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Author Topic: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally  (Read 4319 times)

Stephane Dumas

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2019, 06:38:48 PM »

Those that I can think of at the moment:

Sabrina, The Teenage Witch-It went downhill after Season 4 and even then, S4 was bordeline. Seasons 5, 6, & 7 sucked, especially S7. The ending is the only saving grace in S7. The first three seasons were the best.


I think also the network switch from ABC to the WB didn't helped things either.

I can also add Sesame Street to the list. Some blame it on the theme song redone in the early 1990s or the big focus on Elmo while others point to the death of actor Will Lee who performed the role of Mr. Hopper and more recently the switch from PBS to HBO.

The case of the 1967-70 Spider-man cartoon is a bit special, some hated the later seasons supervised by Ralph Bakshi because it was less close to the comics and we got episodes like "Cold Storage" along with "Phantom from the Depths of time", "Revolt in the Fifth Dimension" who used footage from the cartoon Rocket Robin Hood! But others liked it with the musical soundtrack and the psychedelic background used.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2019, 08:38:49 PM »

The Flintstones changed in the latter part of the third season with the birth of Pebbles, then continuing with the adoption of Bamm-Bamm a season later.  At first, the show was a prehistoric take on The Honeymooners and was more popular with adults.  Then, there were more family-based storylines, making it popular with younger people.  Different, but not necessarily for the worse; it all depends on what you like.

Even the sponsor noted this shift.  The show's primary sponsor was Winston cigarettes when it was all adults.  I think it was when Wilma became pregnant with Pebbles (they never said the word, and it didn't "show" much) the sponsor shifted to Welch's jelly.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2019, 09:17:28 PM »

Once Upon a Time - it started as a show about fairytale characters trapped in our world with no memories of who they were, but with season 2 onwards when they regain their memories and magic is brought over, the show developed a kudzu plot and just got weirder as time went on.  Exactly where it becomes bad varies by person.  At least every season ender (except season 2) could easily function as a series finale with a few minor scene deletions/edits, making ignoring the rest fortunately easy.  This is particularly pronounced with season 6, where the last episode clearly acts as a series finale save for a couple of scenes setting up season 7 which aren't even remotely related to the entire rest of the plot.  Season 7 is basically a soft reboot, and the actual season finale (which looks like it was intended to be an 8th season, compressed down to an hour) turns the weirdness up to 11.

- Star Trek:Enterprise.  Originally just a solid reboot of the original ST, more or less, it went off on a 9/11 themed tangent and never recovered.
Interesting... most fans don't like seasons 1-2 (which tried to be retro version of TNG), are divided about season 3 (the 9/11 tangent), and love season 4.

I’m glad that the show is finally coming to an end this year (Jim Parsons would agree as he initiated the show’s sudden cancellation due to not wanting a pay raise as part of a new contract), but we are all wondering what would replace the show on Thursday nights at 8:00 P.M. ET. It used to air at 9:30 P.M. ET on Monday nights after Two and a Half Men but that didn’t last long after only three consecutive seasons.
I'm guessing Young Sheldon, assuming that's continuing on.  Interestingly, they had a Fam double feature a couple weeks ago, which makes me wonder if they're testing it out for a potential move to 8:30 next year.
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kevinb1994

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2019, 10:26:38 PM »

Once Upon a Time - it started as a show about fairytale characters trapped in our world with no memories of who they were, but with season 2 onwards when they regain their memories and magic is brought over, the show developed a kudzu plot and just got weirder as time went on.  Exactly where it becomes bad varies by person.  At least every season ender (except season 2) could easily function as a series finale with a few minor scene deletions/edits, making ignoring the rest fortunately easy.  This is particularly pronounced with season 6, where the last episode clearly acts as a series finale save for a couple of scenes setting up season 7 which aren't even remotely related to the entire rest of the plot.  Season 7 is basically a soft reboot, and the actual season finale (which looks like it was intended to be an 8th season, compressed down to an hour) turns the weirdness up to 11.

- Star Trek:Enterprise.  Originally just a solid reboot of the original ST, more or less, it went off on a 9/11 themed tangent and never recovered.
Interesting... most fans don't like seasons 1-2 (which tried to be retro version of TNG), are divided about season 3 (the 9/11 tangent), and love season 4.

I’m glad that the show is finally coming to an end this year (Jim Parsons would agree as he initiated the show’s sudden cancellation due to not wanting a pay raise as part of a new contract), but we are all wondering what would replace the show on Thursday nights at 8:00 P.M. ET. It used to air at 9:30 P.M. ET on Monday nights after Two and a Half Men but that didn’t last long after only three consecutive seasons.
I'm guessing Young Sheldon, assuming that's continuing on.  Interestingly, they had a Fam double feature a couple weeks ago, which makes me wonder if they're testing it out for a potential move to 8:30 next year.

Again we will have to wait until the next fall schedule is published by CBS. That’s actually what might happen, though.
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jp the roadgeek

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2019, 02:31:44 AM »

Spin City jumped the shark when Michael J. Fox had to leave due to his Parkinson's Disease.  Unfortunately, they replaced him with Charlie Sheen and the show went downhill from there.


And speaking of Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men went to hell in a handbasket when he had his breakdown and had to be replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

And in keeping with the original Jump the Shark, Happy Days changed over the years.  The show started by focusing on the friendship of Richie and Potsie.  During the first season, Fonzie was a bit character, and Henry Winkler wasn't even included in the opening credits.  After the first couple of seasons, Fonzie became the breakout character, and Potsie was relegated to a minor character often paired with Ralph Malph.  Once Ron Howard left, Fonzie became the main character. 
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2019, 09:34:48 AM »

And in keeping with the original Jump the Shark, Happy Days changed over the years.  The show started by focusing on the friendship of Richie and Potsie.  During the first season, Fonzie was a bit character, and Henry Winkler wasn't even included in the opening credits.  After the first couple of seasons, Fonzie became the breakout character, and Potsie was relegated to a minor character often paired with Ralph Malph.  Once Ron Howard left, Fonzie became the main character.
Also, at some point, they stopped bothering with the fact that it was supposed to be set in the 50s (maybe 60s towards the end?) - Ted McGinley in particular was sporting some pretty 70s hair during his tenure on the show.
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SP Cook

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2019, 11:18:48 AM »

Happy Days - I actually met one of the writers of the "Jump The Shark" episode at a part in Miami a couple of months ago.  He is now probably in his late 70s and is a pretty good Jewish comic.

I agree that the show pretty quickly gave up on the whole 50s theme, other than some background cars and music, it was done as current day show.  Same with Laverne & Shirley. 

The show is probably the epitome of one that held on way too long, as the "Jump The Shark" was the first part of season 5 and it ran for 11 seasons, the first 9 still getting good ratings, it transformed to an "against type" show.  Where the main character, Fonzie, would do things that were against his character's nature.  Problem is you can only do that so many times before the character's nature is no longer what it was.  Which is why I am glad to see BBT come to an end, because it is becoming the same thing, with the lead character breaking down and going against what he was established to be.

Two & a Half Men - It is really two different shows.  CBS had a popular show whose main character had a public meltdown and just reworked a new show with the same support characters and set, but with a totally different subject.
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2019, 11:45:36 AM »

I agree that the show pretty quickly gave up on the whole 50s theme, other than some background cars and music, it was done as current day show.  Same with Laverne & Shirley.
Same with That 70s Show, as some of its actors became stars.  I believe L&S went so far as to have a spinoff (I believe it was Carmine's) that was inexplicably set in the present day, but without the character (or actor) having aged a day.

Where the main character, Fonzie, would do things that were against his character's nature.  Problem is you can only do that so many times before the character's nature is no longer what it was.
Sometimes sitcoms do character growth over the life of the show well, sometimes not. I understand M*A*S*H* did character growth well.
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Rothman

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2019, 12:05:53 PM »

I dunno.  That 70s Show still stuck to the 1970s setting and themes even in its later seasons.
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2019, 12:13:04 PM »

I dunno.  That 70s Show still stuck to the 1970s setting and themes even in its later seasons.
Maybe it was the use of verbal anachronisms, then.  I don't remember, I wasn't a regular viewer.
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KeithE4Phx

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2019, 01:57:21 PM »

- Drew Carey.  Another stand up comic show, with Carey as a low level functionary in a store's back office with some quirky friends, it went way off, turning into an group of people making beer in their basement, having fantastic story lines, and Carey dating a woman 40 years older than him.

The Drew Carey Show went completely off the rails in Seasons 8 and 9, when Christa Miller left to join the cast of Scrubs (her husband's show).  Cynthia Watros had no chemistry with the rest of the cast whatsoever, plus the change in work environment (same building, different store) was a turn-off. 

Carey knew the show was done, and didn't want to do Season 9, but ABC held him to his contract.
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2019, 02:34:34 PM »

- Drew Carey.  Another stand up comic show, with Carey as a low level functionary in a store's back office with some quirky friends, it went way off, turning into an group of people making beer in their basement, having fantastic story lines, and Carey dating a woman 40 years older than him.

The Drew Carey Show went completely off the rails in Seasons 8 and 9, when Christa Miller left to join the cast of Scrubs (her husband's show).  Cynthia Watros had no chemistry with the rest of the cast whatsoever, plus the change in work environment (same building, different store) was a turn-off. 

Carey knew the show was done, and didn't want to do Season 9, but ABC held him to his contract.
I think I quit watching the show around when Oswald and Lewis were both dating Diane Farr for some reason.  Then I learned Winfred-Lauder went out of business and a dot-com took over the space, but they hired Drew for some reason, and I lost interest in tuning back in.  Although maybe it would have been worth it for a pre-It's Always Sunny Kaitlin Olson, who knows.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2019, 02:58:22 PM »

I agree that the show pretty quickly gave up on the whole 50s theme, other than some background cars and music, it was done as current day show.  Same with Laverne & Shirley.
Regarding Laverne & Shirley; by the show's fourth season (1978-1979), many of the outdoor scenes aside from their building & the Pizza Bowl were showing late 60s/early 70s vintage cars.  One Season 5 (1979-1980) episode showed a '70 Buick Skylark parked next to a building.  Given that the series setting was still the early 60s and cars changed style styles more often back then; showing a 1970 vintage car for a 1962-63 setting indeed sticks out like a sore thumb.

Personally, moving the show's setting & cast from Milwaukee to Burbank in Season 6 (1980-1981) was when I stopped watching the show.  It lost it's original feel/flavoring.

One show that my now-late-mother & I thought that started out good but went south in later years was Person of Interest.  In the early years, the show focused on four or five main characters.  In later seasons, the show's theme, plots & related-additional characters were all-over-the-map making such hard to follow; especially if one missed an episode or two.

it took a major ratings hit in Season 5 (1979-1980)for me it was when everybody moved from Milwaukee to California
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2019, 03:16:22 PM »

Personally, moving the show's setting & cast from Milwaukee to Burbank in Season 6 (1980-1981) was when I stopped watching the show.  It lost it's original feel/flavoring.
Did that and Cindy Williams' departure happen at the same time?  I remember a version of the opening credits where some girls did the chant while Penny Marshall looked on and smiled, set in California?
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Big John

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #39 on: February 07, 2019, 03:30:49 PM »

Personally, moving the show's setting & cast from Milwaukee to Burbank in Season 6 (1980-1981) was when I stopped watching the show.  It lost it's original feel/flavoring.
Did that and Cindy Williams' departure happen at the same time?  I remember a version of the opening credits where some girls did the chant while Penny Marshall looked on and smiled, set in California?
They were in Burbank for the final 3 years, and Shirley left early in the last year.
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SP Cook

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2019, 03:54:12 PM »


Regarding Laverne & Shirley; by the show's fourth season (1978-1979), many of the outdoor scenes aside from their building & the Pizza Bowl were showing late 60s/early 70s vintage cars.  One Season 5 (1979-1980) episode showed a '70 Buick Skylark parked next to a building.

You can make a huge list of out of time things in TV and movies.  Which brings up the 1970s Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show.  The first season was set during WWII, which was when the Wonder Woman comic was at its height.  It did OK, but the costs of all the 1940s costumes, cars, and sets were too high, so for the next two years they moved it to the present, saying that Wonder Woman did not age and everybody else were the children of the previous season's characters, and turned her into an agent of a CIA like agency.

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2019, 06:03:37 PM »

I can also add Sesame Street to the list. Some blame it on the theme song redone in the early 1990s or the big focus on Elmo while others point to the death of actor Will Lee who performed the role of Mr. Hopper and more recently the switch from PBS to HBO.

They stopping doing that one in 1998. I remember watching Sesame Street with a more classic-sounding version of the theme song that they did from 1998 to around 2007 when they changed everything up.


I can't remember which version I watched but I think I watched the second version, because I was around 5-6 when I watched it at the time. Honestly those versions are my favorite. The 2007 one sounds much worse than the one I watched as well as the 90s calypso version from before I started watching Sesame Street. I consider myself lucky, because 90s and early 2000s kids seem to have grown up in a good era of kids shows.
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Ben114

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2019, 09:03:52 PM »

Us early 2000s kids got lucky with these shows. I remember sitting there daily watching the Nick cartoons, like the good ones, SpongeBob (still on air after almost 20 years), The Fairly OddParents (anyone remember that, I believe they took a break making that and then they reintroduced it with this weird girl to make the show 20 times worse), and that's all I remember right now.

Today's kids shows are definitely changed from 10-15 years ago.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2019, 10:38:07 PM »

My mom used to watch 'Dallas' all the time. I was in the room when my mom watched the episode where Patrick Duffy said, "It was a dream, a horrible dream." That was about the dumbest moment in TV history, and I think my mom stopped watching 'Dallas' after that.
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bandit957

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2019, 10:39:14 PM »

Somehow I knew 'Sesame Street' was going to be mentioned.
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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2019, 10:42:35 PM »

Somehow I knew 'Sesame Street' was going to be mentioned.

I did, too, but I expected you to be the first one to mention it.
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abefroman329

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #46 on: February 08, 2019, 08:47:12 AM »

That was about the dumbest moment in TV history
Only until it was surpassed by the finale of How I Met Your Mother.
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Rothman

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #47 on: February 08, 2019, 08:58:08 AM »

Us early 2000s kids got lucky with these shows. I remember sitting there daily watching the Nick cartoons, like the good ones, SpongeBob (still on air after almost 20 years), The Fairly OddParents (anyone remember that, I believe they took a break making that and then they reintroduced it with this weird girl to make the show 20 times worse), and that's all I remember right now.

Today's kids shows are definitely changed from 10-15 years ago.
Actually, I consider today's kids unlucky without Mister Rogers.
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Rothman

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #48 on: February 08, 2019, 08:59:36 AM »

My mom used to watch 'Dallas' all the time. I was in the room when my mom watched the episode where Patrick Duffy said, "It was a dream, a horrible dream." That was about the dumbest moment in TV history, and I think my mom stopped watching 'Dallas' after that.
I thought there was one season where his character died and the woman he was sleeping with woke up in the first episode of the next season to see him in the shower.
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bandit957

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Re: TV Shows that started out good and toward the end it changed totally
« Reply #49 on: February 08, 2019, 09:04:03 AM »

I don't understand why 'Mister Rogers' and 'Electric Company' reruns aren't still being shown. I also don't understand why old 'Sesame Street' sketches aren't still being shown.

I remember an old 'Sesame Street' sketch that shows scenes of kids playing, followed by adults working in a similar occupation or career. It was accompanied by a catchy music bed with horns. I forgot about it until I found it on YouTube recently. I don't know why 'Sesame Street' doesn't still show it.
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