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Top 10 Shows that Have Improved the Most

Hey guys! I was inspired by Dahne’s excellent Pitch Your Low Rated Shows post so I decided to spin of her idea and share what I believe to be the top 10 shows that have improved the most and are worth a second look! I believe these fall into two categories: shows that took a while to get started and to find themselves are one, whereas shows that started great but had a creative slump before finding themselves again are the other one.

I will be sharing my list with you hoping to get your reactions to it but, more than that, hoping to get your thoughts and opinions on the comments below about what are the shows that people have given up on but have since then improved tremendously! I want to see what I am missing out!

Spoiler Warning: I tried to make this list pretty much spoiler-free but if you are really sensitive about spoilers with one particular show maybe you should skip that part of the article just to be safe.

Disclaimer: Everything said on the list below are personal opinions and obviously not facts. While I tried to use mostly widespread opinions as arguments, it may be that you won't agree with what is said.

TOP 10 Shows that Have Improved the Most and that You Might Be Missing Out


1. Agents of Shield: I personally didn't hate the first half of Season 1 like some did, but there is no doubt that the show truly became itself only in the later portion of Season 1. Those who watched the first part and didn't like don't really know what the show is about and what it becomes, so they have no idea how much they are missing out here! The plot thickens, the characters you thought were bland and uninteresting are suddenly seen on a new light, new amazing characters are introduced and the full force of Marvel’s infinite world opens up for exploration. It is one twist after the other emerged in character driven writing and surrounded by plenty of action, all mixed up in just the right way. I would urge everyone who sampled initially but was disappointed to try it out again since what the show is nowadays will probably even surpass your initial expectations for what you wanted it to be (that certainly happened in my case)!


2. Homeland: I rarely give up on a show but I almost lost it with Homeland midway of Season 3 and I adored the first seasons. Even though that Season had a few very good episodes at the end upon Brody's final return, it was till nowhere near the quality of the first season and a half in which Homeland was probably the best caliber show airing on television. So I really didn't count on Season 4 blowing my mind like it did and bringing Homeland back to the top up to a point in which I cannot actually choose between Season 4 and the early Brody seasons, which for someone who is a huge fan of Damien Lewis and the Brody character is a huge accomplishment. Homeland goes back to its roots and explores the consequences of a world in which terrorism is a reality and the sacrifices made by those who fight it every day and does so embedding a masterful writing in the lives of characters that are portrayed by a top notch cast, headlined once again by the sublime Claire Danes!


3. Covert Affairs: This is a show that started off as a very clear blue sky, feel good show that showed us the life of a young CIA recruit as she struggled in her missions and to keep up with the charade that her personal life had become due to all the secrets. While it was never bad, it was very much a light show that consisted mostly of a mission of the week format without much of an overall arc whatsoever. A well done, yet simple and mostly inoffensive procedural in nature, basically. This was true for the first two seasons of the show. However, Season 3 (and later on Seasons 4 and 5) completely turned this around. The show practically abandons the mission of the week format, kicks on full gear, gives Annie Walker some much needed maturing (both personally and as an agent) and throw you a series of twists and turns that will leave you wanting more and guessing about what happens next. I don’t remember any other show completely recreating themselves so late (relatively speaking) in their runs as Covert Affairs did. If you liked Annie and liked the potential of the show but felt frustrated by how “stale” and simple the show was in the first couple of seasons, I highly recommend that you try it out again because it is no longer the same show, at all.


4. Once Upon a Time: One of my favorite shows during Season 1 and the early portion of Season 2, I felt angry upon watching almost every single episode of Once Upon a Time during Season 2B. It was one bad decision after the other, character assassination and plots that were uninteresting in nature – who doesn’t remember Greg and Tamara as the big bad wolves or what they did to the character of Pinocchio? I remember that I wasn't even anticipating Season 3 all that much the summer before it aired. But the show turned itself around after that. With the split seasons came new 11 episode arcs that dealt with new villains and Disney world, expanding the scope of the show while providing some much needed character development for our main guys. The writing stopped going back and forth with the characters and the storylines became tight and with a sense of purpose that had been lost. OUAT was back and seemed to have learned from its mistakes.


5. New Girl: I thought Season 3 was still a good season and I enjoyed the exploration of Nick and Jess in a relationship but there really is no doubt that the show had troubles balancing itself out with these two as a couple. The good news is that by Season 4 the show found itself again and brought back to the table the concepts and the characters that made us fall in love with the show in early Season 1. If you felt that New Girl had lost its charm, I strongly recommend that you try out some Season 4 again because the show definitely gains it back (and then some)

6. The Mindy Project: Like Agents of Shield, this is yet another show that takes a while to find its voice. The first half of season 1 has a lot of experimentation (including some abrupt cast changes) as the show was still clearly trying to find out what it wanted to be, but once that’s over, the show hits a stride with a very strong confidence in what it wants to be and what it is all about. If you had the interest to try it out in the first episodes but felt uninspired by it, I recommend that you make the effort of trying it out again to see what the show truly is about, because chances are, you left it at a time in which it didn’t know it itself.


7. Revenge: I actually debated whether or not to include Revenge here because I didn’t feel like Season 2 was nowhere near as bad as most people seemed to think it was. But at the end of the day, it was still probably the worst season as a whole, if only because of the amount of filler and unrelated storylines it had going on. But that disappears 100% in Season 3 and later on in Season 4. Revenge became all about Emily and her personal vendetta once again, there was no more Initiative and the storyline had major advancements, including stuff we were wanting to see since the very first episode of the series. If you gave up because all the initiative thing and secondary storylines were not what had drawn you to the show in the first place, you should really consider coming bac to watch Emily Thorne plotting, scheming and “revenging” once again, because that’s what you’ll get!

8. Reign: I was not sure Reign belonged here because I personally love the first portion of the show as well but it has become such a different show that I still feel it has a place here. The reason for that is that the first half of Reign’s first season has front and center a storyline that, while I personally feel that in this context did work, turned away a number of viewers, which was a love triangle. Regardless of how we feel about it and whether we like it or not, the truth is that the love triangle is completely resolved around halfway of Season 1 and is left dead for good. The show then evolves and expands its focus to include more political and religious themes, using them to propel the conflict and evolution of our main characters in a brilliant way all the while keeping the same old soapy elements that attracted us to the show in the first place. So, my message here is that if you were into Reign and what it could have been but were turned off by a love triangle that was seemingly going to consume the show ad eternum, think again and try it again because that love triangle is definitely resolved pretty early on.

9. Arrow: Arrow was always a good show to me and it certainly didn’t have as much of a creative boom as others did later in their runs but I still feel it I worth mentioning it here because the increase in quality from the early episodes is still huge. While early Season 1 was very much about Oliver against the world in face offs against the villain of the week, the later portion of Season 1 and then Season 2 significantly amp up the serialization portion of the stroryline, expand the focus of the how to include other characters in Oliver’s orbit and stat mixing up the flashback action with the present day action in a delicious way. It went from an okay hour of the week for me to a must watch and one of my absolute favorite shows.

10. Grimm: Grimm is yet another show that started off slow and with what I thought was a confusing direction but found itself in the middle of the first season to become a very enjoyable weekly popcorn fun hour. This is a show that took me a really long time to get into because I really felt like the first part of Season 1 had the right elements but somehow an off execution where was something was missing, but I insisted and I am very glad I did because it pays off to stick with the show. It will never be the most ambitious show in the world but it has become very competent in what it does and it is definitely worth another try if you had troubles with the first part of Season 1!

So this is my list! What about you? What is your top 10 of shows you believe have people have jumped ship on but are worth a second look? I am looking forward to read your thoughts on the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

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