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28 TV Shows That Started Strong, Then Became Straight-Up Unwatchable

·18 min read

Reddit user u/regian24 recently posed the question: "What TV show was amazing at first, but became unwatchable for you later on?" Well, apparently this question struck a chord, because the thread quickly filled with manyyy impassioned responses about TV shows that fell apart after pulling fans in. Here are some of the most notable responses:

ABC / Via media.giphy.com

1."Stranger Things. Not unwatchable, but I have become increasingly more bored and disappointed in the series as it has continued. Season 1 was an awesome and intriguing horror-mystery about supernatural events in a small town with a climax featuring an awesome monster, horror-esque imagery, and lots of suspense. Season 2 went for more gore and a thriller vibe, but overall it was a pretty good small-town mystery show. Then, Season 3 threw in this whole bonkers Russia plot line. The characters started to become more and more watered down to compensate for the exponentially increasing cast. There was a weird Russian terminator guy for some reason, and everything was kicked up to Eleven. It's no longer really a horror-mystery about a small town. It's becoming a supernatural action show with international conflict, except it's like five kids and three adults against the entire KGB somehow."

"Season 4 has gone further down that path with more characters being added, which leads to the watering down of existing characters. There's also lots of jumping between different plot lines in drastically different settings, each one only barely connecting to the rest. The two plot lines I actually cared about were the ones centered around the 'supernatural mystery in a small town,' which is what I think the show did and still does best, but it's become so diluted and spread all over the place that I just can't be bothered to care about the series anymore. I'm mostly sticking with it just to understand what people are talking about. It's still not a bad show, but it's more boring and all over the place than it was in the first season."

u/KeyNun54

the kids from "Stranger Things" standing outside and looking at something together
/ ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

2."The Office limped to the finish line."

u/UgliestDisability

"It was not unwatchable for me, but you can definitely tell the writers lost their direction after Steve Carell left. Characters started acting, well, out of character. The new characters were pretty weird. Storylines were getting stretched thin. I am glad they didn't straight-up cancel the show after Steve left. I would have been mad if I didn't see how some of the characters' lives progressed. But, watching the last few seasons, you can definitely tell they knew the show could not go on without Steve. They were just using the time to figure out how to wrap it all up nicely, and maybe throw in a few cameos along the way."

u/The_Sound_of_Slants

"In my opinion, The Office never really got 'bad'; it just became more of the same for the last couple of seasons. Erin was a good character to add, but once you got to Nelly, it felt like they were on the verge of jumping the shark. Their low point is the first half of Season 9, where Jim and Pam are having marital problems. It felt completely forced. But yeah, the last episode or two, they stick the landing perfectly."

u/das_goose

the cast of "The Office" in a bar
Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

3."Heroes Season 1 was great and fresh. Season 2 didn't know what to do with itself and just started giving everyone superpowers. By Season 3, characters were just changing motivations at the drop of a hat, and it was just a huge mess of bad writing."

u/Ganglebot

"Man, I have never seen a good show fall apart quite like Heroes did. Season 1 was SO good! It had all the elements of an instant cult classic. Then, the second season just pulled itself apart. All the character development and world-building from the first season were backtracked and basically undone. Then, it got over-complicated, and they seemed more interested in introducing new stories than building up the old ones. Sad."

u/Main-Yogurtcloset-82

a guy with blood on his face being helped by a girl
Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

4."The Umbrella Academy. If it wasn’t for my enjoyment of what the characters used to be, I wouldn’t have finished the third season. These characters are seemingly stuck in a time loop because they NEVER learn from their actions. Some characters get WORSE instead of growing for the better, despite previous seasons ending with some hint of growth. It's really disgusting, and I won’t be tuning in to the fourth season if they keep it up. They have this tendency to end things on a cliffhanger, only to never resolve any problems. They have this bickering family dynamic filled with emotional, mental, and physical abuse. It's just exhausting."

u/Kawaiiomnitron

the cast of "The Umbrella Academy" in a dark room
©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

5."Not the worst offender, but That '70s Show tanked pretty hard once Eric left. He was sorely needed to make the chemistry of the group work."

u/Cleverbird

"Randy Pearson was one of the worst characters ever added to a dying TV show. By the time he came in, all of the actors were completely natural as their respective characters. Everything about Josh Meyers' acting seemed so forced."

u/joec0ld

the group of friends from "That '70s Show" in a diner
Everett Collection / Everett Collection

6."Succession is the big recent example for me. It started with a strong premise and interesting characters and interactions, but the longer it went on, the more I kept asking myself why I was still watching it. One of the characters attempting to revolt was interesting, until he gave it up and then tried it again later (and it felt SO desperate and lame the second time). Every single character on the show (with maybe one or two exceptions) is an awful, terrible person, and it's painful to watch. I would've walked away from the money and those people long ago just to get away from that shit."

u/libra00

the characters from "Succession" standing outside
HBO

7."The Good Place. Season 1 was funny, and I really enjoyed it. Season 2 was OK I guess, but I didn’t find it nearly as funny or clever, and it got annoying as the episodes went on. Season 3 was a hot pile of garbage, and I refuse to watch 4."

u/VeraFirefly

"It's not the most dramatic fall off of any show, but it's one of the earliest and most consistent. Season 1 is amazing, but each season gets worse and worse after it. You can literally rank them based on their season number."

u/TheAngryHeffalump

Eleanor and Chidi talking in "The Good Place"
Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

8."Weeds was a hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable assholes who made bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."

u/rushandblue

a woman standing in a doorway in "Weeds"
Showtime Networks Inc. / ©Showtime Networks Inc./Courtesy Everett Collection

9."The Blacklist. It has so many loopholes and a never-ending plot. I mean, the female hero was wanted and had her pictures broadcasted live nationwide, but a couple of weeks later, she can do undercover work?"

u/TheReal_KindStranger

"I loved the first season, and then every character became the worst versions of themselves. Liz got even more boring, Red got more mysterious with fewer actual plot points or revelations, and every FBI agent seemed to get dumber. It's all Spader could do to keep that show alive, but eating scenery only goes so far."

u/DonnieJuniorsEmails

James Spader in "The Blacklist" holding a gun
Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection

10."How to Get Away With Murder. The first season had some intrigue and plot...and then they just start murdering people left and right after that."

u/mbdallas95

"It started to feel like they wrote the show only using plot twists and deliberate misinformation. The show's formula was its most interesting part — showing us two perspectives in time and slowly revealing how things got so bad toward the end. Honestly, I think them killing Wes was when they jumped the shark."

u/SobiTheRobot

Viola Davis talking to a young man in "How to Get Away With Murder"
Abc / ©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection

11."Grey's Anatomy 100%. The show was great, but I just can't keep up with all the twists and turns and freaky accidents anymore. It's also a lot less funny. It should have ended seasons ago."

u/Classic-Breakfast-72

"I hung on for so long after shit got weird. The end of the show in my head is Derek's death. I was done after that."

u/TripsOverCarpet

Meredith and Derek talking and working in a hospital in "Grey's Anatomy"
Abc / ©ABC/Courtesy Everett Collection

12."I stand by my opinion that the pilot of Glee is a fantastic execution. It goes downhill from there. The first half of the first season was pretty good, and the first couple of seasons are at least watchable. Then it swan dives off a cliff."

u/Pudgy_Ninja

"The first couple seasons were really campy and fun, and I loved that. But eventually it felt like they got to a place where they were taking themselves way too seriously, and it just wasn't working anymore. I have not watched the last season. I got like halfway through the first episode and noped out. The season or two before that wasn't very good either, but I really tried because I had loved it for so long."

u/cdenton041793

teenagers rehearsing in "Glee"
20thcentfox / ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

13."Game of Thrones. I was enamored with it for the first five seasons. Six only reinforced my love, but I remember some cracks starting to show. Seven went downhill super fast, and I refused to sully my memories with 8."

u/Tutes013

"I can usually find enjoyment in any show/movie, but the feeling that Season 8 left me with after being obsessed with the show...it just killed all my motivation to ever watch it again. Truly sad. They rushed everything along, and it totally took you out of the whole experience they created."

u/handsomercy

Daenerys in "Game of Thrones" looking at soldiers
HBO

14."Supernatural. The first seasons are so good, and then it basically turns into 'what weird monster can we come up with in between killing off and resurrecting the Winchester boys and all their friends/family?' I tapped out with the episode involving Tinkerbell. I did watch the series finale, and it sure was a finale."

u/beepborpimajorp

"The first five seasons were great, 6–10 were decent, and 11–15 were just beating a dead horse. I just wish they had stuck with the 'new monster a week' formula rather than going all into the heaven/hell Christian mythology angle. The apocalypse was interesting, but got old by the fourth time it happened. How many times can the world nearly end or the Winchesters die before it just becomes annoying? It was like they were repeating storylines, just with new characters. I may get some hate for this, but in my opinion, the constant deaths only to be resurrected later made them a lot less sad and shocking. 'Oh no, Dean/Sam died. Oh well, they’ll be back by next season/end of the episode.' I love the show and love the guys, but it didn’t need to be 15 seasons long."

u/SarcasticAzaleaRose

two FBI agents looking stunned
Colin Bentley / ©The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

15."How I Met Your Mother. I tried to rewatch it recently, remembered the last season, then just didn't want to."

u/nolaonmymind

"The show beat us over the head with the fact that Ted loved the idea of Robin more than Robin the person, which is why they never worked whenever they got together. He put her on a pedestal, and she was never able to live up to those unrealistic expectations. Him letting Robin go symbolized him letting go of this 'perfect fantasy girl' he built up in his head. It showed that Ted was finally maturing and becoming the person ready to meet and accept the mother. It was a nice, realistic lesson that still had an air of Ted’s romanticism because it was about how the person you end up with is the right person you meet at the right time. Then, they tossed it all out of the window, and you realize the writers didn't actually see anything wrong with how Ted idealized women. Ted is tolerable as a character because of the idea that he eventually grows up when he becomes the narrator. After the ending, it's weird to rewatch his character."

u/Fafoah

Ted and Robin getting married
Cbs / ©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

16."The Big Bang Theory. It used to be good, but man the show started dragging on by Season 7. I just couldn't watch it anymore."

u/Eggsegret

"I still maintain that the Leonard/Penny romance was really solid and one of my favorite will they/won't they romances in a sitcom. I think once all the guys found girlfriends around season 5 or 6, their character development just hit a wall, and nothing interesting happened after that."—u/dalledayul

the characters in "The Big Bang Theory" sitting in a living room
Cbs / ©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

17."Big Mouth. It's a creative concept that was very well written and relatable, and it brought up memories of going through puberty. But, by the third season, it was just turned into a raunch-fest with children. I felt like I had to take a shower after the last couple of episodes I watched before deciding to pull the plug."

u/monkey_scandal

animated preteens in front of lockers
©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

18."The Walking Dead. The first few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. The later seasons devolved into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character possibly dying, then do three weeks of other stories. By the time it got back to the cliffhanger, you'd have no idea what’s happening. Plus, it got repetitive."

u/THE_BANANA_SHOW

"Early on in The Walking Dead: Nobody is safe — even main characters might die! You don't know who's next! Later on in The Walking Dead: We wrote a character you might like so they're definitely gonna die in the dumbest way imaginable. The tension of main characters not having plot armor is one thing, but when you consistently kill everyone I care about, it should be no surprise when I no longer care about the show."

u/Tangent_

"I was so excited when The Walking Dead came out. I loved the show and was a massive fan until it got repetitive. I watched up to the end of Season 6 and a couple of episodes in Season 7, but quickly lost interest after the basic premise seemed to repeat every season. The group would find somewhere safe, they'd think everything was hunky dory, then another group of survivors would get involved who wanted to take over, they'd fight back and either lose their homes, some of the main cast, or both, so then they'd have to leave or find some support, and rinse and repeat. As the seasons went on, it seemed less and less about actual zombies. It was a great show, but it seemed like they were running out of fresh ideas."—u/KittyCat-86

people holding weapons in "The Walking Dead"
AMC

19."Letterkenny. A lot of the earlier seasons are gold, but by the time you reach the most recent season, you get tired of the same joke over and over again with only slight variations. Same Shorsey jokes and same regurgitated 'back and forths' over and over again."

u/MarAnnaPhil

three guys holding puppies outside of a barn
Amanda Matlovich / ©Hulu/Courtesy Everett Collection

20."Pretty Little Liars. As a loyal viewer who anticipated the next episode every week, they ruined the finale and last episodes/season. The storyline got so messed up when they kept adding all these random characters that didn’t even make sense to the original plot. All for what? Just to throw us off that fact that they decided Spencer was a twin and her twin was A?! Literally the most random and undeserving way to close a great series. It didn’t make sense at all. Even if you went back to watch from the beginning knowing Spencer’s twin might’ve been in scenes, it still didn’t make sense."

u/Outside_Main1119

a group of teenage girls looking at a phone
Eric Mccandless / ©ABC Family/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

21."Two and a Half Men. The show was great to start off with, and the downfall wasn't even related to Kutcher replacing Sheen. It was the regression of Alan who just became a horrible and genuinely repulsive character by the end. He started off as the 'straight' character who was a bit stingy with money, but otherwise fairly normal/relatable. By the end of the show, you wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up on some sort of criminal/offender list."

u/MissingLink101

Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in "Two and a Half Men"
Cbs / ©CBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

22."Westworld. Season 1 was amazing, and I was so hooked. There were flashes of brilliance in Season 2, but it started getting way too convoluted. Season 3 was a mess, and the characters became unbelievable/unsympathetic. I fell asleep during the latest season premiere. I don’t care to keep watching."

u/memyselfandirony

"Season 1 was so great. It was so complex and thought-provoking, yet the viewer could also understand what was going on. From seeing the politicking going on between the various people running Westworld, to figuring out what the hell was going on with the man in black — the first season was amazing. Then, Season 2 rolled around, and it was a huge drop in quality, but still enjoyable to watch if you liked the first season. But, it kind of felt like it wasn't going anywhere. It didn't really seem to have a point anymore and tried to be needlessly convoluted and obtuse. Meh, but still worth it. Then, fucking Season 3 came along, and the whole time I was waiting for something to happen. I'm genuinely confused about if I'm watching the right show? It turned into generic, sci-fi slop that's no fun to watch and tries to act high-brow and clever. Needless to say, I won't be watching the next season when it comes out."

u/Chinohito

a woman looking concerned in "Westworld"
HBO

23."The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It became style over substance. The fast-talking cuteness and irreverence combined with the distilled, upper-class depiction of the period just got repetitive. I never finished the second season. The pilot was gold!"

u/ClydePincusp

"I can’t stand how they treat her kids like they don’t exist most of the time. Her stand-up is all about being a wife and mother, but her kids seems to pop in and out of existence based on whether they can serve the plot this episode."—u/caecilianworm

Midge talking on the phone
/ ©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

24."Euphoria. First season: I was completely hooked. Season 2: I was completely disinterested in all the characters and was actively bored 90% of the time. No idea how they managed to mess that series up so much."

u/prunellazzz

"Season 2 had some moments, but damn, I've never seen a show crash and burn so quickly. The only reason I stuck with it is because I love the music, and Zendaya's acting is amazing. Definitely not watching Season 3 when it comes out in like 2030."

u/hypothetical-ginger

Zendaya sitting on the edge of a bed in "Euphoria"
HBO

25."The Simpsons. It was revolutionary when it came out (even though the first season is now, comparatively, rough). Seasons 2 through 7 are masterpieces of comic writing, timing, and performance...and heart. I watched each episode religiously — taping and rewatching over and over. Then, it went downhill. I went from 'Can’t miss a second of any episode' to 'When was the last time I watched a season?' It’s miserable to watch what it is now, compared to what it was."

u/nasimon2000

the Simpson family smiling as an elderly woman looks at them and Marge looks back
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

26."Superstore. The novelty of a store rom-com show loses its novelty quickly. The last season is insufferable."

u/Professional-Tank964

"They just stopped making Superstore funny. Jonah and Amy had so many scenes together in later seasons, and the two straight characters don't make the show funny. They are supposed to ground the wilder characters, making them funnier in contrast."

u/Xannin

Characters working in "Superstore"
Nbc / ©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection

27."Gilmore Girls. The more it goes on, the more I believe Rory is an asshole. The revival was absolutely devastating to her character. I have been re-watching with my daughters, and I realized that my favorite character is the 'evil grandmother.' Now that I am older, I find that she is the one that is often right."

u/lynypixie

Lorelai and Rory sitting on a sofa in "Gilmore Girls"
©CW Network/Courtesy Everett Collection

28.FINALLY: "Killing Eve. Incredible first two seasons. Exciting cat-and-mouse game between the two leads with an amazing plot. Then, BBC America/AMC took over. The change in quality is just bizarre. The show tried to make itself into an ensemble and made two side characters main characters, but gave them nothing to do besides boring melodrama dragged out to resolve into nothing. Season 3 had zero plot right up until the very end with the cliffhanger. Season 4 never resolves this cliffhanger, and the show turns into a bunch of things the writers thought would be 'aesthetic' strung together, with no meaning or consequences. Then, it was finished by genuinely the worst ending I've seen to anything. The characters' actions made no sense, nor did the writers' intentions. It's the most disappointed with a show I have ever been."

u/Kravanax

two women eating onion rings in a park
/ ©BBC America/Courtesy Everett Collection

Is there a TV show you used to enjoy that started to decline seasons later? What made it go from enjoyable to unwatchable? Tell us in the comments!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.