I recently finished watching Six Feet Under. It was incredible. But I had started the series way back in September and up until 3 weeks ago had slowly been watching an episode here or there. It was taking me ages to get through the second season. Not because that season is bad, but because nothing had really pulled me into the show. However, a few weeks ago I finished season 2 and started season 3. All of a sudden I couldn’t get enough. I was staying up late, waking up early, all to watch as much of this show as I possibly could. I was hooked until the end, and it was well worth it. I was talking to Molly about this and she reminded me that this is something I do a lot. I was the same way with Lost, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Homeland, and Boardwalk Empire, all shows that I now love. She asked me whether I preferred shows that started hot and slowly fizzled out toward the end of their run, or whether I enjoyed that it took me a while to get into them.
By far I will say that it’s better for shows to constantly get stronger with each subsequent season. Take Heroes for example, everyone knows how great that first season was, but how many people stuck with it until the end? Whereas I watched the first season and a half of Breaking Bad and didn’t go any further until almost 6 months later, but when I did I couldn’t believe I’d ever stopped. I tried to get into Lost four separate times, I watched the pilot of the Wire and was far too confused to enjoy it, Molly showed me Homeland months before I marathoned all of season one in a day, and I got through the entire first season of Boardwalk Empire and just sort of shrugged. Point is, the shows you eventually love aren’t always going to be the easiest to watch from the get go. If you’ve heard something is really good, it probably is, so stick with it and learn why you either love it or hate.
Ironically I, Molly, have had opposite feelings on the show Tyler has listed. From the start I knew I loved, Six Feet Under, LOST and Homeland while I quit watching Boardwalk Empire, The Wire and Breaking Bad because I lost interest. The only correlation I found with those three shows were they want you to root for the bad guy. Alas, I inevitably caught up on Breaking Bad but I still had my issues with it 9with every character being a bad person) but I love it! I have seen the first seven episodes of Boardwalk Empire and only the first episode of The Wire. I’m told by everyone on this planet to finish both those series but I just can’t grasp it. Why should I watch through a bunch of mediocre episodes just to get to the best. How am I suppose to know I will like it? The answer is just to invest and hope for the best. All shows can do is attract viewers and hope you stick around. Just how Parks and Recreation, Community, Breaking Bad, and Six Feet Under did to Tyler and I. Its a difficult world out there for television.
Let us know what shows you think have started out strong and sizzled out. Also those who start good to only get great.