It’s a well-known fact that sequels end up killing the show/movie, etc., and these top 10 terrible second seasons will prove just that. It is often said that the sequels end up forgetting the original roots and severely divert from the topic. And Hollywood is no stranger to that. Be it creative storytelling, unseen character tropes, or just stellar cast members — first seasons give viewers a lot to look forward to. However, the problem with high-concept first seasons is that they usually leave little room for potential follow-ups. Once concluded, their once exciting plots become paper-thin, making it difficult for creators to level-up.
Here are the top 10 second seasons that killed off their shows:
This is one of those shows that require the viewer’s undivided attention because of its convoluted timelines and complex familial ties. But for the niche that enjoys the complexity, they sit through it and get to the core of it. And then, it eventually proves to be the perfect form of pay-off media. But in the second season, despite being buoyed by strong performances, Bloodline struggles to captivate viewers like its predecessor. It is still a product of the same threads that put together season 1, but somehow the familiarity of its characters and their relationships make it less binge-worthy. Bloodline was even renewed for a third season later on, but that received the same fate as season 2.
9. The Following
For the people that love suspense, the first season of The Following, starring Kevin Bacon, hooked its viewers with its robust and suspenseful plot. With what follows, the series maintains its edginess with unforeseeable twists and thrills. However, despite being incredibly tense, The Following demands a heavy suspension of disbelief from the very beginning. The more it stretches its logical implausibility in its second season, the deeper it digs into its own hole. Towards the end of season 2, it fails beyond recovery and becomes painfully uninteresting in season 3.
8. Top Of The Lake
This show was well appreciated by the viewers and critics both, which is not usual. This means that the show was promising. Top Of The Lake offers more than just a generic mystery drama, including dialogues that perfectly keep the show in the midst of suspense, it maintained an unnerving atmosphere throughout its seven-episode runtime. Unfortunately, after season 1, Top of the Lake runs out of new stories to tell and heavily relies on cosmic concordances that make little sense. Although its ensemble and well-written characters still keep it mildly intriguing, it lacks the riveting pace that it once had, making it no better than other generic mystery dramas that are aimlessly floating around. This led to the show being called off.
The first season of Revolution puts the viewers at ease with its gripping story of a post-apocalyptic landscape. where a mysterious blackout has dawned upon the entire world. In its attempt to portray the reunion of a family, the show brings some stunning visuals and potentially compelling plot points to the screen. But because of its organic sci-fi characteristics — or lack thereof — it becomes quite redundant even after revitalizing its ideas in season 2.
The Returned, a novel by Jason Matt, was adapted into a show called Resurrection which revolves around the residents of Arcadia whose lives change dramatically when their deceased loved ones mysteriously return. It kind of seemed like Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, but it sidelined the horrors of the return and focused more on the sentimentality. But with season 2, Resurrection becomes less emotionally engrossing, and its procedural supernatural whodunnit elements just don’t seem ambitious enough. Not to mention, Sundance Channel’s The Returned easily overshadows Resurrection with its superior take on a similar plot.
5. Dark Angel
We all know Jessica Alba, don’t we? Let’s talk about her breakthrough role. Dark Angel was James Cameron’s television debut, but also the groundbreaking role for Jessica Alba. The sci-fi drama tells the story of Max, a genetically enhanced superhuman prototype who has escaped a military lab. Other than Cameron’s impressive vision of a post-apocalyptic world, it’s Jessica Alba’s palatable one-liners that give it a unique identity. But in the second season, the absence of the soul becomes far too evident, and it ultimately led to its downfall. The show evidently paled out as compared to Cameron’s other creations.
This show centers on the lives of undercover agents from several law-enforcement agencies, living together in a mansion called Graceland. But even with its average plot developments, the series proves to be a fun ride because of clever twists and likable characters. In its sophomore season though, in an attempt to further notch up its mystery drama, the show jumps the shark and drives itself down.
3. Under The Dome
Speaking of Stephen King, he undoubtedly gets the crown for being the king of celebrityhood that most authors can dream of. The credit goes to his catalog of iconic horror novels that translate so well to the screen. But, what goes up must come down, and Under The Dome is the perfect example of that. What starts as a loyal adaptation of King’s cosmic/survival horror novel, later becomes an absurdly rigid and dim-witted exploration of the extraterrestrial.
2. True Detective
You know what happens when the show in its first season is so promising but fails to live up to its expectations in the second season? The show gets called off, and this is what happened to True Detective. It was one of a kind in its first season because of the brilliant performances by Matthew McConaughey, and Woody Harrelson. With its slow-burn of a premise and nihilistic undertones, the show grabs viewers from the very first episode. Season 2, again, boasts a star-studded cast but fails to bring back all the other elements that made season 1 a television landmark. The plot feels less inventive, lacks the first season’s rhythm, and most of all, stalls away from the scintillating character dynamics of its predecessor.
1. 13 Reasons Why
Yes, this tops our list. This one particular show was so loved by the audience that almost everyone around the world was binge-watching it and wearing the tag of watching this show like a badge of honor. The reason being its harrowing exploration of high school challenges, violence against women, and grief. But as soon as 13 Reasons Why unnecessarily extended its storyline beyond its source material, it fell flat. It’s almost surprising how despite going completely downhill after season 1, the show was renewed for three more seasons; out of which, none could revive it.
Let us know if you can think of more such shows, and tell us about us in the comments.