There’s no greater pastime after a long day at work than kicking back on the couch or your comfy bed and binge-watching a juicy TV series. On the flip side, however, there’s no bigger buzz kill than investing your precious time into a series that drags on terrible storylines that go on for too long or never pay off. These ten TV shows had more than two seasons, but no one knows why, considering how terrible they are.
1. Glee (2009-2015)
Glee initially captivated audiences with its vibrant musical numbers and diverse cast. Set in a high school, the show follows a group of misfit students who formed a glee club. However, as the seasons progressed, the show became plagued by inconsistent writing, excessive melodrama, and unrealistic character arcs.
The storylines became convoluted, and the focus shifted away from the musical aspect that initially made it appealing (well, appealing to some people. Personally, I couldn’t stand the music.) The show also struggled to maintain its quality after the tragic death of one of its lead actors, Cory Monteith.
2. The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2013)
The Secret Life of the American Teenager aimed to explore the complexities of teenage life and relationships. However, as the series unfolded, it quickly became melodramatic and relied on unrealistic and sensationalized storylines.
The writing often resorted to clichés, and the characters failed to evolve or display authentic growth. The show struggled to strike a balance between addressing serious issues and providing meaningful storytelling.
Most viewers didn’t watch this show for substance but as more of a guilty pleasure car wreck that you can’t look away from. The acting was cringy, the dialogue was pathetic, and there’s a hilarious cameo from US Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson that is so painful to watch it will leave you in tears.
3. Riverdale (2017-2023)
Riverdale began as a dark and modern take on Archie Comics, centering around a murder mystery in a small town. While it initially garnered attention for its intriguing plotlines and stylish aesthetic, the show’s later seasons succumbed to convoluted storytelling, inconsistent characterization, and excessive plot twists.
The once-grounded tone veered into absurd territory, sacrificing coherent storytelling for shock value. However, it’s hard to see how the show ever appealed to anyone who isn’t 13 years old.
With Cole Sprouse’s unbearable delivery and gut-churning lines like “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m weird. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in, and I don’t want to fit in — have you ever seen me without this stupid hat on? That’s weird.” I can’t imagine an adult or even a teenager being able to sit through an entire episode without busting out into laughter.
4. 13 Reasons Why (2017-2020)
13 Reasons Why delved into the sensitive topics of bullying, sexual assault, and youth suicide. Its intention was to bring awareness to these crucial issues impacting teenagers. However, the show faced substantial backlash for its graphic and potentially dangerous depiction of a student taking her own life.
As the seasons unfolded, the storyline grappled with finding a cohesive direction, relying more on shock tactics rather than delving into the characters’ narratives in a meaningful way.
13 Reasons Why was punching above its weight in its attempt to tackle serious subject matter. The series’ mishandling of sensitive content led to a childish depiction of the darkness that can envelop teenagers.
5. Prison Break (2005-2009, 2017)
Prison Break started with a unique premise: an innocent man deliberately gets himself imprisoned to help his wrongfully accused brother escape. However, as the show continued past its initial concept, it struggled to maintain the same level of suspense and originality.
The complex plotlines became increasingly convoluted, with numerous character resurrections and unrealistic twists that strained the show’s credibility. The decline in quality and repetitive nature of the storylines led to a loss of interest among viewers.
I saw a comment from a Twitter user that perfectly encapsulates where this show went wrong. In response to a question asking if there’s any show with a greater drop off in the last 15 years than Westworld, one jaded former Prison Break viewer commented, “Probably Prison Break. I was more than done once they broke out of the third prison.”
6. Big Mouth (2017—)
This animated comedy revolves around the lives of teenagers navigating puberty. While the show initially received praise for its frank and humorous approach to the subject matter, it has faced criticism for its excessive reliance on shock value and crude humor.
Some argue that the show prioritizes shock factor over meaningful storytelling, often crossing boundaries without providing substantial character development or thoughtful exploration of the complexities of adolescence.
7. 2 Broke Girls (2011-2017)
2 Broke Girls follows the lives of two young women working in a diner, aiming to fulfill their dreams while dealing with financial struggles. Despite a promising premise and two talented comedic actresses, the show had a poor supporting cast and terrible writing.
The characters lacked depth, and the repetitive nature of the jokes led to a decline in the show’s comedic appeal over time. Every other sentence was some fourth-grade-style sexual innuendo and insulted the audience’s intelligence.
8. Emily in Paris (2020—)
Emily in Paris tells the story of a young American woman who moves to Paris for a job opportunity and navigates cultural differences and professional challenges. While the show garnered attention for its picturesque setting and glamorous portrayal of Paris, it faced criticism for its unrealistic and clichéd depiction of French culture.
The main character, Emily, often seemed ignorant, tone-deaf, and privileged, leading to a lack of authenticity and depth in the storytelling. The series relied heavily on predictable romantic subplots and failed to offer substantial character development or engaging narratives.
9. Grey’s Anatomy (2005—)
Grey’s Anatomy initially captivated viewers with its compelling
medical drama and intricate character relationships. However, as the show continued over its extensive run, it struggled to maintain the same level of quality.
The storylines became repetitive, and the focus shifted from medical cases to personal drama, often sacrificing realism for sensationalism. The departure of beloved characters and excessive melodrama contributed to a decline in the show’s overall appeal.
It may as well be called Death’s Anatomy, considering the show relies on killing off beloved characters as a plot device for shock value. There are only so many shootings that can occur in one hospital.
10. Fuller House (2016-2020)
This sequel to the beloved family sitcom Full House attempted to continue the story with the next generation. However, the show received criticism for nostalgia-baiting and recycling storylines from its predecessor.
The humor felt dated, and the characters failed to evolve beyond their original portrayals. The show struggled to find its own identity and was unable to capture the charm and magic of the original series, especially without the return of the charming Olsen twins, who captured our hearts in the 80s and 90s.
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