Hear Me Out: What Makes A TV Show So Good, It Becomes Bad?

Do you ever wish your favourite TV show just had *fewer* seasons?

Last year, I finally decided to watch the infamous The Office because everyone around me told me I would like it and that I was missing out on an important cultural moment of the 2000s.

I also wanted in on all the inside jokes. I wanted to know who Prison Mike was and how everyone started saying “that’s what she said.”

I had already seen some of the comedy gold that was the fire drill and the first-aid class scenes. They made me laugh so much, I needed more of this.

In short, people were right. To this day, The Office is the first and only show that made me laugh out loud alone in my room. 

I would pause the episode, rewind and get my mom to come because she HAD to see this.

Then, I started to get in the later seasons. It was okay, but I found myself laughing less and less.

What really cut it for me was the moment nobody wants to talk about: when Steve Carrell’s character Michael Scott left.

It was not the same show. It felt like a bad attempt at a reboot or parody. The characters started to act out of character and the storylines were just not as funny.

You’ve probably been the victim of this: your favourite TV show becoming so bad it’s unwatchable.

While I haven’t watched it myself, I’ve heard about the atrocity that Riverdale has become. But I won’t get into that here.

There are many theories I want to explore as to why our favourite TV shows flop after a while.

First, there is the main-character-leaving-the-show complex. Obviously, Michael Scott was the trigger to most of my bursts of laughter. So for me, his departure from the show was a big downfall.

The Office is not the only show victim of that. I also remember how That ’70s Show was struggling after its main character Eric Foreman was no longer there. It makes sense why the storylines were a bit all over the place when he left as he was the one holding all the other characters together. After all, it was in HIS basement that the group of friends would gather in.

The Office was also the victim of too many seasons. This is easily explainable by the sheer success of the first few seasons. We can, again, see this in other shows.

Grey’s Anatomy also found so much success that its producers are trying to milk it until there are no more medical scenarios they can come up with.

This phenomenon is even seen with shows that should only have one season like 13 Reasons Why and You. The former being based on a book that did not have sequels, and the latter which just abused the character of Joe Goldberg too much. Like, seriously, how many times can you actually get away with such sporadic murders and changes of identity?

Overall, TV shows that get a lot of momentum after their first season will now for sure get, according to fans, too many seasons.

It’s like producers are not able to leave a show on a good note and start a new project.

But, at the same time, fans would not be ready either. Even though they are the first to critique a show for dragging on for too long, they are the first that want to know if a new season is coming.

Do you remember a time when you just finished a well-acclaimed show and went on Google just to find an ending explanation, only to see “season 2” as the first suggestion next to the show’s title? Yeah, that’s why producers will never let go of an opportunity to make a new season.

In Hollywood, money talks.

In the end, TV shows with too many seasons just lose their direction, originality, and credible plotlines.

I think ultimately, when a TV show is so good, it is deemed to become bad because of the high expectations we now set for it.

I had hopes for Squid Games when the director was pretty clear that he hadn’t thought about the show having other seasons. But, it was announced in June through Netflix’s Twitter account that the record-breaking show will come back.

Let’s hope this one won’t be milking the idea of a sick and twisted money game too much.


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