10 TV Shows Never Better Than Their First Season

The shows that peaked early.

True Detective The Long Bright Dark

The two hardest parts of crafting a TV show are making sure you start it well and making sure you end it well, which is why the vast majority of shows are at their best in the middle of their run, when they have the strong foundations to keep them afloat without having to worry about definitively tying everything up.

Though this is the common trend with most TV shows - even the greats - there are plenty of exceptions; the rarest of which might just be those brilliant, lightning in a bottle series that start at their absolute best, then find their quality tumbling downwards with every subsequent season.

Such is the case with the following shows, all of which started at their peak and were never as good again. That's not to say all of these shows were unwatchable after their first year - in fact, many of them are very far from it - but it certainly wouldn't be a stretch to say their first season remained unbeaten during their run.

From twisted mystery-thrillers to raunchy comedies and seminal HBO dramas, here are ten TV shows that were never better than their first season.

10. The Good Place

True Detective The Long Bright Dark

Michael Schur's inventive philosophical sitcom The Good Place remains one of Netflix's best original shows, running for four seasons of hysterical, heartbreaking drama. As great as it was, though, it never topped its first season, which introduces the show's central characters and mysteries without flaw.

Incorporating thoughtful drama into an otherwise zany sitcom premise, the first season tracks deceased trainwreck Eleanor as she unravels the many secrets lurking around heaven, whilst she attempts to become a good person and befriends some fellow Good Place residents.

The Good Place's first season is a masterclass of slow-burn reveals and elegant character development that dares to ask big questions about morality and what it means to be human. Better still, all of this is capped-off by a finale it wouldn't match until its closing hour.

The series, for all its observations of humanity and growth, was always a lovable game-changer, but the sheer bravery and mysteries of its first season would remain unbeaten throughout its run.


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