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When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 18 Feb 2016, 09:19
by dejost
I have watched a few TV shows. Considering how old I am, it could've been much more, but I also have other stuff to do.

In these years I have developed a theory about the life cycle of TV-shows:
In the first season the creators present the basic concept, their vision, but they are often holding back somehow - they do not know, how and what the viewers and the network will like, so they tend to tread lightly. If a show takes off, they pump all their best ideas into the next seasons and go all out. Happens often in season 2 und 3. Eventually they run out of the good ideas and have to resort to the mediocre (or even bad ones). This of course makes viewers and advertiser desert the show, so the show gets canceled. If the people who make a show know the next season is the last season, they often put a lot of effort into it, so they at least go out with bang.
So, as a rule of thumb, if a show has 5 seasons, the 4th usually is the worst.

If a show runs for much longer, their concept is so solid, that it an carry the show for a longer time or they just adapt the basic premise from time to time.

A few TV-Shows have been reviewed on already:
Flash Forward
There is only season which ends with a cliffhanger - they hoped for a second season, so my recommendation is: Do not watch.
Twin Peaks
It is only two seasons, and it is by David Lynch, so there is nothing "usual" about it.
Star Trek: Enterprise
This show never really took off (pun intended). But Season 1 is even more uninspired and boring than the others, and the last season is not very good either.

Re: When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 18 Feb 2016, 09:26
by dejost
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Let's face it, Buffy is awesome. If you want to keep only positive memory of this show, I would strongly recommend quitting after Season 4. If you really cannot, watch Season 5. If you still not able to stop, skip Season 6 except Episode 7 (Once more with feeling) completely and go directly to Season 7. It's not, that Season 6 is that bad, it is just worse than the rest of the show and mostly very depressing. (Episode 7 is a very good example of that).

Re: When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 18 Feb 2016, 13:02
by dejost
My Name Is Earl

Close to the end of Season 3, there is a wedding. I recommend stopping watching this show there and then, because it is a much better ending than the actual one.
You can watch Season 3 till the end, but as I said, the wedding is the best available ending.
(Season 4 is the worst season, and it ends with a lot of plot twisting and cliffhanging. End with Season 3).

Re: When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 12 Apr 2018, 18:38
by dejost
There are 3 seasons, but Netflix has only 2 at this time.

Each season is self-contained and has 8 episodes a 50min.

Season 1 deals with a murder in the small town of Broadchurch, the police investigation and how it affects the life of those involved.

Season 2 deals with the trial of the first murder and another, older murder, and how life goes on for many of the characters of season 1.

So far, Season 1 is by far superior. Only keep watching if you just cannot get enough (or have a lot of time).


Season 1 is clearly the best.
Season 2 is the worst (but it is not bad, just not that good).

One could skip Season 2, the only event from Season 2 which is relevant for understanding Season 3 (and is not obvious or repeated) is how the verdict of the trial of Season 2.
[+] Heavy spoiler for Season 2
The murderer of Season 1 was acquitted.

Re: When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 31 Aug 2018, 19:45
by trenda
I prefer shows with less than 3-4 seasons, unless they are based on a good book series, those have a better chance to have quality plot +dialogue most of the time.

Re: When to start and when to stop - tips for TV-shows

Posted: 13 Nov 2018, 09:24
by jellyfish
I love the idea of this discussion and I absolutely know the feeling of thinking "I should have stopped watching after the last season" but at the same time, if I am really fascinated by a show then I would never be strong enough to just leave out the last season, even if everybody told me it sucked :D So I really admire someone who is strong enough to do that;)