It’s fair to say that this is the age of the TV show. Since the invention of box sets, as well as streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crave, it’s not just possible but it’s encouraged to binge watch an entire TV show all at once. With regular TV stations also jumping on the binge watch bandwagon by allowing you to record entire TV seasons and then watching them back at your leisure, all of this has contributed to what many people believe is the golden age of television.
The audience now get so invested in their favorite shows that TV has surpassed movies, with many people choosing to stay at home, put on Netflix and chill rather than go to the movies. Because of this, TV shows have been given more money and freedom to explore their stories and creations, which in turn attracts the big star names, with many movie stars leaving the big screen for the small.
There is nothing better than discovering a new and exciting TV show and then sticking with it to its conclusion. However, when a show starts off with so much promise and then doesn’t live up to that promise, it makes us want to turn the TV off forever! With that in mind, here is our list of 15 TV shows that started out great but over the years we have grown to despise.
15. How I Met Your Mother
The first entry on our list is actually an entry that didn’t really give us a lot of hope for a great show, but was more a product of timing and being in the right place at the right time. After being on the air for 10 years, Friends left a giant sitcom shaped hole in the schedule when it finally ended. With so many fans out there looking to fill that hole, they all turned to a new show, How I Met Your Mother.
Let’s all be honest here, the premise of How I Met Your Mother is pretty much a carbon copy of Friends, only with an ever so slight twist. So when Friends ended, everyone jumped on the How I Met Your Mother bandwagon and the show became a hit. However, over the seasons we all started to realize that the promise this show made wasn’t going to be lived up to and the show started to get worse. Luckily, the show is off the air now and the less we talk about that finale, the better!
14. Gilmore Girls
The subject of family life can be a tricky one to tackle on TV, as it has been done so many times before, both in drama and sitcoms. So when we stumbled upon Gilmore Girls, it was a refreshing shake up to the tired and old format. Focusing on a single mother raising her daughter, Gilmore Girls tackled parenting, dating, friendship, the generational gap, and even social classes. With its fast paced and whip smart dialogue, pop culture references, and talented actresses, Gilmore Girls won us over instantly and we became transfixed by the lives of this mother/daughter dynamic duo.
However, as the episodes and seasons rolled on, Gilmore Girls started to become more of a chore to watch rather than a joy. The stories and heart were still there but the characters and dialogue that made it so fresh and new started to grate, and we were soon finding ourselves channel surfing. Not content with this, the Gilmore Girls brand simply won’t end. After its run on our TVs came to an end, the Gilmore Girls team has been begging at everyone’s door in order to carry on. Netflix has since picked it up but it’s time for Gilmore Girls to end.
13. 24 / 24: Legacy
Our next entry may seem a little unfair to all those concerned, but this has to go on the “What are you thinking?” pile. When 24 shot its way onto our TV screens it was as if someone had planted a stick of dynamite in our minds and blew away everything that we’ve seen before. Not only was it a great action show with plenty of great scenes, as well as reviving the career of former star Kiefer Sutherland, but it also put an entirely new spin on the TV format. Having each episode set to a real life hour and then having a day spread out over a series, made this show absolutely perfect for a great binge watching session.
However, 24 soon suffered the fate of many TV shows before it and that’s never knowing when to stop. Having been such a popular show, when the show finally went off the air it just wouldn’t go away. It came back again and again and each time it did, 24 spoiled the legacy that it had created. It’s ironic that the new incarnation of this show is actually called Legacy as that’s the one thing 24 is fighting against.
We must admit that we absolutely love David Tennant and we would watch him in anything. If there was a show in which Tennant sat there watching paint dry, we would still tune in. Having said that, Broadchurch is becoming a problem for us. Trying to get away from the science fiction/fantasy genre, in particular Doctor Who and Jessica Jones, Tennant turned up in this British crime show Broadchurch. The first season was a truly brilliant tack on the crime genre and made for must see TV. However, because of the instant success of the show, not only was a second season commissioned, but so were remakes.
It’s not that surprising that Broadchurch got remade for the US market, after all Britain and the US have been trading and remaking each other’s shows for years. The problem with this particular remake is that Tennant himself starred in them both. One as a British detective and the other as an American. Not only was this confusing for the continuity for both shows but it also watered down the Broadchurch brand and somehow made both shows that little bit worse.
11. New Girl
As we’ve mentioned on this list already, the roommate/friends sitcom has been done many times before, some with great success and others being cancelled and pulled off the air before we’ve even realized it existed. When New Girl first fluttered its way onto our screens, it was a real breath of fresh air and something different that brought us nothing but joy. Focusing on a group of roommates, the show’s main driving force was Jessica Day, a woman that had been dumped by her boyfriend and was trying to find her way in the world.
The show was fresh, quirky, funny and a delight to watch, mainly for Zooey Deschanel’s whimsical performance. However, after the first few seasons, the show has started to lag. The heart of those first three seasons was a “will they, won’t they” story between main character Jessica and roommate Nick. That premise has been successful for many shows and worked well here. However, the heart, story, and jokes have all been replaced with quirky and random references and the show has seriously lost its way.
10. The Walking Dead
Ok, before we get into our next entry, we know that The Walking Dead has a huge and loving fanbase and for the most part, we agree with them. Taking inspiration from the graphic novel of the same name, The Walking Dead became an instant smash hit and it seemingly changed the zombie/apocalyptic genre forever.
However, the real problem that we have with The Walking Dead is that with each season it struggles to know what it wants to be and where it’s going. Every show that has been on the air for some amount of time has the odd bad episode or even bad season, however the cracks are really beginning to show in this TV show, as the bad is starting to outweigh the good by a considerable amount. The hardcore fans will stick with this show through thick and thin, for which we admire them for, but for us casual viewers, we want a great story with some great characters. The Walking Dead is starting to fall short of that now. So either they need to get back to basics and sort the show out or they need to end it while it’s still on top.
9. Modern Family
Taking inspiration from such shows as The Office, Modern Family eased its way into our lives and our hearts. Using the “mockumentary” style of comedy and taking away old formats like a live audience or canned laughter, Modern Family focused on a new type of family. Being a product of a new world, Modern Family shows us the lives of the traditional family setup as well as exploring the lives of a gay couple with an adopted child and an old man married to a young hottie. Mixing some old and experienced sitcom actors with some new and fresh talent, Modern Family became an instant TV classic and won us all over.
However, Modern Family is starting to suffer in the same way that all long running sitcoms suffer. Even the big shows such as Friends, Frasier, and Cheers all went down this road and that’s knowing when to stop. Once the original premise and style of the show has become the norm, then you need to have great stories or something else to back it up. Unfortunately, Modern Family doesn’t have that and constantly recycles jokes and storylines in order to keep it on the air.
8. True Blood
Aww True Blood! This show became a real divide in the TV community; you either loved it or you hated it. For the most part, we loved this show. Tackling the fantasy genre head on, True Blood threw itself in with violence, sex, and a dark and witty tone. Living in a world in which vampires have “come out,” True Blood tells the story of Sookie, who has magical powers, and her interactions with all things fangy.
At first, True Blood was different, quirky, sexy and became must watch TV for us as the storylines and character interactions were a joy to watch. However, as the seasons rolled on the storylines became even more ridiculous, which is funny considering the premise of the show was already a bit ridiculous! Even with that aside, the show truly lost its way and the characters, plots, and even the sexy feel all became too much for us to handle. By the time True Blood finally finished, we were all thankful that the exploits of a fairy and her vampire buddies would never be seen again.
Our next entry should be a warning for those TV executives and writers out there who have a great idea for a show and then spend the next few years going out of their way to destroy that very idea. When Scrubs first started, it took a hold of us and gripped us with the lives of medical students finding their way in the difficult world of a busy hospital. The medical genre has been done many times before in the world of drama but what Scrubs offered was a fresh and funny look into this world. Mixing surreal comedy, a witty script, a great cast, and the drama that goes with such a big topic, Scrubs ticked all the boxes of being a classic show. It was ridiculous, but in the best way. Everything about it, even its soundtrack, had us hooked.
However, over the years, Scrubs started to separate itself from the core of what the show was about and went more for cheap laughs and slapstick comedy. It was always silly but Scrubs always had heart at the center of its show and over the years that heart stopped beating. Not only that, but after the show ended they decided to bring it back with only half the original cast members and none of the show’s good points. Because of this, the Scrubs memory will forever be tainted.
We must admit that we had a difficult time with the next entry on our list. On the surface, HBO’s Girls is a truly great and almost groundbreaking show. Telling the stories of a group of young people as they try and find their way in the world is always a good premise for a show. After all, we were all young once and struggling with life is something most people can relate to. Not only that, but taking a different approach and look and this generation was something new. Tackling what is considered the “norm” in TV land, Girls attacked stereotypes and the mainstream and showed us a different side to people, life, and even TV stars.
However, having said that, it’s becoming harder and harder not to hate Girls. What started out as something different and a clever take on the society we now live in, it has now became depressing as all the characters do is complain and moan about the world and their lives. The show has become self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and shallow and what was once smart and witty commentary on life has become a long and whiny rant about how hard done by they all are.
5. The Big Bang Theory
This is another sitcom that has fallen into the same trap that so many shows do, they simply go on for far too long. There is no arguments from us that when The Big Bang Theory started, we absolutely fell in love with the show, its premise, and its characters. Focusing on a group of nerds who work at a university together, they are all thrown into a different world when a young and sexy woman moves in next door to them. Having a”fish out of water” premise is always comedy gold, especially when you add to that a great script, some serious science knowledge, a great cast of actors, and of course Sheldon, who we think is one of the best comic creations in years! All of those things point to a classic sitcom.
To be fair, it has been a classic sitcom. The problem that The Big Bang Theory now has is that it doesn’t have any where else to go. The premise and jokes have all been done a thousand times before and the show just keeps going round in circles. We also know the show is doomed as a dreaded spinoff is now coming. Focusing on Sheldon as a young boy, The Big Bang Theory is trying to expand its brand when it should be focusing on making the show great again. We think The Big Bang Theory is about to explode big time!
4. The Simpsons
Let’s get this out of the way straight away: The Simpsons is arguably one of the greatest TV shows that has ever been. Ever since it first came onto our screens as part of The Tracey Ullman Show way back in the 1980s, The Simpsons has been a critical and generation-defying smash hit. Following the adventures of Homer and his family, The Simpsons has paved the way for so many shows over the years and has firmly planted itself in our culture forever.
The only problem with this is that because it has become such a phenomenon, The Simpsons has lost everything that once made it so great. Moving away from the average family, The Simpsons is trying so hard to keep itself fresh, not to mention trying to keep up with its adult counterparts such as South Park, that the show has truly suffered for this. Because The Simpsons is one of the only shows on TV that is pretty much guaranteed each year, it’s almost as if the writers don’t try anymore and just put out anything to keep the brand going. We’re sorry The Simpsons, but it’s time to end now before you ruin everything that you’ve built up.
3. Family Guy
“Standing on the shoulders of giants” is a very popular expression and one that Family Guy has taken and run with. Due to the phenomenal success of our previous entry The Simpsons, Family Guy burst onto our screens and looked set to change the genre forever. Not content with tackling the average family genre like The Simpsons did, Family Guy went one further and made their show purely for adults. With a more grown up feel to it, Family Guy had the freedom to do whatever it wanted. With its mix of adult humor, surreal comedy, and not to mention a talking dog and a baby that wanted world domination, Family Guy became an instant cult classic.
However, the years have not been kind to Family Guy and it shows with each episode and season that comes out. Moving away from the outrageous comedy that made it famous, Family Guy only seems to be interested in pop references and nostalgia these days. Not content with telling a good and funny story, Family Guy has become a string of random jokes all packed together in one show. The show has also been cancelled so many times it’s become unfunny, and each time it does get cancelled it manages to find its way back. It’s time for this show to be put down once and for all.
Now we enter our top two on our list of great TV shows that we grew to hate. To be honest it was difficult to choose our top two as both of these shows deserve the number one spot on their own. In the end, we decided that Lost should take the number two spot. In what is arguably one of the first shows that encouraged the binge watching phenomenon, Lost broke the mold on great TV and had us watching each episode with such excitement and anticipation for what was to come next.
After a plane crash, a group of survivors find themselves stuck on a mysterious island not knowing what has happened or where they are. The first season of Lost was a huge success and a joy to watch. However, because the show became so popular they decided to stretch the show out so much and over so many seasons that most of the show was boring and a real chore to watch. Then of course we come to the finale of the show, a finale that we’d all been waiting for and was promised it would be worth it. It wasn’t and Lost became a horrendous blot on the TV series landscape.
The number one entry on our list is for us the biggest disappointments in modern TV history. Before Marvel and the MCU exploded on our movie screens and TV, Heroes tried to tackle the world of superheroes on a new and more realistic way. Spreading itself across the world, Heroes told the story of real people who all possessed superpowers. Cleverly interweaving a story over its first season which saw our heroes coming together in order to save the world, and a cheerleader.
The first season set Heroes up to be the next big TV show franchise. It promised us so much but in the end, Heroes delivered absolutely nothing. Immediately from the second season, the show began to falter and it only got worse from there. Even a reboot and rewrite with Heroes: Reborn couldn’t save this show from the disappointment pile.