Excellent TV shows are tough to maintain in an industry crowded with tons of series competing with one another to stay in the game.
However, when it comes to a television show's lifespan, it doesn't matter how exceptional the writing and talent are.
As long as the audience keeps coming back season after season, the show is a success.
But what good is a show's success if it fails to captivate fans and the writing does not live up to the quality that initially wowed viewers in the beginning?
Curious to hear about the audience's take, Redditor RedWestern asked:
Superheroes, Castles, And Bloodsuckers
Everyone loves superheroes and villains; witches and fairies; and vampires.
Speaking of vampires, some Redditors thought these shows sucked towards later seasons.
"Is it fair to say Heroes. I love the show, but it was wack for like the last two seasons. The reboot was just I don't know what that was."
"Remember when Peter took his girlfriend to the future, and then just left her there?"
"Honestly, my biggest issue was when they started nerfing Peter and Sylar. They had become a little too powerful since they could collect powers, but the way they kept trying to do it was just lazy writing."
"Season 2 also had the really annoying Nissan Rogue product placement -- which only contrasted with how well they did the Versa in Season 1."
That Fairy Tale Show
"Once Upon a Time- interesting concept, poor execution down the line."
"Every season we had to deal with yet another memory wipe."
"That got old fast."
They Say It Sucked Towards The End
"I loved True Blood but man it went wayy off the rails especially the last couple seasons."
"They crammed so much into that show Im still amazed Batman didn't make a cameo."
No Place For Fairies
"Omg I loved it and the books but then all the fairy sh*t started happening in both and I was like f'k you Charlaine Harris, what have you done!"
"Also billith? What the actual f'k?"
When Thrilling Dramas Lose Steam
The following shows set a high bar for themselves when they had a solid and engaging first season.
These shows hit the ground running and were a huge adrenaline rush but eventually struggled to keep their momentum going.
Because where else can you go after you triumphantly bust out of prison at the end of a thrilling season? Why, start over in another prison, of course.
That Escape Show
"Prison Break. They kept having to break out of prison every two seasons."
"It should have ended after 1 season and a successful escape."
That Political Drama
"House of Cards should have ended after season two."
"I don't know if they ran out of ideas or what but if Frank Underwood went from being some sort of political super genius to one of the dumbest mother f'kers."
The Marijuana Mom
"Weeds. Once she left the burbs the whole premise was lost and it went off the rails."
"It was pretty predictable that Nancy would f'k her way out of whatever new situation they were in, the only question was occasionally with whom. Her vagina became the most boring deus ex machina."
Those Crazy Plastic Surgeons
"Nip/Tuck for me. Man. First three seasons were just fantastic. After that, just went for shock and trash."
"It's when they moved to LA and for some reason Kimber and Matt came as well. In fact, Kimber was a shoehorned in character and I don't know why they kept her around for as long as they did. I have lots of good memories of that show as it was always crazy town banana pants, but yeah, sh*t got whack."
"Predictable And Boring"
"How to get away with murder- I mean I know they tried to evolve the characters and show growth but any changes after like the second season just sucked. 1st season Annalise was the only good one, it was really how impressive her character was that really sucked me in, and I kept hoping to see that impressiveness again with every new season but it just never got back to that level."
"Also the first season (and partly in the second) was pretty different and I kept being genuinely surprised by plot twists, but after a while it just became predictable and boring, like how most popular shows I've seen that I got into because the first couple of seasons were really intriguing."
The Misunderstood Serial Killer
"I want to say dexter but honestly I don't remember how it ends. Something about that dumb girlfriend, something about it was not very dexter-like."
Sitcoms And Cartoons
Even comedies and toon struggle to keep the audience consistently laughing.
One show found a "good place" in the TV ratings for a strong 4th season finish while the other struggled to keep fans from feeling like they were being punk'd.
That Afterlife Show
"The Good Place is an example of a show that felt like it had at least a solid outline for the series and knew it would need to end."
"I find that in general, I prefer series with that sort of a plan. I've lost interests in entire genres because they just rehashed similar story arcs over and over. The arcs may have had a plan but there wasn't one for the series or the characters. And trying to shoehorn character development into that model generally doesn't work for me."
End Of An Era
"That 70s Show after Jackie & Hyde brokeup, Eric & Kelso left, and Donna became blonde. Wtf."
"can't believe i had to scroll this far for this. The seasons where Eric is gone, but everyone still hangs out in the basement.... were tough. Red and Kitty carried the show. The 8th season was painful."
"the simpsons. it started as a skewing of the mainstream, became the mainstream and is now a repetitive parody of itself"
Still Good For A Laugh
"In broad strokes HIMYM [How I Met Your Mother] f'ked up, but I consistently laugh through all its seasons. It's only the ending and resolution of some of the plot lines that leave me sour."
"I'd still watch it again, though."
"Seasons 1-3 of PLL [Pretty Little Liars] were honestly really good. After that it went down hill so fast. You already had to suspend some belief, but season 4 and onwards just got ridiculous."
When Nickelodeon Changed
"SpongeBob, it's not even SpongeBob anymore. I don't even call the new seasons proper episodes. You can see a clear barrier when Hillenburg died and when Nickelodeon took over and disrespected his death and legacy. I can't even watch Nickelodeon anymore, it's not even Nickelodeon, they changed so much. They ended up like mobile, were everything is just two minute produced ads to farm money from games with no effort put into them. Children's television is much less in favor than before, they stopped trying, they just layed down and died. They can just produce garbage and reruns and make money, so they did. Just like mobile and movies, nowadays everyone just watches old movies and shows, back when they had passion."
A show failing to keep audiences engaged is due to a number of reasons – one of which is due to a showrunner leaving the series they created for other auspicious projects.
Writers have the pressure of being trusted to maintain the integrity of story themes and character arcs as the highly-rated shows they are assigned to get renewed every year.
While some shows successfully avoid the pitfalls of being a long-running show; other critically-acclaimed series just wind up falling flat and get dragged on for another wretched season.
Excellent ratings don't always equal quality, unfortunately.