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  1. #1
    Mighty Member green_garnish's Avatar
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    Default Shows that got better with age

    We all talk about shows that went on too long. What are the ones that just kept getting better?

    Two come to my mind. The Carol Burnett Show and M*A*S*H. The latter in particular only got good after season three, and only achieved excellence after Frank left (season 5?)

    What are your votes?

  2. #2

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    For me, I started watching both MASH and the Carol Burnett Show in their later years, so it's hard to judge, but from the reruns of early MASHs I've seen, I would agree that the show got better as the cast replacements took effect. Most people seem to agree that on MASH, every cast replacement was superior to the original.

    With Carol Burnett, unfortunately those first 5 years are not so easy to find. A sampling was released on DVD, but they are still widely unseen. That having been said, since 2 of my favorite Burnett sketches were "The Family" (which began in Season 7) and "Mrs. Wiggins" (which began in Season 9), I'd guess that there was nothing in the earlier seasons that would make me think they were better.


    I would add The Brady Bunch to the list as I think the show got better as the kids got older. All the classic Bradyisms that people remember come from Seasons 3 & 4.

    However, I think for a lot of shows, you'll find a sort of Bell Curve as to its overall quality: a show kept getting better as its characters became more solidified, hit its peak, and then began a decline in quality until cancellation.

    It's just that some shows maintained their peaks for longer periods and maybe only the final season or two had a decline. The Carol Burnett Show is an example of this. It did get better and better as it progressed, but once Harvey Korman left at the end of Season 10, the show took a noticeable nosedive in quality in Season 11. As talented as he was, Dick Van Dyke just did not fit into the ensemble and was shown the door midseason. However, I did see some of his episodes again on the DVD collection, and they were better than I thought at the time. It's just that Harvey was irreplaceable, and his absence was something the show could not recover from.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by green_garnish View Post
    We all talk about shows that went on too long. What are the ones that just kept getting better?

    Two come to my mind. The Carol Burnett Show and M*A*S*H. The latter in particular only got good after season three, and only achieved excellence after Frank left (season 5?)

    What are your votes?

    One is easy for me. Agents of Shield. Oh and Buffy as well. I am sure there are many many. Holy crap I almost forgot both Star Trek the Next Generation and Deep Space 9. They both got way way better.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Babylon 5
    Agents of SHIELD
    Star Trek: TNG
    Buffy
    Mystery Science Theater 3000
    Grimm

  5. #5
    Invincible Member numberthirty's Avatar
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    Fringe and The Shield are the first ones that come to mind.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by green_garnish View Post
    We all talk about shows that went on too long. What are the ones that just kept getting better?

    Two come to my mind. The Carol Burnett Show and M*A*S*H. The latter in particular only got good after season three, and only achieved excellence after Frank left (season 5?)

    What are your votes?
    After Burns left and Alan Alda took a more active role in creative decisions.

    Breaking Bad continued to get better and better as it went along. Which is no small feat given that the season before the next was often acclaimed. For me, it was a "good" show to start with. But it only just got better as it went.

    Seinfeld was "so-so" went it started. But it continued to grow and grow. Friends was similar in that respect.
    Last edited by Somecrazyaussie; 06-03-2021 at 02:08 AM.

  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Kirby101's Avatar
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    Siendfeild
    Cheers (Sam got dumber and dumber and the show got better and better.)
    Venture Bothers
    Person of Interest
    There came a time when the Old Gods died! The Brave died with the Cunning! The Noble perished locked in battle with unleashed Evil! It was the last day for them! An ancient era was passing in fiery holocaust!

  8. #8
    Put a smile on that face Immortal Weapon's Avatar
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    Agents of Shield. The early seasons were rough. Outside of movie tie-ins the series was hugely mundane. It wasn't until season 4 where Ghost Rider and the framework got introduced that the show started hitting its strive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by green_garnish View Post
    We all talk about shows that went on too long. What are the ones that just kept getting better?

    Two come to my mind. The Carol Burnett Show and M*A*S*H. The latter in particular only got good after season three, and only achieved excellence after Frank left (season 5?)

    What are your votes?
    Interesting. As a TV show I'd agree that MASH had better stories as the series went on. But as a Comedy? Not even close IMO. I still laugh out loud sometimes when I see some shows from the 1st five years. But after Frank left, and BJ grew a mustache and became a jerk every 5 episodes or so (interestingly when Farrell seemed to direct an episode) the laughs went off a cliff for me.

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    The Closer
    Code Lyoko

  11. #11
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    Star Trek The Next Generation is the poster child for this. It's the trope name for 'growing the beard' as season 1 was god-awful, season 2 was better with some gems but uneven, and from season 3 on it was great.

    Deep Space 9 is a less extreme example, as season 1 was good but uneven and it continually got better through season 3 or 4. Enterprise also got much better in season 3 than it had been in season 1.

    Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Pretty much everyone thinks season 2 is where ATLA really took off and became a masterpiece. And with Korra seasons 1 and 2 were a huge mess but the final 2 seasons were amazing.

    Star Wars the Clone Wars, Season 1 was too silly but later seasons are some of the best Star Wars material ever. Rebels also got better after season 1, but the difference wasn't as glaring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Immortal Weapon View Post
    Agents of Shield. The early seasons were rough. Outside of movie tie-ins the series was hugely mundane. It wasn't until season 4 where Ghost Rider and the framework got introduced that the show started hitting its strive.
    I agree the show got better but I think really in season two it got much better. But heck I didn't think even season 1 was bad. To me it was one of the best shows ever made for regular tv from beginingto end. I love it.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member Zero Hunter's Avatar
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    Pretty much all the Star Trek shows. TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise all started out shaky and got better a few seasons in.

  14. #14
    Mighty Member Godzilla2099's Avatar
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    Agreed on Star Trek

    TNG is the prime example. Season 1 was flat out boring and with poor episodes. Season 2 had my favorite TNG Episode of all Time ("Q Who") but a still had its share of stale episodes. Season 3 is finally a season I enjoyed.

    DS9 was never bad. But it just got better and better as the show progressed.

    Enterprise finally took off when Brent Spiner joined the cast but by that time it was too late.
    Last edited by Godzilla2099; 06-03-2021 at 12:46 PM.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Castle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunofdarkchild View Post
    Star Trek The Next Generation is the poster child for this. It's the trope name for 'growing the beard' as season 1 was god-awful, season 2 was better with some gems but uneven, and from season 3 on it was great.

    Deep Space 9 is a less extreme example, as season 1 was good but uneven and it continually got better through season 3 or 4. Enterprise also got much better in season 3 than it had been in season 1.

    Avatar the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra. Pretty much everyone thinks season 2 is where ATLA really took off and became a masterpiece. And with Korra seasons 1 and 2 were a huge mess but the final 2 seasons were amazing.

    Star Wars the Clone Wars, Season 1 was too silly but later seasons are some of the best Star Wars material ever. Rebels also got better after season 1, but the difference wasn't as glaring.
    Definitely Star Trek The Next Generation. this show is the perfect example of how to write excellent TV and characters, it will be a generational SCI-FI show for decades to come.

    My father passed on TNG to me and I am going to pass it on to my kids if they ever get into Science fiction, that is how timeless I think TNG will be.

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