Shows that started bad and got better:
1) Big Bang Theory
The first season of this show is AWFUL. I cannot stand to watch it. The show just hadn't hit its stride. There was too much Leonard and Penny and not enough Sheldon. The jokes just weren't funny. The dynamic wasn't there yet. Then, second season, the show was great. Penny was more involved in the group and there was way more Sheldon. The show worked so much better. Season three continued improving in the same way. Here's hoping season four is just as good! (with lots of Sheldon! And his girlfriend!)
I love Friends. It is easily my favourite show of all time. But even I can admit it has faults, the biggest being the first two seasons. They just aren't entertaining. I mean, Ross and Rachel are sweet, but the show wasn't funny. I have rewatched season 3-10 hundreds of times. I have only watched season 1 and 2 once, just to find out what happened. Friends is a great show, but only in the later years (personally, my favourite season is season 8).
3) Sex and the City
I don't think I made it through all of the first season of this show. It wasn't entertaining. The characters just weren't there yet. And I couldn't stand that weird thing where random people talked at the camera. I absolutely loved season 2 of Sex and the City. It is probably my favourite season of the show. But I just can't take that first season. Awful, just awful.
4) Project Runway
The first season of Project Runway is so weird! I mean, in the first episode someone actually makes a dress out of a shower curtain. That's it. He just takes the show curtain and wraps it around his model. No fancy shapes or layering or even any sewing I don't think. And he wasn't even in the bottom three! How is that possible? If someone did that in the current season the judges would destroy them. I mean come on! That's the problem with the first season (and to a certain extent the second season) of Project Runway. The designers just aren't talented enough. I mean, I know the show is supposed to be about discovering new, raw talent. But there has to be some standard. Half the fun of the show is looking at the pretty outfits. If the designers all suck, what's the point of watching? Thankfully, things got better after the third season. There designers got more talent and the show was edited a lot better. Now it's a great show (the highlight of my thursday!).
Shows that started out great and got worse:
1) The West Wing
The first season of West Wing is possibly the best season of tv ever made. And the second and third season aren't bad either. After the fourth season, though, the show plummets. I mean, it still a good show, but it's not GREAT. Part of it was the timeline problem. Seasons 6 and 7 were election years, which meant the show had to change because Bartlett was leaving office. And by changing, the show lost some of its magic. There are still some great episodes after third season (The Supremes with Evelyn Lange and Christopher Malretti comes to mind), but no consistently good season.
2) How I Met Your Mother
Season one of the show is good, but season two is the best. It's really fun with Robin and Ted dating (everyone knows I like a good couple) and Lily and Marshall getting married (and Barney is awesome, as always). The later seasons, the fifth season in particular, are weak in comparison. It's like writers are running out of material and just throw stuff together. The characters (Lily especially) are going from funny to annoying. Plus, I really want to find out who the mother is!
3) Gossip Girl
Okay, so this show has never been great. But it has been better, during its first season. I mean, the show was still ridiculous, but it wasn't quite so unbelievable. Plus, Dan and Serena were together and Dan wasn't all corrupted yet. Of course, there was no Chuck and Blair (well, actually, there was, in the limo, but it wasn't the same). But it was still a better season than the two that have followed.
4) Gilmore Girls
Again, the first season of this show is AMAZING. Every episode has so much in it, and so many layers. After that, things went down hill. Seasons two and three were average. Season four was pretty good (the finale kiss being the highlight, of course). Season five and six were interesting, because we finally got to see Luke and Lorelai together. Season seven SUCKED. The show's creators left and toke the funny with them. The show was no longer witty or funny or entertaining in any way. I watched the season to see what happened between Luke and Lorelai and to see where Rory's life went. But it was pretty bad television. I bought the first 6 seasons on DVD. I didn't buy season 7.
Obviously, it's better when a tv show starts out bad and gets better. You may ask why I would watch a show if it started off so bad. Well, I usually watch shows out of sequence. I watched the third season of TBBT and then the second, and then the first. I started watching Project Runway during the fourth season. Then, once I finish all the later episodes, I usually go back and watch the first couple seasons, which I can only get through because I am so invested in the characters by that point (and I like Heidi Klum so much!).
Here is a good article on tv shows that suck that you can't stop watching, much like the phenomenon described above.
Ahhh, I just fell asleep while typing. Must go to bed now. Sleepy sleep. Bye bye.