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Television Criticism: Does an upward or downward trend matter?

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  • Tyler
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    This question is not specifically related to awards predictions but rather the lasting legacy and reputation of shows. Any series has variations in quality across seasons, rather they be vast and obvious or small and arguable. It seems like more often that not, shows are more likely to go downhill rather than up, specifically after a stellar first season, known as the “sophomore slump”. Yet some shows go on to be spectacular after a mediocre first season, some that come to mind include The Office and Veep. Another common trend is when a series has a gradual rise and fall, or a triangular trajectory, reaching a peak in the middle of its run and then going downhill in its final season(s), most notably Game of Thrones this year. The question I pose is this: do shows that generally trend up rather than down deserve to be regarded better than those that do the opposite? I argue that yes, because an ending is much harder to construct than a beginning, hence why I think shows like Breaking Bad or The Americans can be regarded as better overall series than Game of Thrones, because they managed to end on a relative high, even if it can be argued that GOT Season 1, 4, or maybe even 6 was a better individual season than any individual season of the formerly mentioned series. What do you guys think?

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