30 TV Shows That Started Off Amazing, But Ended Up Disappointing Fans

Published 7 months ago

These days getting into a TV show comes with its own blast of anxiety. Will the acting be awful? Will the show get cancelled? Will the writers go on strike and we’ll never know the outcome? Will the writers change midway through ruining the whole experience altogether turning it into a blithering mess? 

Reddit user SourceOfAnger recently inquired online which TV shows showed great promise at the beginning but turned out to be total garbage by the end. Many disappointed fans vented their opinions and we have to admit some of these series that have been named really resonate. But check it out for yourself and decide, so scroll below for the list to see whether you agree or disagree. 

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#1 GOT

Image source: AlexandriaRealtor, HBO

I think most people will tell you Game of Thrones was great until the last season.


Directors literally saw what people wanted from the ending and said Nah we don’t want to be predictable. Ruined the series for me.

#2 Lost.

Image source: RingarrTheBarbarian, ABC

It’s clear that the fandom guessed what the island was by the first season and instead of leaning into it they kept adding mystery upon mystery to keep the audience guessing. At the end what the hell was it about? Some smoke monster thats acutally a guy or the devil or whatever and island magic. It’s the reason why I refuse to watch anything by Abrams or Lindeloff.

#3 The Big Bang Theory.

Image source: The_Law_of_Pizza, CBS

It actually started out as a show with a lot of nerdy in-jokes.

Over the seasons, it has morphed into literally a mockery of its former self.

A typical joke punchline used to be a callback to some obscure comic fact.

Now the joke punchline is that the character reads comics.

#4 That 70’s show. The earliest seasons were so great but with each new season the show just went downhill. Especially the final season, god i hated the writers and the director for ruining the show

Image source: Sirenmerm

#5 Showing my age a bit, but *The X Files.*

At first, it was a cool “Monster of the Week” show, and then it started going more into a “Vast Alien Conspiracy” plot, which was also really interesting. Then, after a few seasons of watching to see how things played out, you started to realize that the writers didn’t have any idea where they were going with the plot, and everything just fell apart.

Image source: Wadsworth_McStumpy

#6 Dexter is my absolute favorite show of all time but good god season 8 was s**t. The revival has been so much better.

Image source: Drillucidator, Showtime


Dexter introduced me to the concept of hate-watching. I loved the first two seasons, but Season 3 fell way off, then season 4 was great, then seasons 5 and 6 were dogs**t and I started hate-watching. The old AV Club used to do episode recaps and the comments section was so funny ripping apart the episodes.

Season 7 had some good moments but dropped off, then season 8 was an utter abomination.

#7 Altered Carbon. Loved the first season but really didn’t enjoy season 2.


“Our main character is almost TOO good. Let’s swap out for a different one!”

Image source: thelovecats2000

#8 Heroes. Season 1 was amazing but it went downhill fast after that.

Image source: EeJoannaGee, NBC


The writer’s strike ruined a lot of shows at the time. I didn’t hate seasons 2 & 3, but I am comfortable never watching them again for the rest of my life.

#9 For me, personally, it has to be Stranger Things… I loved the first season, but I could not get into the second season at all… After the first 4 episodes, I just gave up disappointed. I’ll get my share of downvotes for this opinion, I’m sure.

Image source: Doji_Coin, Netflix


I thought I was alone on this! I totally agree. That first season was pitch-perfect. Once season 1 ended, I remember thinking the Duffer Bros had the cred to do just about anything they wanted to, and couldn’t wait to see what new thing they would do…and then they just proceeded to rehash Stranger Things for two more seasons.

#10 Westworld

Season 1 was perfect, an amalgamation of mystery, action, drama, twists and turns, exceptional writing, and the perfect amount of existentialism.

Season 2 was good as well but not nearly as good. Much like season 1, they repeated a ton of scenes which makes sense in the story but by that point it was becoming tiring.

Season 3, I didn’t even finish cause of how boring it was. Continually rehashed old plot points, leaned WAY too much into the idea of “what is consciousness,” and hardly took place in Westworld.

There are leaks of season 4 and they’re STILL repeating scenes from SEASON 1!!

Image source: Nacho_7258

#11 The Simpsons.

How the hell is that show still on.

Image source: twofeetcia

#12 Sleepy Hollow, first season was fantastic, absolutely made sense that they got renewed only two or three episodes in. The whole premise was highly engaging and enjoyable, Icabod dealing with the 21st century, the monsters, the whole overreaching plot hooked you from the start.

Then… Second season was a little rough, but still enjoyable.

I didn’t even finish the third season, and once I heard that Abbie was killed, fourth season had no interest. The whole point was them being fated to be partners against the coming apocalypse!!! You can’t just kill off one of them and then just hand wave in another partner and act like that’s all fine and dandy when instead you established in the first couple episodes that it can only be them.

I’ve yet to rewatch the first season because I just remember how disappointed I was seeing where it went and how it ultimately ended.

Image source: NavyRoses1105

#13 The Walking Dead. It had the potential to be such a good show, but I finally gave up like season 5 or 6, which was probably a lot more than I should have given it.

Image source: -eDgAR-, AMC Studios


It started off as a great show and then just became a rinse and repeat of ‘Oh, there is another group of human survivors. We’ll clash and then kill each other.

#14 Well, How I Met Your Mother was a fantastic show up until literally the very last episode. Talk about ruining something great.

Image source: AlexandriaRealtor, 20th Century Fox Television


I actually got angry at this… I mean literally the build up was perfect they meet and we’ve seen all the love they have shared and then… HA, she died Ted’s gonna go hook up with Robin again… WHAT!

#15 Almost every cw superhero show. Flash and Arrow had amazing first seasons. Then they slowly got worse and worse until they were complete garbage.

Image source: Jaycro123, The CW

#16 Misfits… Nathan Leaving started the decline, and when the last of the original 5 went it was dead in the water.

Image source: LondonDude123, E4

#17 Orange Is The New Black just kind of… fell off.

Image source: yeniza, Lionsgate Television


After Poussey died, they should have just ended it. Depressing ending, but also very fitting since it’s about an American prison.


Once I got to the season where they kind of over run the prison, and they started making the really cheesy jokes, I just stopped watching. Like every single scene was ending on a joke you feel you should here the trombone hitting the wahhh wahhhhhhhhh with.

#18 American Gods.

Image source: bellaswine, Starz

It started out amazing and really kept me invested for the first 2 seasons! But it fell way off after Orlando left and then I just kept hearing terrible things about how it was behind the scenes. The show had a lot of potential and they got screwed horribly.

#19 Grey’s Anatomy. The first few seasons were interesting and it went downhill after a few seasons. Kept watching in the hopes it would get better… It didn’t.

Image source: Which_Reveal5674, ABC

#20 How to Get Away with Murder. So much potential initially, but it all dissolved into nonsense and elongating the series for absolutely no reason. Such a shame.

Image source: thisisavailablee, ABC


It was very clearly a show with a formula that they stuck with WAY too hard. It’s one thing to have a similar plot, it’s another thing to literally copy/paste every plot point at the same point in each season 5 times in a row.

#21 True Blood. First two seasons were good but something happened where it just became an absolute dumpster fire.

Image source: napping_insomniac, HBO


The first two seasons stayed pretty close to the books, then as the show went on, strayed from the source material. I think that’s why it went downhill.

#22 Supernatural.

Image source: forman98, Warner Bros. Television

The first 2 seasons are great, the 3rd-5th seasons are really good and expand on the first 2 seasons. Then the 6th through 15th seasons are just bland and uninspired and not even campy. The first third of the series is great, but the other two-thirds turned out to be garbage. I didn’t even finish watching the final season, I just read the synopsis and wasn’t surprised at how dumb it ended.

#23 Riverdale. That s**t went absolute bonkers.

Image source: deltaretrovirus, Warner Bros. Television Studios


I enjoyed it for how utterly absurd it was. A show about teenagers growing up in small town America.

Except there’s gang turfwars, Mafiosi, suicide pacts, people faking their death, illegal fight clubs, serial killers, legitimate business ownership, children with way more money and influence than they should realistically have, secret societies, underground bunkers, and Dungeons and Dragons.

Every episode you’re surprised with something new that still somehow manages to be even more moronic than what came before.

#24 Pretty Little Liars. It started as a fun concept and fun show to watch. The writing and plot line went downhill within the first few seasons, it because repetitive and all over the place, I still refuse to watch the last season because the writing became terrible.

Image source: olive_us_here, Warner Horizon Television

And can we all agree that the Aria/Ezra plot line was so gross, unneeded, and inappropriate?!

#25 The Blacklist. The concept is amazing but it quickly falls into a repetition of the same episode plots over and over, just like every other network cop/crime show.

Image source: Mr_Good_Taste, NBC

#26 Once Upon a Time. I can’t get over the fact that characters kept switching sides, as though all the work they’d done to build trust and establish relationships was suddenly meaningless, or suddenly the betrayal that the character made a few episodes before didn’t matter, they were redeemed by virtue of the fact that they simply wanted to come back to the good guys again.

Image source: NovusMagister, ABC

That level of relationship fluidity was so unrealistic that it broke the immersion of the show for me… a show about fairy tale characters come to life…

#27 The Handmaid’s Tale. Season One was possibly the best drama show on TV at the time. Now, it’s literally a s**t show.

Image source: jwelshuk, MGM Television


I think a lot of that is because the first season (mostly) followed the plot of the book and ended exactly where the book did (minus the epilogue in the book) and that ambiguity is so perfect for the world. Subsequent seasons were definitely far worse off for it.

#28 Vikings.

Image source: FreudianFloydian, MGM Television

Awesome stroryline, great characters, touched on old religious and philosophical themes, great battle sequences etc. Great show.

But after season 3 something happened with the writing. Season 4 was split into two parts through the year. That was weird. 4B came out and it was clear the show was slipping. After that it just fell apart with story, character arcs, motives….it just sank.

#29 The Fairly OddParents it was an amazing kids show at one point even beating spongebob in viewers but it dropped the ball after puff was introduced then when they added the dog and the annoying girl and ruined it.

Image source: AccidentOk4378

#30 True Detective. Season 1 was best. Top of the class. But subsequent seasons were average.

Image source: IR-x86, HBO


IIRC the first season was a project the writer had worked on and slowly perfected for years, and then once it came out and was a huge hit they expected him to do the same thing again in a fraction of the time.
So he tried a completely new storyline for 2 which bombed, then went back and recycled a lot of 1’s stuff for 3, which did better but still wasn’t as good as 1.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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bad TV, garbage TV, TV, tv series, tv shows, writers
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