These Popular TV Shows Overcame Terrible Early Seasons to Become Fan Favorites

The first season of a TV show sets the pace for the rest of the series. While some shows burn out after one or two seasons, others are able to establish a long-term premise that lasts for years. But if a show has a rocky start, can it ever recover?

In the case of these beloved series, the answer is yes. Characters had to be retooled slightly, and the overarching theme may have changed a bit, but the following shows were given a second season that allowed them to realize their full potential. Most aren’t so lucky.

Here are 15 TV shows that sucked in the beginning, but got much, much better.

1. Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie sit on a beach looking shocked

Grace and Frankie | Netflix

  • Number of seasons: 3 (so far)
  • Worst season per Rotten Tomatoes: Season 1, 55%

With stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and Friend’s creator Marta Kauffman at the helm, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie got a lot of early buzz. Few shows choose to focus exclusively on senior citizens, and it was a daring move, but if anyone could make it work, it was this crew.

Sadly, the first season received mixed reviews. Critics praised the cast, but didn’t feel that the writing was strong enough. Season 2 showed a vast improvement, and reviews became more positive. The third season has shown even more promise, and a fourth season is coming in 2018.

Next: A Marvel spinoff with a rocky start