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« A novel form of revenge | Main | I'm glad I don't live on the East Coast! »

August 26, 2011

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Tom

Count MASH in the started strong, got bad category. Once Alda became a sensitive guy, it lost it's bite and became preachy and moralistic. Also bad was All in the Family. It was unwatchable at the end.

A couple of shows that started out weak but improved were Community and 30 Rock. It took both of them a season to find their voices, but once they did, they took off.

The Office also started poorly, since it seemed mostly intent on mimicking the British original. But once the second season started, it seems like the producers decided to pretend the original series didn't exist and they were going to do their own thing and it became great.

Tung Yin

I thought about "M*A*S*H," although I personally thought the early years with Trapper John and Colonel Blake weren't quite as good as the years with BJ Hunnicut *and* Frank Burns (i.e., seasons 4-5, I think). But then Burns left, and as you note, the show got preachy and experimental.

I don't really watch sitcoms anymore, so can't comment on your observations there. I do think "The Simpsons" was kind of lame at first and then got good, but I haven't watched it in . . . what, a dozen years? (Man, that show is OLD!) "Malcolm in the Middle" seemed to hold up all the way through; that's the last sitcom I watched regularly.

Matthew Lewis

West Wing is a show that started strong and got pretty bad. Basically as soon as Sorkin left, the writing got really flat. It picked up a bit at the end but was never really as entertaining as it was in the first three or four seasons. (Full disclosure, I'm enough of a Sorkin fan to own the DVD box set of Sports Night.)

I'm actually watching DS9 now, on recommendation of some KoL folks. The first season is pretty terrible, the actors are still getting used to their characters, and the plots are unoriginal or just weird. But the first season ends on a very good note with a couple solid episodes (Duet and In the Hands of the Prophets). I'm slogging through a lot of bad ones on the promise that it really picks up in later seasons, I hope I'm not disappointed.

Scrubs also started strong and went downhill, with only one good season after about Season 4.

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