Some shows don’t have to go beyond their first season. They might have a great premise best suited for a short story, such as criminally underrated scream queens; perhaps they are too bloated and would benefit from being disposable, as the now infamous jubilation; or perhaps they are just concepts that should not be allowed to enter their own devices, such as A long time ago.

For some reason, fans feel that these shows shouldn’t have gone beyond the first season. Fans on Reddit have come up with many shows that have dragged on, arguing that if they ended on the first season, they might be remembered among the best examples of their respective genres.

1 ‘Glee’ (2009-2015)

Characters from Glee throwing slush at the camera

Few shows have aged as much as jubilation. The once-commercial juggernaut and critically acclaimed series slowly degenerated, ending its six-season run as a shadow of itself. It is currently best remembered for its highly controversial cast and the increasingly gruesome stories that emerge from its troubled production.

However, season 1 jubilation was really great, with catchy musical covers, likable characters and an enjoyable plot that instantly draws you in. Redditor u/supes1 thinks that “Season 2 jubilation became exactly the type of show they parodied in the first season”, while u/CookieCatSupreme felt that the second season felt “lost”, with episodes written “on the fly” rather than “prepared”.

2 “The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017-)

Elisabeth Moss as June in The Handmaid's Tale promo image.

Elisabeth Moss earned her coveted Emmy Award for Demonstration of Power in The Handmaid’s Tale 1 season. Adaptation Margaret Atwoodseminal novel, The Handmaid’s Tale Set in the dystopian land of Gilead, it follows June, a fertile woman forced into childbearing slavery.

Redditor u/TheFamilyJulezzz believes the show should have ended in its first season because “no TV writer could even hope to compete with Margaret Atwood.” Indeed, since season 2, The Handmaid’s Tale made significant changes to the show’s narrative, deviating further from the source material. While some of these changes have been well received, it’s clear that the show is now on its own.

3 ‘Heroes’ (2006-2010)

The main characters of the series Heroes on the promotional image for the series.

Heroes started with an intriguing premise that took advantage of the superhero boom of the early 2000s. The show focused on a group of ordinary people who discovered they had superpowers and worked together to prevent future disasters.

The first season was universally acclaimed and received several awards, including Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. However, Heroes lost steam in future seasons and the show fell victim to its own devices. u/OdoWanKenobi blames several factors for the show’s demise, commenting that it “was originally intended to be an anthology, but the characters became too popular, so they had to be abandoned.” The infamous 2007 writers’ strike made Heroes no favors; at least its stellar first season remains a master class in genre storytelling.

4 “American Gods” (2017-2021)

american gods-jan-mcshane-season-3-social-recognized

underrated Ian McShane stars in Bryan FullerX american godsbased Neil Gaiman2001 novel of the same name. The story centers on the battle between the Old and New Gods and the man stuck in the middle.

Though never been a ruthless rating, american gods received positive reviews, with audiences marking it as an upcoming classic. However, fans felt a drastic decline in quality after season 1, with Reddi user u/djkhan23 stating that “Bryan Fuller’s departure killed the show”. u/AtraposJM claims that “the script in S2 was really bad”, agreeing that the show should have ended after Fuller left.

5 Once Upon a Time (2011-2018)

once-on-time-on social networks
Image via ABC

ABC fantasy show A long time ago was television’s answer to enchanted. The show focused on a large and diverse group of fairy tale characters sent into the real world by the Evil Queen’s curse. Only Snow White and Prince Charming’s daughter can break it with the help of her son, whom she gave up for adoption and who somehow ends up in the cursed city.

While the first season was innovative and charming, subsequent seasons became overly contrived and downright silly. u/babblingrant36 criticized the series for its “extremely repetitive storylines”, while Eroticawriter4 felt that the series “just stopped trying” after the first season.

6 “Motherland” (2011-2020)

Image via Showtime

Claire Danes And Damian Lewis received rave reviews for their work in Motherland season 1. The show focuses on Carrie Matheson, a CIA officer with bipolar disorder who suspects that Nicholas Brody, a recently released POW, was converted during his time with al-Qaeda.

Tense, brilliantly acted, and with clever writing, Motherland was an instant success. However, the quality declined in future seasons, with u/RugRuggly opining that seasons 2 and beyond were “far from the quality of season 1”. Another user u/maroon6798 felt that “S1 would have been the best season on TV if they pulled the trigger (literally) with Brody and made him really attack.”

7 “Scream Queens” (2015-2016)

The cast of Scream Queens are looking directly at the camera.

Emma Roberts and future cultural sensation Keke Palmer joined the Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin and Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis V Ryan Murphyevil satire scream queens. The first season followed a college sorority that was attacked by a masked assassin called the Red Devil.

Damn Campy! scream queens The first season was the definition of criminal pleasure. However, a second season was not necessary, according to u/party_daz, who felt “the show would have been a classic satire if the first season had just been left alone.” Budget issues made the second season feel smaller and dumber, and even the show’s ridiculously talented ensemble couldn’t save it.

8 “Broadchurch” (2013-2017)

Olivia Colman and David Thewlis on the beach and looking into the distance in Broadchurch.

Future Oscar Winner Olvia Colman joined David Thewlis in BBC crime drama Broadchurch. The first season revolved around the death of a local 11-year-old boy and the consequences for the small coastal town of Broadchurch.

While the show continued to be critically acclaimed throughout all three episodes, some fans feel that Seasons 2 and 3 failed to reach the heights of the original. u/stump2016 stated that both seasons were “more like afterthoughts and nothing had the emotional impact of the first”. Another user u/radicalqueerwarrior goes even further, claiming that seasons 2 and 3 were an excuse to “milk it as hard as possible”.

9 “True Detective” (2014-)

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Matthew McConaughey And Woody Harrelson starred in season 1 Nick Pizzolattocrime drama anthology True detective. The plot revolves around two homicide detectives who must return to a seventeen-year-old case involving several unsolved crimes.

1 season True detective received universal critical acclaim. However, seasons 2 and 3 did not come close to the original, and many fans felt that doing them was a mistake. u/bl4ckCloudz felt that “Season 2 is getting out of control with the plot” and while Season 3 is “pretty good” it doesn’t “capture the same lightning in a bottle as Season 1.”

10 “Killing Eve” (2018-2022)

Eve and Villanelle from Killing Eve

Sandra Oh And Jodie Comer show the best results in a career in the first season Killing Eve, one of the great shows about female antiheroes. The series is about a cat-and-mouse chase between British intelligence investigator Eva and the psychopathic killer Villanelle. As their relationship develops, they develop an obsession with each other.

Most fans agree that the first season was so exciting because of Phoebe Waller-Bridgeexceptional letter; her departure greatly affected the show. Redditor ptazdba felt that “things weren’t pushed far enough” in Season 2, while dolce_bby blamed the different main writers each season for the story being “almost kind of disjointed”.