Millions of people love to watch TV shows for the memorable characters, incredible plot, interesting conflicts, and alluring love interests. I’m one of those people, having watched countless TV shows throughout the years. If you’re like me, you can only imagine the amount of time, effort, and resources it takes to make a show on the small screen truly remarkable.
Or, if you’re looking to develop your own TV show, you maybe wondering how to make sure to keep the quality of your dream show at a good, steady pace. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to remain consistent in anything, even TV shows have that problem. You don’t want a series that’s too short that disappoints viewers who wanted a deeper plot, but you don’t want to drag it out either to bore fans.
You can learn from these six TV shows that eventually dropped in quality overtime whether it was from bad writing, plot holes, or uninteresting characters:
This show had millions of people talking during the first season’s run through. How could it not when there were amazing characters, a plot that involved them trying to figure out their abilities, finding their place in the world, and fighting to stop a impending time bomb from blowing up a city. This show had everything going for it, until season two hit, which is when the show’s main plots fell under. Characters such as Sylar suffered a identity crisis, and the whole “Save the cheerleader, Save the world” concept from season one became meaningless at the end, when Sylar easily got his hands on Claire at the beginning of season three.
Who doesn’t like a series about everyone’s favorite supernatural being from Krypton? At some parts, this series followed the comics, with Clark Kent growing up as a farm boy in Smallville, trying to figure out his powers, learn more about his origins, and conduct every action for the greater good without going off the rails. However, since he wasn’t Superman until the end, this series had him interacting with allies of the future Justice League, as well as villains including Brainiac, Doomsday, and of course, Lex Luthor. Some story arcs during of the show fell flat, as the writers stretched the love story between Clark and Lana too far, Doomsday being human and a paramedic wasn’t interesting, and Jimmy Olsen turning out to be Henry James Olsen in season eight was a bit over the top.
At times, this supernatural series had scenes that were very sexually oriented. Other times, it was a gory pleasure. But anyone who watched this show couldn’t deny how interesting the characters and the area of Bon Temp was. It was a shame though that the writers must have became fatigued in the story material, as after season three, the show sometimes became a pain to watch. From Eric Northman being a goofy, weird grown kid like character in season four, Bill Compton and Russell Eddington’s story arcs falling flat in season five, Terry’s send off, who wasn’t even an important character, lasting over half an episode, and their failure to position Warlow as a strong villain in season six were some of the show’s huge misfires.
The Vampire Diaries
Here’s another supernatural vampire series which had a teen high school like persona. There was less gore and more glam than True Blood, but that didn’t stop the writers from putting in death sequences that at times shocked fans. The first three seasons were a blast to watch, but then things turned for the worst come season four, which focused too heavily on everyone helping poor Elena to become human again. Season five and beyond included lackluster villains (except for Kai), continuous plot lines of unnecessary drama, and characters who hated each other having to work together to defeat a greater threat. The biggest issue with the series, was that they did away with the Stefan and Elena love story, as they were a much better match than the Damon and Elena duo.
There are plenty of crime dramas, but none have the uniqueness that this one has. Who wouldn’t want to watch a serial killer working within the police department as a blood spatter analyst bring his own version of “justice” to other serial killers who slip through the cracks of the justice system? That’s what you got from this show, and it was a pleasure every time someone laid helpless on Dexter’s table awaiting their death sentence. Unfortunately, the show started losing its mojo during season five, where we started seeing less than stellar writing. Season six was when the show really went downhill, as it focused too heavily on religion and Dexter suffering from a identity crisis as he tried to balance between his own beliefs and the Godly beliefs of Brother Sam. Season eight was no better, which had a horrendous plot, uninteresting characters, and one of the most disappointing endings for a otherwise amazing show.
The Walking Dead
Out of all of the shows on this list, the Walking Dead gets the most hate. You shouldn’t be surprised, as this is one of (if not number one) the most popular TV series to watch. It’s easy to imagine how much better the series would be if they stuck to a shorter episode count like season one, which still stands as its best season by far. Too often, we’re stuck watching filler episodes that focus on one character, and often times these episodes don’t do much to strengthen the story. Other characters end up being underutilized as a result. Then the writers just love to troll viewers with near death moments like that “Thank You” Glenn scene, and crazy cliffhangers that sometimes make little since. Those moments became common during season four, and haven’t let up since.
Even though these TV shows were running their course in the later seasons, they aren’t necessarily terrible shows. In fact, I’ve enjoyed all six of these series. Even though it’s easy to look from the viewer’s eyes on the quality of a show, it’s hard to look through the lenses of the people who are making the stories, characters, and worlds come to life. Even though these shows all have in common the fact that they lost steam later in their lifecycles, what they also have in common is the fact that they started out strong in the beginning. So if you ever plan to produce or direct a TV series of your own, make sure you deliver in the quality department of your material. It’s easy to captivate the eyes of viewers if your story and characters are great enough, but it’s just as easy to lost those people should you deviate from the formula you used that worked in the beginning.