It doesn’t take a brilliant writer to tell you why a TV show works or it doesn’t – it can simply be something you feel good or bad about.
Writers face pressure if a show is renewed for another season: they now have to repeat everything they did well and audiences enjoyed in the current season but also incorporate new elements to attract new visitors. It’s sort of like figuring how to make lightning strike in the same spot again when you’re not all that sure how you did so initially.
Once in a while, things don’t work so well and a show may put forth a major or minor plotline that just stinks. Worse, the show staff may not know has fallen flat until they hear the public’s reaction, either directly, by seeing their ratings go down, or even being canceled altogether.
Here are 10 favorite shows that ended up with weak story lines.
20. Michael dates a mentally challenged woman, Arrested Development
Fans of the beloved cult series were ecstatic when their wishes were answered in the form of a fourth season that was launched on Netflix, only to become instantly disappointed when much of the magic of the program had fled.
Diminished legacy or no, the first three seasons of Arrested Development are comedic perfection, bringing the self-centered exploits of the Bluth family into TV legend.
Even that hilarious run had a few bad jokes, however. Namely, a subplot towards series end, where Michael Bluth falls in love with a gorgeous British woman who turns out to be mentally challenged.
Arrest Development was never afraid to jump on the politically incorrect. It featured Japanese businessmen watching in horror as a fake “Godzilla” creature stomped through their tiny model town, and a slew of gay jokes directed at nebbish therapist Tobias Funke.
Still, the jokes at the expense of Charlize Theron’s character felt mean spirited at times, and the implication that Michael was attracted to a woman with the mental capacity of a three year old left many fans with a bad taste in their mouths. The series ended shortly after Theron’s departure, proving that sometimes it’s best to cut out early while jokes are still fresh and the energy’s still high.