Shows go through peaks and valleys during their time on TV. Sometimes they get better as time goes on, sometimes though a show really hit it’s stride early on, then dips off. The following is a list of shows that we felt the first season was truly the best. It’s not that we dislike the following seasons (or always dislike them). Rather that the first season was something special, and the follow up just couldn’t live up to it.
It might have a lot to do with the fact that the first season is the most closely related to the books, or it might be that the idea of the show started to feel stale, regardless of the reason season 1 of Dexter was really the best. Dexter’s interaction with The Ice Truck Killer was well written, and played out in an extremely interesting way. Following along with Dexter as he discovered more about his past kept us drawn in. Dexter himself was also the best, telling the audience about being a killer, and give us random facts like that a Cuban sandwich is the best driving food. Overall season 1 had charm that the show was never able to totally recreate. I would say that season 2 was as good if not for Lila.
The big problem with Heroes was the writer’s strike. The first season was compelling, had interesting characters, and brought the sci-fi adventure to prime time. The problem was season 2 didn’t live up to season 1 in any way shape or form. The characters became lack luster, their stories were often boring, and the show took the idea that “convoluted” somehow means the same thing as interesting. A lot of it was the writer’s strike, losing the team that wrote such a good first season was damaging to the show. But when the strike ended the show didn’t start to improve. It’s actually sad that such a great show had such a horrible follow up second season, and as a result the show never hit it’s stride again.
I am actually a fan of 30 Rock, and liked almost every season. However when I really sit down and think about it, 30 Rock was really only that special for the first season. Liz Lemon and Jack’s relationship was at it’s perfect time in season 1. They were reluctant friends with a mentor mentee relationship, that just got more confusing as time went on. Jack’s influence on the show, while Liz fighting him worked the best. After season 1 it kind of started to be the same fights, same advice, and same cycle. While it remained entertaining the first season really shines.
Not all of season 2 is actually worse than season 1. However the big problem with the show happened when Laura’s murder was solved. A lot of what kept the show together, dealt directly with how people were responding to the death of Laura. Lynch himself actually admitted that the murder was never meant to be solved, though is a little more closed lipped on why he changed his mind. After the solving of the murder the “weirdness” that marked the show lost a lot of it’s charm. The plot lines were less compelling, and people just couldn’t stay into it. Twin Peaks could in fact save itself with the future mini series, however for now we are left wishing that season 2 had reached the level of season 1.
A controversial choice, but one I stand behind. Walter White’s story was pretty interesting and actually rather sympathetic. Seeing him as a new man in this crime ridden world is really when people were the most willing to root for him. After season 1 White became more vindictive and evil, the family dynamics got even more unbelievable, and none of the characters were really as sympathetic anymore. A lot of people liked the cruelty that marks the later series, but to me it was best when it was new. When we the audience were discovering this world with the characters, instead of when they were hard wired in.
Prison Break was a rather clever show, with characters that you really found interesting. Despite the fact that they were criminals and not all of them were worth rooting for, we still found ourselves doing it. Then they broke out of prison, which was the point. The entire show was about this prison break so when it happened they should have cut it. Instead of doing that they got thrown into another prison and involved in crazy and uninteresting plot lines. Honestly there was only two solutions for this show. Either make it take longer than one season for them to break out, or have the guts to do a one season show. Instead we got a show that wasn’t awful (at least not at points), but never managed to recapture the first season.
Much like 30 Rock it’s not that the later seasons of VEEP are bad, but rather that they just lost something that was really there for season 1. It seems that the closer the title character actually got to The White House, the further away from the charm that marked season 1 the show got. Jonah became less of a silly joke, and kind of went crazy. Introducing Kent and Ben added an extra dynamic, but one that was maybe not needed. Selina also changed in a number of different ways, most of which just meant I couldn’t get behind her has much. The later seasons have given me a few laughs, but when I talk about how much I like VEEP it pretty much always comes back to season 1.