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Khan

Shows That Got BETTER Over the Seasons

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I don't THINK we've had a thread concerning this issue before. If we've had, though, apologies! smile.png

We all know about shows (primetime, as well as daytime) that seemed to decline in quality as they moved forward...but what about shows that might have been "weak" in the beginning, stayed on through sheer luck (and good timeslots), and actually got BETTER over time?

Edited by Khan

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What spurned the idea for this particular thread, you ask? One show: "The Rockford Files." Right now, I'm in the middle of S3 (the first with David Chase as producer) on Netflix; and I can honestly say that this must have been when the show earned its reputation as a classic detective show among fans. The first season, IMO, was mediocre (some very badly written mysteries and absolutely little of its signature humor); and the second, while more humorous, also painted Rockford at times as a total, lumbering imbecile.

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Melrose Place! Many of my favorites came later. I was glad when Amy Locane and Vanessa Williams left early on. I didn't like either of them at all. Unfortunately, the later seasons had Lisa Rinna and Jack Wagner. Ugh!!! But they also had better clothes, better acting, and ROB ESTES. And Thomas Calabro got better looking by the season!

Step by Step was better in the later seasons. The kids were less obnoxious and the acting improved. I also didn't miss the youngest kid at all when he was written out. Al (Christine Lakin), especially, got some great character development and stories in the later seasons. I also loved Dana and Rich!

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The Facts of Life got better in season 2. Season 1 had potential, and you could have kept all seven girls.. but then you wouldn't have had Jo nor Jo/Blair!

Family Ties had a rocky first season when the concept of hippie parents and liberal kids was strongest.. but as the show went on, the show got less preachy and got more heart with Alex, Steven, and Mallory as stand outs.

Melrose Place improved as season 1 wore on and Knots Landing really got rolling during the end of season 3 into season 4.

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The Brady Bunch -- I can't watch any first season episodes or most from the 2nd. I feel like the quintessential Brady Bunch that everyone knows and loves is the latter era with most of the kids in their teens.

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Family Matters. I think that after Urkel was made an integral part of the show s2, Family Matters found their footing and was good; however, when they decreased Mother Winslow and Rachel, the show started to hurt. Recasting Harriet was the final straw.

One of my favorite shows of all time ... Girlfriends. Season one, while good in my book, when season two came back and they found their niche (Toni being uppity bitch, Maya being the younger, married one, Joan being neurotic, William being the male opinion and Lynn being the nymph), it was good. People love to compare the show to Sex in the City but I don't see the comparison beside it being about four good girlfriends. IMO, Girlfriends was wittier. Sadly, I hated when Toni left because it left a HUGE void that Monica, a poor man's version of Toni, could not replace. I just hate that Girlfriends NEVER got the recognition they deserved (like a lot of shows on UPN in the early to mid 2000s--One on One, Half & Half, The Parkers....).

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I always thought shows with kids were vbetter when the kids were older. Like Home Improvement, it was much better in the later years when the boys were older. Same with Family Ties. I know the last seasons were mostly all about Alex but i thought both Jen and Mallory were much better in those last years than in the first seasons.

I also thought Cheers was a little more interesting in the later seasons. The first season were great but it was mostly "the Sam and Diane show" but then when Diane left, they started exploring other relationships. They did Kelly and Woody. Fleshed out Frasier and Lilith. and Rebecca and Robin. and that's when the show hit number one...right around it's 200th episode.

Edited by BKuzak

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I may be in the minority but I thought M*A*S*H got better, especially because I happened to not like the three original characters/actors who departed (Trapper, Henry and, especially, Frank) and much preferred all three of their replacements (BJ, Potter and Charles). Charles, especially, was a much stronger adversary for Hawkeye than Frank ever was and I liked how Charles could get his revenge every now and then.

NCIS has turned into a powerhouse since its first couple of years (and, yes, I hated Kate and was glad she got killed off and replaced with Ziva).

Star Trek: TNG.



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Family Matters. I think that after Urkel was made an integral part of the show s2, Family Matters found their footing and was good; however, when they decreased Mother Winslow and Rachel, the show started to hurt. Recasting Harriet was the final straw.

One of my favorite shows of all time ... Girlfriends. Season one, while good in my book, when season two came back and they found their niche (Toni being uppity bitch, Maya being the younger, married one, Joan being neurotic, William being the male opinion and Lynn being the nymph), it was good. People love to compare the show to Sex in the City but I don't see the comparison beside it being about four good girlfriends. IMO, Girlfriends was wittier. Sadly, I hated when Toni left because it left a HUGE void that Monica, a poor man's version of Toni, could not replace. I just hate that Girlfriends NEVER got the recognition they deserved (like a lot of shows on UPN in the early to mid 2000s--One on One, Half & Half, The Parkers....).

HOLD UP!!!!

*Nicole Walker head shake*WHAT?!??!?!*Nicole Walker head shake*

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All In The Family took a season or two to get cooking.

About the Brady Bunch, I agree that when they got older the show generally was more fun, the early episode when Bobbie runs away from home is IMO the best episode of the whole series and almost brought a tear to my eye.

Battlestar Galactica really started cooking with gas season 2 and halfway into season 3. By eason 4 it was a little bit of a mess.

I Love Lucy took a little while to get going but by the Hollywood years it was doing everything right.

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"Mad About You" with Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser got better towards the end. The show's best moments came later. Love both actors but their characters felt cardboard at first with little depth. Paul and Jamie as characters felt more real to me later on. The stories got more interesting too, and it was later on that we got more of Lisa Kudrow's character - the ditzy airhead waitress!

And the clothes were better too. I'm a snob so I liked seeing better hair and better clothes in the later seasons!

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Star Trek: TNG.

I agree. Also with Star Trek: DS9. I feel adding Worf to the cast filled a hole that was missing. They also get the USS. Defiant allowing them to get off the space station, and of course the focus on the Dominion War all made the later seasons better the the ones at the beginning.

I also thought Cheers was a little more interesting in the later seasons. The first season were great but it was mostly "the Sam and Diane show" but then when Diane left, they started exploring other relationships. They did Kelly and Woody. Fleshed out Frasier and Lilith. and Rebecca and Robin. and that's when the show hit number one...right around it's 200th episode.

I agree. Once Shelley Long's character left and they made Frasier full time and the addition of Rebecca and Lillith all made the later seasons MUCH better than the earlier ones.

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I also thought Cheers was a little more interesting in the later seasons. The first season were great but it was mostly "the Sam and Diane show" but then when Diane left, they started exploring other relationships. They did Kelly and Woody. Fleshed out Frasier and Lilith. and Rebecca and Robin. and that's when the show hit number one...right around it's 200th episode.

I was struggling with this question, but I'd forgotten about Cheers. That show had such a great supporting cast that helped them survive and thrive beyond Diane's departure (and Coach's death). And as time went on, Kirstie Alley was becoming just unhinged enough to be hilarious (before she totally lost her [!@#$%^&*] and became a sad cartoon post-Cheers).

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