Five of the Worst Subplots from the Best TV Shows

There are certain shows we love so much, we can often turn a blind eye to their faults. The ones I’m about to list here are some of my absolute favorite, and it’s hard to find many issues with any of them.

That said, if you remove your rose tinted glasses, often times there are certain subplots within these shows that leave something to be desired. Even if the show is usually top notch, it can stray when it doesn’t quite know what to do with its characters. Read on to see exactly what I mean.

24 – Kim Bauer and the Mountain Lion

This is the stupid subplot to end all stupid subplots, and the inspiration for this entire list. 24 is a pretty amazing show, at least in about six of its eight seasons, but what tarnished an otherwise excellent season two was that the show felt a need to include Kim Bauer, despite her having no relevance to the central plot.

Kim was a huge part of the first season, as her and her mother’s kidnapping were the inspiration for practically everything that unfolded. But in season two, they didn’t quite know what to do with her. They stuck her in the role of “time filler” where when babysitting a kid, she sees a husband murder his wife, and then flees then scene. If that wasn’t exciting enough, at one point she actually runs into a goddamn mountain lion. Seriously.

It’s one of the only times on the show where one of the subplots literally had NOTHING to do with the central storyline in any regard, other than Kim periodically calling her dad to ask what she should do. Eventually she kills the murderer while he’s on hold. What a Bauer. But yeah, terrible, terrible subplot.

Mad Men – Don’s Past

When Mad Men was first starting out, the showrunners apparently thought that witty dialogue, retro fashion and pretty faces wasn’t going to be quite enough to get people’s attention. That’s why for the first season or so, they decided to make Don’s past a mystery.

The plot path never seemed like it really belonged on the show, it’s like was ripped from Lost or something similar. Eventually, you discover that to escape his crappy life on a redneck farm, after the Korean War, he (then Dick Whitman) assumed the identity of a dead soldier he knew, Don Draper. This made him still technically married to Don’s wife, and the two had a platonic relationship where he paid her money and she was sort of his friend.

It’s not exactly the big dark secret they were building it up to be, and when Pete Campbell found out and was going to use it against him, everyone just sort of threw up their hands and said, “so what?” And now, the show rarely, if ever, mentions it at all.

Lost – WALT!

Speaking of Lost, I think we can all agree which plotline was the most annoying on the show. Lost was filled with great characters, and we filled in the gaps of their history with flashbacks for many seasons.

Walt and his father, Michael, could have had the potential to be great characters. Walt had some sort of weird powers that weren’t really explained, and when he went missing, it was one of the most gripping parts of the show.

But what followed was the endless annoyance of Michael being reduced to one line only (WALT!), and worse yet, Walt himself became one of the biggest loose ends in the show, which was full of unfinished plotlines by the end. We never learned why exactly Walt was so special, and when he did show up in later seasons, he literally did nothing. Wasted potential.

Game of Thrones – The Lord of Light

Yes, I’m even putting the beloved Game of Thrones in here, because I really just did not enjoy or understand Stannis Baratheon’s plotline this year.

There was so much hype about the next Baratheon brother, and he turned out to be…some gruff bald guy with no personality. Granted, having no personality is PART of personality on the show, but I really did not enjoy any of the scenes this year with him or Melisandre.

I understand magic is coming back in strange ways, but (spoilers) Melisandre’s demon vagina monster killing Renly has been the most bizarre moment of the show by far, and it made the only significant character death of the season a simply strange experience. Hopefully the pair of them become more interesting next year.

Arrested Development – Host vs. Graft

Yes, not even the holy grail of television is safe from this article. Practically every moment of Arrested Development is pure gold, but one joke plotline always stood out like sore thumb to me toward the end.

Tobias getting hair plugs was funny at first, especially when he tried to run a comb through them, but the resulting host vs. graft syndrome that followed where he grew long lush hair and became wheelchairbound as the life was drained from him was just…weird. It was a little out there, even for Arrested Development, and Tobias decaying and creeping everyone out was just uncomfortable, rather than funny.

That said, even a bad Arrested Development plotline is better than entire SEASONS of other comedies.


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