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TV Show Whose Decline Saddens You the Most

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10 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

Star's SATC was meant to be quite a different thing--it was meant to be a sex comedy except with women which hadn't really been done on TV before. 

 

Fair enough.  However, even a sex comedy on TV like early SATC needed a richer exploration of the main characters between bang sessions.  Otherwise, it was just "1st & Ten" with snappier dialogue.

 

10 hours ago, DRW50 said:

I don't think Star's SATC would have lasted long, but I enjoyed it much more than most of what came after King took over. The only character I would say benefited from King was Charlotte, and to a lesser degree Miranda. Carrie became truly unbearable, refashioned from a sharp, harsh but likeable figure to a perpetual princess with purple prose monologues that would have gotten her howled out of any actual newspaper office. Her relationship with Aiden was a black hole. And Samantha was thrown into one stunt story after another (the lesbian story and the black boyfriend in particular do not age well). Star had a story for Samantha in the first season where she was in love with a man, and tried her best to stay with him, but his having an inadequate penis size was too much for her to accept. That was a story which filled the brief of edgy comedy while also being character-defining.  There was a directness which King never understood. 

 

King also had no ability to write friendships between the women, which is why by the last few seasons they no longer seemed even remotely close to each other, with the only hints of genuine bonds being between the women and their gay friends. 

 

The truly ugly publicity about the third movie (which SJP and King revived yet again recently) has reinforced to me how deluded they are and how much this damaged the show. I saw how one of them was telling the Hollywood Reporter about how risky it had been for SJP to do the show because she was a movie star. I laughed, repeatedly, because 1) this was 1997, not 1957, and 2) Sarah Jessica Parker had never been a movie star. The closest she'd come to really starring in anything was Square Pegs. If that was the attitude she had while on the show, no wonder it fell apart so quickly. 

 

Spot. On.

 

King and SJP had planned to kill off Big in the third movie.  My reaction to the bombshell: "He died, because telling Carrie how beautiful-slash-smart-slash-popular-slash-successful she was every moment of the day just wore him out."

Edited by Khan

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12 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

 

From what I remember though to be fair Star's SATC was meant to be quite a different thing--it was meant to be a sex comedy except with women which hadn't really been done on TV before.  MPK made it much more sentimental (and arguably deeper though I think the final season and those shitty movies are at least as much his fault as SJP's and let's not forget MPK went on to create and run Two Broke Girls...)

 

 

 

TBH, Star's SATC was boring. I remember watching the first few episodes of the first season and thinking, "Meh."

Sometimes I think SATC is overrated. We liked it, because they were talking about things on TV no one else on TV was talking about like "funky spunk" and "vibrators." 

12 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

 

I mostly really enjoyed season 1 though on hindsight it has made zero lasting impression on me--but I remember a group of us friends would always watch it together and everyone was pretty excited by it.  That didn't last more than maybe one or two episodes into season 2.

 

 

 

I was all in on Heroes through the first season. I should've known after that weak-ass finale, but I hung in another two years. I was one of those, "it's about to get better" people. I was so burned I couldn't hang for the reboot. Such a shame. 

 

 

I think another one that saddened me was Designing Women. It just never recovered from losing Delta and Jean. Even though Delta's zaniness was fun, Charlene was really the "heart" of the show, and I really enjoyed Jan Hook's Carlene, but we just didn't have that investment. I'll always be interested to see how the show might have fared if we had jumped right into BJ (Judith Ivey) instead of Julia Duffy's Allison. I did like BJ, even if they had a hard time differentiating her from Julia. 

Edited by cct

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11 hours ago, Vee said:

Heroes was bad from the very beginning. Anyone who says otherwise was too young and/or enthusiastic just to see superheroes on TV to know better. Horrible characters, nonsensical writing, no budget. It got by on hype and the novelty of "superheroes - on TV!" Which was pretty unthinkable back then. People gave it so many chances, claimed it would 'be good again'. Its showrunner, Tim Kring, is worse than Chris Carter; Bryan Fuller wrote a good episode or two but never made the show good.

 

I actually watched its revival a few years ago out of supreme boredom. It was actually worse than the original show. And again, made by Tim Kring.

Uh...yeeeaah NO. 

 

I IMHO still think Season One hold up well after a rewatch...given what Tim Kring was going for.

 

HOWEVER...he should have stuck the landing and killed everyone he wanted to kill in that first season finale. And then do what he claimed he wanted to do which was introduce a new set of heroes from season to season a la American Horror Story.

 

To this day, I remember critics mentioning how Bryan Fuller at least understood the brand and righted the ship enough. However, once he left to do his own shows, the show was doomed.

3 hours ago, DRW50 said:

With Heroes I never could watch after learning they de-gayed a character. Bryan Fuller trying to blame it all on the actor many years later also reminded me why I have never been a huge fan of his. 

That sounds familiar...what was the story with that again?

16 hours ago, EricMontreal22 said:

I thought True Blood was such an obvious example that it wasn't worthy of bringing it up ;) I also agree with your take on the show--season 5 was a mess but that's where Alan Ball wanted to end it.  He was burnt out but I thought HBO of all places would have realized that the show would not improve under a new showrunner and without his involvement (he retained an EP credit), but no instead it limped through two more seasons under Brian Buckner (who shockingly has not been allowed to lead a show since--though he writes for, yuck, Fear the Walking Dead).  I watched loyally till the end but seriously can not remember a thing from the last two seasons except for a bit about the very ending (a dinner party after burying Bill or... something?)

With primetime shows I'd be curious to know just how many examples there are of a show succeeding after its original showrunner/creator leaves it?  (Obviously this is harder to judge with older shows that didn't usually have that position).  I mean I was NEVER a fan but I suppose Sex and the City counts--I think Darren Star left after season 2 and what most fans seem to love is really Michael Patrick King's Sex and the City not Star's.  And of course with primetime soaps like daytime soaps this is less of an issue.

Well, to be fair, my favorite episode of SATC was the second season finale, but yes Star did leave after season two.

 

That said...I tell my co-worker this all the time. Most shows do not last after the original showrunner/creator leaves. The only show that I can think of that has has been SUPERNATURAL and I don't know why TBH. lol. Its showrunner had his five year plan. Then he was out. Yet...years later...

 

I agree with you on TB btw. I'm not sure if I can sit through Five again. I remember it having a lot of potential. The last two seasons...other than seeing Lala with a happy ending and Alexander s with his Tarzan filming bod in Season...I don't think so. But the first four seasons with its gothic allure in season 1 and 2, MaryAnn and Russell evilness, and the shade from Pam, Lala, and Tara though? I'm here for it. :) 

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Another series I don't believe has been mentioned: "Gilmore Girls."  Many say the show declined when its' creators and original EP's, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, left.  I can't attest to that, since I never watched beyond the first season.

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2 minutes ago, Khan said:

Another series I don't believe has been mentioned: "Gilmore Girls."  Many say the show declined when its' creators and original EP's, Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino, left.  I can't attest to that, since I never watched beyond the first season.

 

I'm a die hard Gilmore Girl fan... and the show started it's decline around season 4/5.  Season 4 had an opportunity to expand with Rory going to Yale.. being single.. rooming with paris.. and meeting other supporting characters.. but Rory started to change from the likable character she was in season 1 to 3.. to the shrew she became in season 5 through 7.. and the limited series reboot.  With that said, season 4 had some great episodes that I always love to rewatch... but season 5 was when the show truly started the fast track down the decline hill.

 

I'm one of the few that actually liked the final season.. because the creators/EP's were forced out.. and the new showrunner slowed down the frenetic pace.. and finally got Lorelei/Emily off that annoying hamster wheel of fighting/making up.  Plus, Rory opting to choose herself and go on to start the next chapter was so much better than what Palladino originally wanted to do (and ended up doing at the end of the limited series).

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I agree about the final season being more even than seasons 5 and 6. I think GG's worst year was season 6 with the introduction of the April/Anna Nardini mess. I also didn't like that Rory and Lorelai were kept apart for weeks after they had their big fight in the season premiere only to reunite in the blink of an eye. That was some lazy writing.

 

While I know that the show was mostly about Rory and Lorelai (after all, it's called Gilmore Girls), the show had such a large supporting cast which was hardly used – or if they were used, they always had the same stereotypical storylines. I definitely wanted to see more of Paris, Lane, Michel and Sookie in seasons 6 and 7, but they were always given the C plots (or didn't appear for weeks).

 

I haven't seen the Netflix revival, yet.

Edited by Huntress

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7 minutes ago, Soaplovers said:

 

I'm a die hard Gilmore Girl fan... and the show started it's decline around season 4/5.  Season 4 had an opportunity to expand with Rory going to Yale.. being single.. rooming with paris.. and meeting other supporting characters.. but Rory started to change from the likable character she was in season 1 to 3.. to the shrew she became in season 5 through 7.. and the limited series reboot.  With that said, season 4 had some great episodes that I always love to rewatch... but season 5 was when the show truly started the fast track down the decline hill.

 

I'm one of the few that actually liked the final season.. because the creators/EP's were forced out.. and the new showrunner slowed down the frenetic pace.. and finally got Lorelei/Emily off that annoying hamster wheel of fighting/making up.  Plus, Rory opting to choose herself and go on to start the next chapter was so much better than what Palladino originally wanted to do (and ended up doing at the end of the limited series).

 

I hated when they paired Rory with Logan in season 5 (and onward) who I found to be smug and very unlikeable. I thought he was an awful fit for her and that their relationship was unhealthy. I think that her relationship with him had a very negative impact on her and her behavior in later seasons.

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3 hours ago, Khan said:

 

ICAM.  Even Charlie's beginning narration for the final episode was laughable.  (Something like, "Once upon a time, there were three little girls.  Two were graduates of the police academy.  The third, a graduate of a school for models."  Say what?)

 

Instead of making her an ex-model, they should have had Julie come on as someone who had worked for the NYPD.  Even better, they could have introduced her as someone who had gone to the police academy with Tiffany and was now in L.A. to help the rest of the team track down her best friend's killer.  (Yes, I would have killed off Tiffany Welles.  Very few liked her, and killing her off would have satisfied viewers, provided a strong introduction story for Julie and put a twist on the whole "Oh, she just left town/entered the race car circuit/got married and impregnated" explanation.)

 

But I like Tiffany. 😞

 

I just don't think she was given a fair chance. Her debut episode was more about Kelly (my fave) instead of Tiffany. At least when Kris was brought on, her debut episode allowed her to shine. Same with Julie. I do think your suggestion for Julie would've been more interesting than what she did have. It would've at least been a change and shock seeing an angel end up murdered. 

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28 minutes ago, NothinButAttitude said:

But I like Tiffany.

 

I don't see how.  You said so yourself: they never developed her enough.  Moreover, Shelley Hack looked even more uncomfortable with "running and gunning" than did Farrah or Jaclyn (who was my favorite as well).

 

Someone (forget who) said that had Tanya Roberts joined "Charlie's Angels" one season earlier, the show might have lasted longer.

Edited by Khan

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Y'all, I love Charlie's Angels, and I don't turn away if I get a chance to watch a post-Kate episode, butttttttt I would've been fine with it ending after the third season. I never minded Tiffany, and the first time I ever came across reruns of the show as a kid, they were Julie reruns, but neither one could replace Sabrina. They tried with Tiffany. She was serious, she was all about the business, but she had none of Sabrina's wit and willingness to play to get the case solved. Julie was a different direction altogether, and the whole dynamic of the team was thrown out of whack.

Another show of the same era that limped along longer than it needed to - CHiPs. The "fun in the sun" lightweight 70s style was out by the time Larry Wilcox left, but then they tried to keep it going with the dumb ass Nelson brothers and a bunch of new secondary troopers. The only plus from that last season is the clip of Ponch disco dancing that was added to the opening.

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I did a quick review of this thread and saw no mention of Scandal. The first season was wild fun and somewhat innovative but it died on the altar of shipping. The show became all about Olivia and Fitz. Then once the B613 stuff got layered on top of it, the show quickly climbed up its own ass and turned into complete nonsense.

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8 minutes ago, marceline said:

I did a quick review of this thread and saw no mention of Scandal. The first season was wild fun and somewhat innovative but it died on the altar of shipping. The show became all about Olivia and Fitz. Then once the B613 stuff got layered on top of it, the show quickly climbed up its own ass and turned into complete nonsense.

Agreed.  The B613 took over the whole show.  I liked the first season or two where the focus was on solving a scandal.

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With allowing a little bit of time to pass, I will even say that the fun stuff on Scandal was the first three seasons...at least until Olivia was kidnapped. Then she became a whole other person from the take charge woman she started off as.

 

And her mother was BOSS.

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3 hours ago, Khan said:

 

I don't see how.  You said so yourself: they never developed her enough.  Moreover, Shelley Hack looked even more uncomfortable with "running and gunning" than did Farrah or Jaclyn (who was my favorite as well).

 

Someone (forget who) said that had Tanya Roberts joined "Charlie's Angels" one season earlier, the show might have lasted longer.

 

I enjoyed the poshness Tiffany possessed. Just the aura about her. I felt like she was a total opposite of Sabrina (who I love too). I just wish we knew more about her character outside of her dad being an old friend of Charlie's, hence why she was hired. 

 

 

Let me add another classic TV show I have been becoming obsessed with to the list--T.J. Hooker. Season 1 was good but didn't have that spark that the show had in seasons 2-4. The Shatner/Zmed/Lockclear/Darren dynamic is EVERYTHING. Again, a few years before my time, but I love it. I do think that CBS (who acquired the series at that time) not doing everything in their power to woo Zmed to stay killed the show. The presence without Romano was hard to replace. 

Edited by NothinButAttitude

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