There’s great craft involved in writing TV. Unlike films where you expand a story over two hours, TV shows take hours upon hours each season to develop characters and narrative. High momentum needs to be built up to keep audiences engaged with each episode, and the very best of TV continues for years with characters you come to love.
However, even the mighty can fall. Sometimes all it takes is a poorly developed character, writing yourself into a corner or being forced to leave the premise that made your show great in the first place. One wrong step, one actor whose contract ends or one risk that didn’t pay off can lose years of momentum and kill your show stone dead.
It’s cutthroat but that’s how it is when we have so much great content at our fingertips - we don’t need to watch Rick Grimes settle into a cushy life in Alexandria.
10. True Detective - Season 2
Upon its release, True Detective was a one of a kind. Season One combined the best writers, directors and cast to produce a show with classic detective flair as it focused around solving the murder of prostitute Dora Lange 17 years after the crime was committed. The show had a dark, non-linear narrative that turned it into an instant TV classic, however didn't continue this for another season.
The follow up surrounded the stories of three cooperating police departments after the body of city manager, Ben Caspere is found on the highway. Although corruption was high in the season, strands were weaved together poorly, reveals were dull and the writing was weak - season two was miles away from the quality of its predecessor.
Whereas season one of the show received an 87 incredible score on Meta Critic, its followup only bagged a 61, proving that you have to try harder to follow up something so brilliant.