TV Shows That Started Out Well But Quickly Became Unwatchable

Ashley Hunte
A television screen on a menu showing various streaming services.
Unsplash | Jonas Leupe

The good thing about TV shows is that they usually have plenty of seasons to binge or watch weekly. But, this can also be a bad thing, especially when your favorite show ends up declining in quality.

Unfortunately, even the best shows can overstay their welcome and turn into real messes. According to Reddit, here are just a few of those shows.

They call it "jumping the shark" for a reason.

"Happy Days! Once Fonzie jumped the shark, while waterskiing and wearing his jacket, the show just got progressively worse."

This is probably the best first answer, because the term for when a show becomes worse after a certain point comes from that show.

No one really knows how this show's lasted as long as it has.

"Riverdale. Wasn’t the biggest fan of it but I still actually liked season 1, I don’t even have to explain why it became unwatchable after that."

Not all heroes are meant to live forever.

A promotional shot for the show Arrow, featuring the main character shooting an arrow.
Giphy | Showmax

"Arrow. It's what happens when you try to make so many seasons for a show meant for only a few."

Another commenter added, "I watched a couple of seasons, and then their circle expanded a lot, and everyone became a vigilante."

Meanwhile, other heroes are just victims of circumstance.

"Heroes, biggest drop in quality after season 1."

Another commenter pointed out, "There was a huge Writer's strike so they had to discard everything already written for season 2, and distance the show from the plot written by the team on strike to avoid lawsuits/copyrights."

Nothing gleeful about it anymore.

Kurt from Glee wiping a tear from his face.
Giphy | FOX TV

"I watched every new episode of Glee when it came out and was slightly obsessed with the show. But as soon as it finished it all crumbled. The show makes no sense, is not good, and I could never rewatch it."

When the show starts out good but the actors don't want to be around each other:

Two people walking while holding coffee cups.
Giphy | HULU

"Castle - By the end of filming the two main leads hated each other… and you can tell! They had to come up with wacky storylines to keep them apart."

The fairytale life just isn't for everyone.

A woman using magic to change from a witch outfit to a princess outfit.
Giphy | HULU

"Once Upon a Time. The first 3 seasons were good! And then after that they just kept getting worse."

Apparently a lot of fans had issues when they introduced characters from Frozen. "Lol that Frozen story arc was a ratings grab gimmick that ultimately alienated fans of the show," a commenter wrote.

I guess you can say it went in the weeds.

A woman against a wooden wall. Bullet holes appear around her as the logo for the show Weeds also appears.
Giphy | The Roku Channel

"Weeds. A hilarious and intriguing show that slowly grew to be about a bunch of unlikable assholes making bad, selfish decisions. When there's no one with any redeeming characteristics, there's no one for the audience to get behind."

They shouldn't have been able to get away with it for so long.

Viola Davis shaking her head in disappointment.
Giphy | HULU

"How to Get Away with Murder. The first season had some intrigue and plot...and then they just start murdering people left and right after that."

I watched that whole series and there were way too many pointless character deaths.

There are some concepts that can only go so far.

Two men sitting at a computer desk as one says, "There it is!"
Giphy | mtv

"Catfish. Was a fun watch at the start, but it just devolved into fake, staged tripe. Not sure it was ever real tbf, but at least at the start it was somewhat believable."

The only chilling thing was how poorly written it ended up being.

Sabrina Spellman saying, "Nothing's ever easy, is it?"
Giphy | Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

"[The Chilling Adventures of] Sabrina. It was really cool. Then later on....Jesus Christ, the protagonist is a Mary Sue, everyone always listens to her, you can always guarantee none of her friends will die and you can always feel like the trouble she gets herself and her friends into aren't threatening. What a waste."

After season one, it ended up feeling pretty godless.

A man walking past a second man with glowing eyes.
Giphy | American Gods

"American Gods. The first season was perfect. The acting was better than anyone could have guessed, the script was beautiful, and the first season ended right on track to promise a second season with everything that made the first season great."

"Unfortunately, somebody involved in the project disagreed with where it was going, got rid of the showrunners, and many actors followed them out."

A man under an umbrella, looking around at falling rain.
Giphy | American Gods

"It never recovered. Moral of the story: don't fix what isn't broken."

On the plus side, it was based off a good book.

I mean... it did get canceled.

Three people dancing in different, silly ways.
Giphy | Digg

"I hope this isn't too unpopular, but the last 2 seasons of Arrested Development were absolutely painful to sit through. The story just got unnecessarily convoluted and was just boring."

I guess some canceled shows are better off not coming back?

A show that lasted, like, 10 seasons longer than it needed to.

Three men sitting; two look concerned.
Giphy | Maudit

"Supernatural. I loved it at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle it was unwatchable (Leviathans). And after I spoiled myself, how the show ends I can't convince myself to watch it to the end."

Knowing how the show ends makes you never want to start watching it.

"Lost… LOVED it at first. Couldn’t stop watching. Then things just got weirder and weirder. I didn’t know what was going on and nothing made sense. It’s like the writers didn’t know what to do."

Some shows really don't age well.

A man in winter attire with his eyes closed.
Giphy | Dexter

"Dexter blew mind when it was new, but eventually got bad to the point where it was embarrassing to be a fan. Even going back to the first few seasons I don't really think it holds up to modern TV."

It's always a shame to see the good ones go bad.

A woman walking dramatically during sunset in a desert.
Giphy | Westworld HBO

"Westworld. Season 1 was amazing and I was so hooked. There were flashes of brilliance in season 2, but it started getting way too convoluted. Season 3 was a mess and the characters are unbelievable/unsympathetic. I fell asleep during the latest season premiere. Don’t care to keep watching."

An unsurprising entry.

Jon Snow facing off against the Night King.
Giphy | Game of Thrones

"Game of Thrones. I was enamored with it for the first 5 seasons. 6 only reinforced my love but I remember some cracks starting to show. 7 went downhill super fast and I refused to sully my memories with 8."

After a while, just watching it made you feel like a zombie.

Rick Grimes saying, "Everyone's made it this far. We've all done what we've had to do just to stay alive."

"The Walking Dead. First few seasons were great with pretty good pacing. Later seasons devolve into telling one story at a time. They’d have a cliffhanger of a character maybe dying and do 3 weeks of other stories. By the time it gets back to the cliffhanger you have no idea what’s happening. That and it got repetitive."