Peaks and Valleys vs Consistent TV Shows

Zardnaar

Legend
What do you prefer. A TV show that can be great but has a bit of crud or one that is perhaps good right through but the best of it may not be quite as good as the other shows best efforts?

Ideally you get a show that's good to great right through but there's very few of those eg The Wire, Sopranos, Justified.

I prefer consistent myself. A few examples.

Star Trek. DS9 over TNG

Stargate. Atlantis over SG1.

Star Wars. Rebels over Clone Wars.

Game of Thrones comes to mind. Season 3&4 was the peak but yeah last couple of seasons not great. A lot of shows follow a similar pattern eg Dexter, Sons of Anarchy.
 

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Definitely prefer peak. A few great episodes more than justify watching a show, to my mind. I remember the shows that have one stellar season much more fondly than the ones that are good, not great throughout their run.
 


What do you prefer. A TV show that can be great but has a bit of crud or one that is perhaps good right through but the best of it may not be quite as good as the other shows best efforts?

Ideally you get a show that's good to great right through but there's very few of those eg The Wire, Sopranos, Justified.

I prefer consistent myself. A few examples.

Star Trek. DS9 over TNG

Stargate. Atlantis over SG1.

Star Wars. Rebels over Clone Wars.

Game of Thrones comes to mind. Season 3&4 was the peak but yeah last couple of seasons not great. A lot of shows follow a similar pattern eg Dexter, Sons of Anarchy.
DS9 and Rebels are only consistent in being inferior.
 

eyeheartawk

#1 Enworld Jerk™
DS9 and Rebels are only consistent in being inferior.

Got nothing to say about the Star Wars cartoons but dem's fightin' words about DS9.

I can understand not preferring DS9's more contiguous and darker storylines to TNG's weekly romps. But it absolutely is the more consistent show. No episodes of DS9 can get as bad as the TNG bad episodes. Sub Rosa comes to mind. Plus, way less appearances by Lxwana Troi.
 


payn

Legend
DS9 and Rebels are only consistent in being inferior.
Angry Lebron James GIF by Bleacher Report
 



payn

Legend
Well I disagree about the first part, and DS9 wasn't a clone of B5, though that was commonly held for a long time. But yeah, I'll take seasons 1-4 of Babylon 5 over any Star Trek show. Entil'Zha.
Agreed, DS9 was far from a B5 clone. B5 does deserve a lot of credit for pushing DS9 into a more serial direction though.
 

aco175

Legend
There may be shows that get watched each week and then I have shows that build up in the cue until I get around to it. I think the watch each week shows are the ones that peak and may come back to ok for a while but will peak again. The ones that are just ok to fill in time with are the just ok ones.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I thought Ozark was going to be the rare all-good show but I binged the most recent half season last weekend....and it's no longer top tier.

I don't mind a few flat episodes of a show (especially ones focused on a side story) but when entire arcs fall flat is when I can't recommend a show.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Ooh .... I like this one.

I don't think that there's a single answer. Very very very few shows are both consistent and great.

In fact, if you restrict the sample size to shows that have run for five seasons or longer ... I think you'd run into some issues. Even some of the absolute best (Sopranos, The Wire) had a few seasons that weren't as stellar as the others.

That said, I would rather have a show that was great ... truly great ... for a little while than a show that just kept pushing out perfectly cromulent shows. But that also depends ...

For instance- Dexter Season 1 was groundbreaking (for the time). Season 4 was an all-time classic. Season 2 was really really good. And Season 3 was watchable. But the remaining seasons varied between "oh" (Season 5) to "please claw my eyes out" (Season 8), that the show itself became a laughing stock.

I also think we tend to de-value how hard it is to make a good and consistent product over a long period of time. The Shield, for example, was a quality show that ran for seven seasons. It's also one of the few shows that, arguably, had its best season as the last season. But more importantly, it didn't have any really bad seasons; even when it wasn't great, it was always good.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I thought Ozark was going to be the rare all-good show but I binged the most recent half season last weekend....and it's no longer top tier.

I don't mind a few flat episodes of a show (especially ones focused on a side story) but when entire arcs fall flat is when I can't recommend a show.

Ozark was great now it ok to good.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Consistently dull, with poor characterisation and acting, inconsistent plot direction, and being generally an inferior Babylon 5 clone.

Don't talk about TNG that way;)

Personally I thought DS9 peaked higher than TNG as well.
Season 1 of DS9 is watchable as well.

Take away a few if rbgs best episodes (borg, Q) and it's actually not that great overall. And there's not that many of those great episodes.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
For instance- Dexter Season 1 was groundbreaking (for the time). Season 4 was an all-time classic. Season 2 was really really good. And Season 3 was watchable. But the remaining seasons varied between "oh" (Season 5) to "please claw my eyes out" (Season 8), that the show itself became a laughing stock.
I think that becomes a problem for shows that set themselves a very high bar early, and then simply run out of that creative energy because it's not sustainable. It's like The Simpsons; it's not that the last 20+ years have been bad, there are quite a few very good episodes sprinkled through that era, but compared to the sustained brilliance of seasons 3-8, it's going to look that much worse.
 

payn

Legend
I think that becomes a problem for shows that set themselves a very high bar early, and then simply run out of that creative energy because it's not sustainable. It's like The Simpsons; it's not that the last 20+ years have been bad, there are quite a few very good episodes sprinkled through that era, but compared to the sustained brilliance of seasons 3-8, it's going to look that much worse.
There is also another factor to a lot of popular shows that I call the "too many cooks in the kitchen" effect. When actors start doing the writing and directing, and other popular actors join the cast and start writing and directing, consistency goes out the window.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I think that becomes a problem for shows that set themselves a very high bar early, and then simply run out of that creative energy because it's not sustainable. It's like The Simpsons; it's not that the last 20+ years have been bad, there are quite a few very good episodes sprinkled through that era, but compared to the sustained brilliance of seasons 3-8, it's going to look that much worse.

I think it's really hard. All of us, when we have something we truly love ... we want more of it.

But it's always best to leave when people are still wanting more.

One of the great things about the move to prestige TV is that we have more limited runs ... the seasons are less (usually between 8-13 episodes, instead of the 23 episode season of broadcast) and they often are planned to run for 3-5 seasons.

Shows like TNG or Buffy, that ran successfully for a long time ... are the exception, and are likely going to be even more rare moving forward.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
One of the great things about the move to prestige TV is that we have more limited runs ... the seasons are less (usually between 8-13 episodes, instead of the 23 episode season of broadcast) and they often are planned to run for 3-5 seasons.

Shows like TNG or Buffy, that ran successfully for a long time ... are the exception, and are likely going to be even more rare moving forward.
Yea, and I'm totally OK with that. I have about zero patience for 20+ episode seasons anymore.
 

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