Does it seeem like the second season is typically the best?

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Holadem, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Another bizarre topic eh?

    Still, that has been my experience with recent shows. I have relatively few of them to my credit, never having been into TV until recently, but the few that I have seen, more often than not S2 is the best. This occured to me as I was reading about Alias (which I just got into) and the way the quality dropped after S2. I have read that about Six Feet Under and the Shield as well. Other series include:

    Buffy
    Angel
    West Wing (dropped after S3)
    Farscape (dropped during S3)
    Smallville (dropped in early S4)
    Sopranos

    I know it's a ridiculously small sample compared to what's out there, I was just wondering if there were even a hint of a trend.

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    H
     
  2. Doug R

    Doug R Supporting Actor

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    Shows definitely peak. I think season 2 is a bit early in general, though. I think the governing factor is that the show simply loses its originality. Coming up with 100+ plots that are fresh and new is a challenge for sure.

    It certainly varies across the board and everyone's personal taste will take priority. Like in your examples, I think Sopranos Season 2 is the worst of them all and Buffy peaked in Season 3. I would argue Star Trek Deep Space Nine didn't get going until Season 3 and remained steady from that point on.
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    B5 was really good in season 3 and 4 (though storylines got sped up due to its uncertainty of a season 5 at the time).

    Angel was better and worse in season 3 and 4 at times. Somethings worked, others didn't.

    I think Gilmore Girls peaked around season 3.

    Everwood appears to be still climbing for me after 3 seasons.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I don't know what you're reading, but The Shield has yet to peak. The current season 4 has been every bit as good as previous seasons, and arguably better (in large part due to Glenn Close and Anthony Anderson).

    M.
     
  5. Dax P

    Dax P Stunt Coordinator

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    Alias' second was my favorite so far...

    Buffy 2 was a lot better than the first... for Angel, also... cases of the shows 'not being what they're going to be' yet in their freshman years...

    I think/hope/expect that I'll like Entourage, Rescue Me, and Boston Legal more in their second seasons that their firsts.

    But I don't feel Six Feet Under or The Shield greatly declined in their third seasons (or fourth, either).

    It's an interesting observation, but I agree that it fits some series, but not others, so I'm not sure if you have enough to form any kind of 'general rule' philosophy from this sampling...

    I mean, THIS happens a lot:

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    First seasons often get praise and love and acclaim for being 'fresh'.

    Second seasons can/do often improve on the elements that already worked, and 'fix' the stuff that could use help.

    Third on- people (the audience, the creators- both) can get 'bored'.
    --

    ... but for every show you can name that this 'fits' for, someone can most likely throw out a title that the formula DOESN'T apply to.

    Patterns exist, sure, but for the most part 'Every show is different' is a better general statement, I think.
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    This is why every show should be allowed at least two seasons unless there are really major problems with the production or cast.

    In the first season I don't think anyone is at their best. The actors are still learning their characters and how to portray them. The writers are still learning all the quirks and foibles of the characters and how to write for them.

    By the second season, the actors have a handle on their characters and the writers are still fresh in coming up with ideas.
     
  7. Mike Graham

    Mike Graham Supporting Actor

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    Interesting idea! Millennium and X-Files had awesome second seasons. It was arguably Millennium's best and showed the X-Files would continue to get better (it peaked after year 4).

    Usually, if the second year is the best, it proves the show has a very limited potential and was only meant for the short run, not the articial 7 years networks try and squeeze out of some series.
     
  8. Jason Seaver

    Jason Seaver Lead Actor

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    Easy to say when it's not your money being spent.
     
  9. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Sure. For some reason, S2 happens to be the most gripping season for most shows I have watched. Who knows, perhaps I just get bored after like you said.

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    H
     
  10. Abby_B

    Abby_B Supporting Actor

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    I think for a lot of shows, the people behind the show probably learn a lot during the first go around, so that results in the show getting better the next year. Shows like Buffy, Sex and the City, and West Wing are good examples of this. Some shows suffer in year 2 though because of the hype or they lose sight of the original concept, like The O.C. and Joan of Arcadia...

    I think what is most interesting is when shows come back to life after a slump, like Gilmore Girls has done this year...you have to wonder what finally clicks again in those situations.
     
  11. Dax P

    Dax P Stunt Coordinator

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    I didn't agree with the consensus that Gilmore Girls HAD a fourth season slump, though... (I'm also pretty much fine with much-maligned Buffy's 4th and 6th...).

    But I agree with your point, of course. Shows sometimes slump... and recover (sometimes to be stronger than ever)... and it's fun to analyze WHY...
     
  12. James T

    James T Screenwriter

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    I think that idea applies to only some cases.

    When it does apply, it's probably because the writers are introducing new characters and are still experimenting with what fans want to see and which direction to take the characters. Then season two, they gain steam with new writers or the same staff with more confidence. Plus the actors seem more comfortable in their roles.

    I think I liked 24 season one a lot more than season two.
    But shows like Angel, Tru Calling and Buffy did get better in the second season.
     
  13. Kate*H

    Kate*H Agent

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    I don't know if I agree, the second season seems to be the season the writers add an obnoxious new character to "shake things up" like in "ED" (Dennis Martino)"Gilmore Girls" (Jess) or (don't laugh, because I thought it was a pretty good show at first) "Veronica's Closet" (I forget the guys name, but he took over Veronica's company), or even "That 70's Show" (the sister Laurie) When they do this, it just turns me off the show.
    Also, am I the only one who really liked Buffy's first season? I thought it was great, and I liked it when Angel was this mysterious character who we (the audience) knew nothing about)
     
  14. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Considering how arc-driven Buffy was, the first season sticks out because it's almost all freak-of-the-week. It's very good FoW, but FoW none-the-less. I loved the season, and I still watch it when it's on TV, but it's very different in tone with the rest of the show.

    That being said, I prefer the light/dark tone of Season 2 the best. I think Buffy (the character) got way too depressing during the later seasons (especially 5-7). In any event, 3 is still my favorite season.

    In general, I think the second season usually improves on the first, but rarely is it my favorite.
     
  15. Steven Wesley

    Steven Wesley Second Unit

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    After season 1, Alias tanked in my opinion, so I wouldn't argue for the theory here. In some shows, a unique concept is hard to repeat for a second season (see "24").
     
  16. Andy_Bu

    Andy_Bu Supporting Actor

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    Star Trek TNG did not hit its stride until Season 3

    I would argue that season 3,4 and 5 of Star Trek DS9 were better quality than what they produced in Seasons 1 and 2

    Babylon 5 was great for all 5 seasons IMO, but if I had to pick the best, it would be seasons 3 and 4

    Sopranos Season 3 has been my favorite so far but I could see an arguement where they did peak in Season 2.

    The Shield still has not yet peaked for me so there is no way I could rank Season 2 above any other season.

    Of the 4 Enterprise Seasons, I would rank season 2 as the lowest



    Andy
     

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