Viewer’s Remorse: 14 TV Shows That Should’ve Ended After the First Season

We've all been there. You watch a TV series that had a stellar first season, only for it to become an epic letdown as the show progresses. Well, the viewers have spoken. Based on a trending forum, here's a list of 14 TV shows that never should have continued after the first season.

1. Riverdale (2017 – 2023)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Studios.

One user lampooned the longstanding TV series for abandoning apparent sound writing in its first season in exchange for over-the-top storylines. Users complained that the one-liners devolved to wanton cringiness, with someone remarking that lines such as “You wanted fire? Sorry Cheryl bombshell, my specialty is ice” truly exemplify how ridiculous the series became.

2. 13 Reasons Why (2017 – 2020)

13 Reasons Why
Image Credit: July Moon Productions.

Criticisms run deep when it comes to 13 Reasons Why. Much of the upheaval stems from the show's premise and its portrayal of mental illness. A forum member mentioned that the series caused more harm to the discourse surrounding serious issues such as mental health, assault, and the like instead of bringing light to a stigmatized topic.

3. Euphoria (2019 – )

Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

The general consensus says it would have been perfect for this series to have been just one season long. The first season of Euphoria had a clear and coherent storyline that jived with the show's overall style. After that, one respondent notes, “It got too art-flimsy and pretentious in the second one.”

4. The OC (2003 – 2007)

The OC
Image Credit: College Hill Pictures, Inc.

The teen drama series received high marks for its ability to weave together spicy love interests while balancing cross-generational stories. However, it would quickly lose touch by hyper-focusing on storylines bereft of any substance.

5. Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 2017)

Pretty Little Liars
Image Credit: Warner Horizon Television.

Season one of PLL was a home run with how the writers kept the audience intrigued with mystery and scandal. Unfortunately, as the show continued, the plot became less believable with each episode. A contributor stated, “It used to be a fun mystery that became a joke towards the end.”

6. Killing Eve (2018 – 2022)

Killing Eve
Image Credit: BBC America Original Production.

Initially, Killing Eve offered all the thrills and excitement that a show centered on espionage should deliver. The show's loyalists agree that although the second season wasn't bad, they would've been perfectly fine with season one as a standalone.

7. Glee (2009 – 2015)

Image Credit: Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision.

Although Glee holds a special place in many people's hearts, a lot of TV fans felt that it should have been a one-hit-wonder. While most of the performances were well done, the raw storyline became muffled as Glee tried to become everything to everyone.

8. Heroes (2006 – 2010)

Image Credit: Tailwind Productions.

If you enjoy a good superhero show, start with Heroes‘ first season and be sure not to continue any further. Undoubtedly the show begins as a breath of fresh air with its own twist on the superhero genre. However, the narrative quickly becomes a mess of incongruous drama.

9. You (2018 – )

you tv show
Image Credit: Netflix.

The show's premise is a little risky to begin with, as the stalking and obsession can be seen as a romanticization of toxic behavior. But if you can get over that, the first season was perfect. From season two on, the series loses the sophistication that the books provide, and it's just boring and predictable.

10. Westworld (2016 – 2022)

Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

The first season of Westworld was a sci-fi masterpiece. There was intrigue in all the right places — you couldn't take your eyes off it. However, according to one individual, they began to overdo it with cliffhangers, and the story was needlessly convoluted. 

11. Dawson's Creek (1998 – 2003)

Dawson's Creek
Image Credit: Columbia TriStar Television.

Dawson's Creek was such a promising show about teenage love affairs and the growing pains associated with becoming an adult. Much was made about Joey, Dawson's love interest, and the love triangle that developed between the two of them and Pacey — his best friend. Well, all that was for nothing since the ending was anti-climatic at best. Neither of the men cares who Joey chooses, which completely obliterates the point of all that melodrama you endure for the entire series.

12. Gossip Girl (2007 – 2012)

Gossip Girl
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Gossip Girl was nothing if not captivating during season one. Everyone was vying for social supremacy in a world with an obvious hierarchy. The dynamic between the social elite and the have-nots gave us insight into what we wouldn't know about outside of cheesy magazine articles and TMZ. Nonetheless, it wouldn't last long as the scandals became grandiose and the writers ultimately began to undermine the original premise.

13. Russian Doll (2019 – )

Russian Doll
Image Credit: Universal Television.

I binge-watched the first season of Russian Doll with my husband and we loved it! The second season could have been way more compelling when compared to the goodness we'd just witnessed. That being said, enter at your own risk if you don't want to be disappointed because you had high expectations.

14. Smallville (2001 – 2011)

Image Credit: Tollin-Robbins Productions.

Smallville is one of those shows with a loyal following in two directions. Some users love it and are die-hard Superman fans, and others follow it just to critique it because it wasn't what they were hoping for in terms of execution. I'd have to agree with the latter.

Season one had a ton of potential; it was my first introduction to superhero TV shows. However, it seemed to go flat for me after that. It was relegated to hackneyed tropes about how superheroes were supposed to be, which wasn't very entertaining.

Source: Reddit.