8th season. It's a rarity for a show to switch gears to something lighter and still work. GG just about managed it, it's bad but not completely dire - but its final year is still paltry compared to its preceding years.

    Space 1999 would have been axed and to be honest there were some occasionally good ideas. Still, many scripts lacked structure that was needed and deserved. The overall presentation was still a neglected drop down, and with Martin Landau criticizing many scripts and being absent from the show... The worst episodes redefine cringe in a bad way, the best ones are imperfect but with some honing would have ensured a third year.

    Galactica 1980 was made to deliberately kill off the show, which is sad given a letter campaign and a real life suicide after BSG was canceled prompted its renewal.

    Still a fan of Buck Rogers season 2's more serious format and making something new and compelling from innovating on the best of BSG's and Star Trek's styles... a shame they set up Hawk so nicely then put him on the backburner, but had it not been canceled he may have had development.
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  20. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    One long running show that had its terrible season early rather than late: South Park season 2.

    Toward the end of the season it had a few redeeming episodes like Chef Aid. But generally, it was bordering on unwatchable. Hammering on the gimmicks established in the early episodes, relying on the Kenny Killing gags that already were showing their age, flaunting the rednecky aspects of the town. Focusing on the scatalogical without balancing it with intelligent cultural satire.

    Then season 3 started with the Rainforest episode and it found its groove of libertarian criticism of political hypocrisy. Later killed Kenny for a whole season then brought him back and started only killing him once in a while so it was no longer an obligation.