Seven Shows That Peaked In Season One

24-cast-season1.jpg

Looking back on my favorite shows over the years, I noticed a trait that many of them had in common: that their first season was their best.

Now, that’s not to say that many of these shows didn’t go on to be pretty great after that, but they never quite matched their initial impression. I’ve compiled a list of shows I feel meet that description below, and I should note that no, I don’t include one season wonders like Firefly or Freaks and Geeks. Also, to answer your question, EVERY season of Arrested Development is perfect.

Lost

lost.jpg

I think sometimes we all forget that going into Lost, we all though it was just another “castaways on an island adventure.” Season one created new mystery after new mystery, and is perhaps quite literally the most addictive season of television ever created, almost unfairly so.

It’s hard to believe that the greatest mystery on Lost was once “what’s the in hatch?” but it goes to show how far the show has come since then. I think the show as a whole will be legendary for decades to come when it’s all over with, but each season since hasn’t quite lived up to the non-stop genius, suspense and madness that was season one.

24

24.jpg

Man, look at that picture. I feel like I’m looking at a carphone or a cassette player to see each of those characters look so dated. Premiering mere months after 9/11, 24 captured America’s attention with it’s real-time format and non-stop action. Season one’s straightforward plot (relatively speaking) which had Jack Bauer blackmailed into assassinating the president was one of the most gripping seasons of a show in history, and I will never forget the last ten minutes of the season to this day.

24 has had its ups and downs, but nothing has lived up to season one, eight years later. I blame the show’s format for forcing too many twists and turns and a constant upping of the ante as seasons stacked threats on top of threats in order to remain “exciting.”

The OC

the-oc.jpg

I will say with my dying breath that season one of The OC might be some of the best television ever filmed. It was smart, funny and emotionally gripping, and it was something to look forward to each and every week like clockwork.

But from where it started to where it ended, The OC is something of a tragedy. As great as season one was, that’s how thoroughly awful season four was, and the show consistently sagged in the middle. I don’t really think it should have gone past one season, but good ratings will tend to alter things like that.

Smallville

smallville.jpeg

When Smallvile first debuted nearly a decade ago, it was a pretty revolutionary pop culture phenomenon. Seeing Clark Kent as an awkward teen put a human face on Superman that we’d never seen before. His adventures in his Kansas high school were funny, endearing and action-packed when the situation called for it, and it was a blast to watch Clark discover his powers one by one.

But ten years later, looking at where the show is now, it’s utterly ridiculous. Nearly every DC comics character ever created has made a cameo on the show, Kryptonite mutation has been beaten like a dead horse, and even show regulars like Lex Luthor don’t want to keep coming back. It’s time to let the boy (now clearly a man) fly, and let the show go.

Dexter

dexter.jpg

I maintain that each and every season of Dexter manages to retain some sort of plot brilliance. I was skeptical all throughout season four, that this Trinity Killer plot would be a bore, but it resulted in one of the more satisfying season finales I’ve ever seen.

But the genius of the show has shown no brighter than in the first season where Dexter hunts the ice truck killer, learns his origin and of his relation to the man he’s pursuing. It was a brilliant arc worthy of some sort of Greek tragedy, and it put Dexter on the map, making it into the hit it is today.

Heroes

heroes.JPG

I wasn’t as ga-ga over season one of Heroes as everyone else was, but I do have to state the obvious that it was way, way better than all subsequent seasons, which I honestly cannot believe are still going at this point. There was a clear villain (the mysterious Sylar), a clear mission (stop the exploding man) and the show never felt like it didn’t know where it was going.

But as it turned out, the season ended with a whimper, and the whole mantra of “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” turned out to bullshit, as it later became clear Claire could never actually die at all. Subsequent seasons devolved into absurd plots and random character tangents that could never match the fluidity of season one.

Prison Break

prison-break.jpg

Prison Break has to be the most obvious show to mention on the list here, because it simply was never meant to run for more than one season, hence its goddamn title. The first season of the show was very smart, with Michael Scoffield’s plan to escape riveting to watch at every turn.

But once they escaped and Prison Break became Prison Broke, the show ceased to be anything remotely close to what it was, and it was relegated to shelving Scoffield’s brilliant plotting abilities, only bringing it out on rare occasions to fight some evil corporation that never did end up making any sense.


113 Comments

  1. NY not NYC April 2, 2010
  2. J5 April 2, 2010
  3. Madison April 2, 2010
  4. Sam April 2, 2010
  5. Josh April 2, 2010
  6. Lagrange April 2, 2010
  7. Ellie April 2, 2010
  8. Snoowy April 2, 2010
  9. joe April 2, 2010
  10. Hector April 2, 2010
  11. skikes April 2, 2010
  12. Drester April 2, 2010
  13. JohnnyIgaloo April 2, 2010
  14. Ryan A April 2, 2010
  15. Lt. Brannigan April 3, 2010
  16. jayhawk April 3, 2010
  17. Brandon April 3, 2010
  18. Ellie April 3, 2010
  19. Ken April 3, 2010
  20. Jon April 3, 2010
  21. Bob April 3, 2010
  22. Dave April 3, 2010
  23. Number9 April 3, 2010
  24. Owl April 3, 2010
  25. robert paulson April 3, 2010
  26. Patrick April 3, 2010
  27. Atul Kash April 3, 2010
  28. Emory April 3, 2010
  29. Matt April 3, 2010
  30. ummm ok April 3, 2010
  31. Matthew April 3, 2010
  32. Janine April 3, 2010
  33. Charles April 3, 2010
  34. Jeff April 3, 2010
  35. dave goossen April 3, 2010
  36. Laura April 3, 2010
  37. Elle April 3, 2010
  38. majorvol April 3, 2010
  39. Pingback: Vota Articolo April 3, 2010
  40. chelsea April 3, 2010
  41. Huff April 3, 2010
  42. craig April 3, 2010
  43. Pingback: Traduire RSS April 4, 2010
  44. David April 4, 2010
  45. wad April 4, 2010
  46. Frederick April 5, 2010
  47. Phil April 5, 2010
  48. ChristianH April 5, 2010
  49. Jason April 5, 2010
  50. John W April 6, 2010
  51. Sam April 6, 2010
  52. gunnertec April 6, 2010
  53. Youforgotbreakingbad April 6, 2010
  54. DemonWaterPolo April 6, 2010
  55. C April 6, 2010
  56. jaromir April 7, 2010
  57. randomname April 8, 2010
  58. iThink April 9, 2010
  59. TheKid April 12, 2010
  60. Gor April 21, 2010
  61. BigBadBob April 22, 2010
  62. ol April 22, 2010
  63. LP April 24, 2010
  64. Professor Farnsworth April 26, 2010
  65. TLX April 26, 2010
  66. Mike April 28, 2010
  67. Erik April 29, 2010
  68. Salome April 29, 2010
  69. Reynaldo April 29, 2010
  70. Reynaldo April 29, 2010
  71. selena April 30, 2010
  72. me May 1, 2010
  73. Josh Emerson May 3, 2010
  74. Moo May 3, 2010
  75. Felix Vasquez Jr. May 5, 2010
  76. Joe May 15, 2010
  77. iamtheangel.com July 13, 2010
  78. Jade July 16, 2010
  79. Bruce October 26, 2010
  80. Edutilos January 8, 2011
  81. Alex April 28, 2011
  82. Matt June 29, 2011
  83. Brian August 18, 2011
  84. Hooper August 26, 2011
  85. Tucker September 15, 2011
  86. Dave September 21, 2011
  87. R.Pgh September 21, 2011
  88. A-Train September 21, 2011
  89. bfg666 September 22, 2011
  90. bfg666 September 23, 2011
  91. Lauren November 4, 2011
  92. easy November 10, 2011
  93. Tania November 24, 2011
  94. Amy February 29, 2012
  95. Jake April 1, 2012
  96. Breaux April 2, 2012
  97. Janice April 9, 2012
  98. Archie Leach April 21, 2012
  99. Aditi June 3, 2012
  100. Deezy June 4, 2012
  101. FishBiscuits September 3, 2012
  102. Liam Donaghy September 20, 2012
  103. James Nelson September 25, 2012
    • AnimeJoe April 18, 2015
  104. James Nelson September 25, 2012
  105. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully In All 57 States October 7, 2012
  106. Icon December 1, 2012
  107. Bill January 18, 2013
  108. Paul Wankums February 26, 2013
  109. Josh March 9, 2013
  110. sirgregory April 11, 2013
  111. Charles May 7, 2013
  112. Roxton August 19, 2013
  113. Phillip Bauer May 1, 2014
  114. Nick C. March 17, 2015

Add Comment