The second seasons of Emmy-nominated dramas “UnReal” and “Mr. Robot” have been controversial this summer, but it’s not uncommon for breakout shows to get mixed reactions in year two. Indeed, second-season woes are so common in TV that “sophomore slump” is as common a showbiz idiom as “jumping the shark.”
However, it’s not always fatal. “Friday Night Lights” followed a beloved first season with a widely criticized second season, but the show’s greatest years were yet to come. It was back in top form during the last three seasons of its run and scored its greatest Emmy success in its fifth and final year, winning Best Drama Actor (Kyle Chandler) and Best Drama Writing (Jason Katims for the series finale), and earning its first and only nomination for Best Drama Series.
How have other shows navigated the dreaded second-year curse? We asked our forum posters to weigh in. Read some of their comments below, and click here to join the discussion.
jacob121: I wouldn’t exactly lump “Mr. Robot” in with this group quite yet – reactions have certainly been mixed but it still has plenty of positive critical reception.
mikeboy898: I definitely would not group “Mr. Robot’s” second season in the same category … There was MAYBE one or two less interesting episodes, but I admire Sam Esmail for making a very different second season. It could have been a stylistic and narrative repeat of the first season but it hasn’t been so far.
jf123: Even though the later seasons of “Desperate Housewives” where better than season two, particularly (seasons three and eight), they never got back to the magic of season one.
Teridax: “Daredevil” — I loved the first season, thought it should have been nominated for Drama Series over the boring “Downton Abbey” and even “Game of Thrones’s” mediocre (except for the last 15 minutes of “Hardhome”) season five. However, season two was so dull and painful to finish watching, I’m going to pretend forever that the 1st season was a origin story miniseries.
Icky: “The Wire’s” second season is ho-hum compared to the seasons it’s sandwiched between, and it just doesn’t fit the nature of the show.
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