7 Great TV Shows That Bounced Back From Terrible Seasons

Anyone can have an off year

Most Popular

No-one's perfect. It's hard to maintain the same level of quality throughout the complete run of a TV series. Most shows get bad shortly before they're cancelled forever. But some special shows manage to ride out their worst seasons, going on to bigger and better things.

What follows is a list of those shows – the series good enough to come back from the brink.

1. Parks and Recreation - Season 1

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

It's a familiar pattern. A Parks and Recreation newbie sits down to watch the first episode of the show after having it hyped by every single one of their friends. The first episode is bad and awkward, with lots of unlikeable characters, but maybe it will get better? Yeah, not for a while.

There's no getting away from it, season one is hard to get through – to the extent even Chris Pratt's annoying. But as any P&R fan will tell you, it gets so much better from season two onwards. Thank goodness it wasn't impeached before it had the chance to improve.

Most Popular

2. The Office US - Season 1

Weirdly, season one of The Office US has similar issues to Parks and Recreation (which actually makes sense, as P&R was originally intended to be a Office US spin-off), despite the fact it had a fairly solid template on which to base itself.

But that was actually the problem. Season one of The Office US sticks so slavishly to the original British series, many people wondered what the point of it was. But once season two got started, and the show went past the original series' episode count, it started to find its own voice, and the show transformed into one of the all-time greats.

3. Lost - Season 2

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Plenty of people have their own personal worst Lost season. For some, it's the last. Others would even argue it didn't bounce back at all after the excellent first. But we're not talking to those naysayers, we think Lost is great (even with that ending).

Still, even we can't defend the awful second season, which felt like the writers were treading water for pretty much the entire duration, with nothing of consequence happening from episode to episode.

The backlash to season two was so great, showrunner Damon Lindelof commented on it. "There was unease that they were making an investment in a show that is complicated, without any sense of where it is going to lead them," he said. "Fans have been saying, 'Are you making it up as you go along?'"

Still, season three brought things back on track (eventually), before season four started a pretty much perfect build to the (divisive) season six finale.

4. The Walking Dead - Season 2

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What is it about our favourite shows and their sophomore seasons being terrible? The Walking Dead's second outing has similar problems to Lost, in that it all feels a bit pointless.

Our heroes arrive at a farm, then stay at a farm, having the same conversations over and over again about living on the farm. It doesn't seem like much fun for them, and it definitely isn't fun for us. But a strong finale made us come back for season three, which was infinitely better.

Of course, it's been a bit downhill since then, and some fans would argue that the current season makes the second look like Breaking Bad, but we hold out hope that the good times (well, bleak times, but you know what we mean) will be back with a vengeance soon.

Most Popular

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Season 1

There's no denying that the first season had its ups and downs. And they were mostly downs. Tonally still finding its feet via some dreadful monster-of-the-week episodes (remember that one with the hyenas? Or the fishy swim team? Oof), Buffy never got worse than season one. Thankfully, it got much, much (much) better.

6. Prime Suspect – Series 4

Dame Helen Mirren has won many plaudits in her glittering career, but she is perhaps best loved for her portrayal of deeply flawed but wholly committed police offer Jane Tennison.

The first three series were groundbreaking dramas that viewed British society through the twin lenses of British policing and Janey T. Then came series four, a string of shorter procedurals that might have featured DCI Banks, Frost or Taggart as the senior investigating officer for all the difference her once-urgent presence made to the story.

Thankfully things were back on track for series five and by the time we got to six and seven, Prime Suspect was back in the frame as one of the greatest cop shows ever made.

7. The West Wing - Season 5

Despite its reputation, The West Wing wasn't flawless. In fact, season five was arguably terrible.

But there's a good reason for its badness – creator Aaron Sorkin left the show. Sorkin wasn't just responsible for The West Wing's most iconic elements and incredible dialogue, he also left it on a cliffhanger (involving the President's daughter being kidnapped) that was near-impossible to resolve.

Thankfully, seasons six and seven's election plot was near-perfect, and brought the show back from the edge.

From: Digital Spy