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Shows that got significantly better/worse on re-watch

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  • Icky
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    #346981

    Worse:

    Six Feet Under- I had a lot of issues with the final couple of seasons, but I still believed the first few were ground-breaking, insightful stuff. On re-watch I think that perhaps I just grew tired of SFU in its final years and realized TV had evolved during its run. It now comes off like a cheap, sentimental melodrama that had no other interest except putting its characters through agony. Only its first season I would still call “good”.

    30 Rock- It’s still one of my favorite sitcoms. But a lot of its over the top, pop culture driven humor just hasn’t aged well.  

    Twin Peaks– One of the first acclaimed shows I watched. I saw it when I was nineteen and thought it was great sh*t. Later on my affection for other Lynch projects, like Mulholland Dr, hyped it further in my mind. Now, I almost can’t stand it after its first four episodes. Apparently, Lynch’s involvement greatly reduced after that. Shoulda been a mini series. Though unlike SFU it’s still interesting and undeniably ground breaking. 

    24- Time has not been kind to the gimmickry of this show. Only its fifth season holds up semi well. 

    Better

    The Sopranos- Yes, the show I frequently claim is better than all your favroites once wasn’t that huge of favorite for me. Beyond some peak episodes I used to find a lot of it somewhat dull. I’ve re-watched the series four times now, and its time my opinion of it has improved. I now appreciate the more restrained approach and really appreciate how unlike a lot of shows that have been inspired by it (Breaking Bad, Mad Men) this series truly indulges its cynicism and never looks to make excuses for its characters nor does it undermine its characters for the sake of plot. Gandolfini’s and Falco’s performances have yet to be topped. 

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer-  I still think it’s greatly flawed and was hardly ever truly great after its near brilliant second season and very good third season. But I now have a closer idea of why so many love it. At its best I still can’t think of a show that blended so many genres while still maintaining a vision of its own. Andmy appreciation for the seasons I initially liked (two, three, five) has grown. It’s the best comic book adaption (though it wasn’t a comic book).

    There are some others, but I don’t feel like thinking or writing anymore. 
     

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    dinasztie
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    #346983

    I can think of The Golden Girls here – I found it totally charming for the first time, but for the second time it wass unbearably written one-dimensionally acted and each and every episode looked the same, boring stuff over and over again.

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    Icky
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    #346984

    Yes, bring on The Golden Girls hate. Incite a riot.

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    24Emmy
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    #346985

    Worse:

    24- Time has not been kind to the gimmickry of this show. Only its fifth season holds up semi well.

     

     

    How dare you. 😉

     

     

    From the Breaking Bad vs. Mad Men thread:

    This is a little difficult for me. A few months ago I would be quick to say Breaking Bad, but after re-watching the series recently, I realized that it’s just not as fulfilling without the surprise factor. After binge-watcing a show you’ve seen before a lot of the things that bothered you on first watch often becomes less of an issue. That wasn’t the case here. The same problems I had with the series initially persisted.

     

    I think that hurts all serial dramas. You know what’s coming. No surprise factor. So, I guess that weakens it a bit on the re-watch. Unless your forgot stuff or enough time has passed or what not.

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    Icky
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    #346986

    Maybe a lot of serial dramas that depend greatly on twists and shock. But most carefully structured dramas with great characters tend to get better on repeated viewings not worse. So, it’s true that most thrillers lose some of their weight with the element of suspense taken out and its mistake become more apparent. It’s just really difficult for a thriller to maintain a high level of quality for multiple seasons.  I didn’t include BB because it didn’t get significantly better or worse for me on further viewing. 

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    Pieman1994
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    #346987

    Yeah. I’ve been re-watching 30 Rock, and gosh… that back half is kinda rough. Season six, in particular, is an enormous mess. Archer and Arrested Development are much more resilient. 

    Friday Night LightsLost and The Wonder Years, on the other hand, have aged incredibly well. 

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    vinny
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    #346988

    Worse:
    Baretta: I know random choice to some but I was obsessed with this show in first and second grade. (Not a normal kid).
    Damages: Last seaosn just falls flat on rewatching.
    Glee: Even I have to admit that. 
    Full House: Comes off as cheesey beyond belief now.

    Better:
    Columbo
    Hawaii-Five O (the remake and the original)

       

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    Somnambulist
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    #346989

    Better: Battlestar Galactica, Law & Order

    Worse: DexterNYPD Blue

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    mikeboy898
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    #346990

    100% worse: Glee

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    Emmys2011
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    #346991

    I think six feet under gets better and more meaningful on repeat viewings. Every time I watch it, it hits me in a different way, and I find meaning or something to like in things I didnt before.

    Sopranos also gets better. That world and the people in it is very complex, that one time isnt enough to really appreciate it.

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    Icky
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    #346992

    Remember the word “signfiicantly”. Almost all shows get a little better or worse with another viewing. I mean a follow-up watch that genuinely altered your view of the series.

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    WaltEagle
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    #346993

    Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Twin Peaks sort of fall apart the closer you look at them on rewatch. They are still good shows, Twin Peaks less so, but the magic of the first time is never quite recaptured for me. Sherlock’s shallowness and smoke and mirrors pretensions make it less impressive with every viewing too; it is crafted to feel like a good show. I imagine if I rewatched stuff like Damages, Dexter, House of Cards, and late Sons of Anarchy their flaws would make them crumble considerably the second time with all suspense gone.

    The Wire and Deadwood were semi-hard to get into for half of their current fanbases, but on rewatch those earliest episodes are as impressive as any others, and the long-term planning and small details get better with every viewing (not to mention it becoming clearer what the hell is going on and who everyone is at first).

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    Riley
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    #346994

    WORSE

    The Simpsons: The show can still make me laugh
    (hysterically sometimes), but my opinion of the show soured a few years
    ago when I looked up what the best episodes were and watched them.  They
    were pretty pedestrian.

    Scooby Doo, Where Are You!: I
    was showing the pilot to someone who had never seen Scooby-Doo.  It was
    painfully slow and the few punchlines had us rolling our eyes.  The
    laugh track has also not aged well.  I blame being less judgemental as a
    child and the sixties having more patience in storytelling for this not
    playing as well for me now.

    The first season of 24: I still love the show and this is still a terrific season, but the number of dumb decisions that Teri and Kim make is indefensible.  Also, that sixth season was not great on first watch, but we were all still high off the fifth season at the time.  Anyone who is rewatching it or watching it for the first time now absolutely needs to skip twenty episodes (only watch the first, fourth, eleventh and twenty-fourth hours).

    BETTER

    The first season of Mad Men: It is actually pretty funny and not as boring as I remembered!

    The finale of Lost:
    I was pretty disappointed when I first saw “The End”.  They could not
    even be bothered to edit it down to its intended two-hour timeslot.  But
    the big difference between watching and rewatching is the expectation
    for answers and the consequent level of relaxation as a viewer.  When I
    first watched it, I was upset with the lack of answers, but I was only
    upset with this particular episode about that because this was the last
    possible opportunity for the show to provide them.  Really, I should be
    spreading my blame evenly across episodes from the entire series because
    they all failed in that respect.  If you go into this finale knowing
    what will happen at the plot level and without putting so much pressure
    on it, it is the most beautiful and emotionally satisfying celebration
    of the series on a character level possible, complete with a
    heartbreaking performance by Matthew Fox.  (I will always wonder though
    if he and director Jack Bender could have won Emmys if they had gone
    with the show’s “Ozymandias” instead and if composer Michael Giacchino
    had gone with the first half of the premiere.)  In hindsight, the
    sideways is a cheat, so that is unfortunate, but it is also a most
    ingenious cheat because it paved the way for that multitude of
    tearjerking montages—at least, they are tearjerking now
    When I first saw them, I was so distracted by trying to figure out what
    they meant that I could not really enjoy them.  The other clever thing
    that the sideways did was fill a lot of time because it is pretty clear
    in hindsight that it never would have been incorporated it if the
    network had not milked the show for so many episodes, so I can displace
    fault from the writers for that.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #346995

    Dexter suffers A LOT on a relook. Talk about a show with forgivable flaws that got magnfied beyond belief as the years went along. The unimpressive supporting cast, the deus ex machina endings that let Dexter off easily (Lila being the one forced to kill Doakes in Season 2), the occasional oddball subplot (LaGuerta and Batista going through their office affair while the Trinity Arc is going on). Yeesh. I still love, love, love the opening of the Pilot episode, though.

    It’s weird how binge-watching actually got me to appreciate 24 even more for how well it pulled off the early years. The plotting wasn’t always there, but almost nothing could pull off visceral thrills like it could. The only thing that really bothered me much more was being reminded of everything that Kim went through in Season 2. Forget those cougars – I’m talking about insane Gary stalking Kim all throughout LA, mountain man Kevin Dillon keeping her int the bunker, and that random as all get out convenience store hostage scenario. And she never really does anything relevant to the plot, either! You could excise her from the episodes, and it would be better.

    That’s actually what led me to appreciate Season 3 all the more. I know not everyone is hot on the Salazar arc, but I didn’t mind it, and while Kim becoming a CTU-level computer expert is a bit much to take, I at least appreciated it because it meant we wouldn’t be getting anything as crazy as Season 2’s subplots again. Well, except for the baby Chloe was hiding…and Jack kicking heroin in a day…and Tony getting shot in the face and showing up to work a few hours later.

    Mmm…nah, I’m still fine with it.

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    Gabriel
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    #346996

    For me, Dexter got significantly worse upon rewatching (not that it was ever truly great to begin with). As a psychological character study, I don’t think it’s anywhere near as deep or smart as it thought it was.

    Another one i think got worse is LOST. The first season is still great as the mythology hadn’t yet become ridiculous, but upon rewatching the subsequent seasons, you are bombarded with countless (and I mean countless) instances of plot holes, dead ends, continuity errors, and worst of all, ergregious retcon. Knowing how it ends almost makes the previous seasons borderline unwatchable, actually.

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