• Wed, Feb 12 - 12:40 pm ET

Open Thread: What ‘Bad’ TV Shows Deserve A Second Chance?

The Goldbergs Bev teaching Adam to dance

When The Goldbergs first premiered back in the fall, I dismissed it as trying waaayy too hard. Like you’re in the ’80s, I get it! No need to shove Rubik’s Cubes and feathered hair in my face. Because I like to think that my opinion’s the only opinion that matters, I assumed that everyone else also dismissed the show. But, it turns out that a lot of my friends like it. So much so that they recommended it that I give it a second chance. And tell you what, I did and I like it! I don’t love it, but I like it enough to watch it when it’s on.

While there aren’t any lines so far that I find myself laughing about the next day, I’m falling for the Goldberg family. I like Bev and Barry and Erika and even, grudgingly, their horny old Pops. It’s no 30 Rock and it’s certainly no Arrested Development, but I’m recently coming to the revelation that nothing will ever replace those shows in my heart. So I need to stop comparing every new comedy to them. After all, not every show can afford to sends its cast to the Royal Tampa Academy of Dramatic Tricks to learn the art of being funny.

My recent interest in the Goldbergs plus my revelation that my expectations for TV comedies are way too high made me start thinking that perhaps, there are even more shows that I dismissed right away that I should check out again. What if I’m missing out on something great? Like, what if Brooklyn 99 actually deserved that Golden Globe??? (LOL, JKJK)  So help me help myself by telling me what horrible no-good show doesn’t deserve its horrible no-good reputation! Or to put it in more professional terms, what shows are better than their pilots?

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    I don’t know if it has a bad rep, but I really like Mom on CBS (even if it is a Chuck Lorre sitcom…) And I know a ton of people hate-watch it, but I still like Girls, even if I hate a lot of the characters.

  • CMJ

    All I know is I am really glad I gave Parks and Rec a second chance…

    • Alison

      Me too! I watched the pilot when it first came out and haaaaaated it, then, in a fit of boredom a few years later, gave it a second try on Netflix and the rest is history.

    • Jenni

      It was such a poor man’s Office when it started. Then they ditched Leslie Knope = Michael Scott and it got so much better.

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Also Mark Brendanawicz was the worst.

    • Alison

      Maybe not the worst, but definitely out of place in Pawnee.

    • elle

      I seriously can’t watch the first 2 seasons of Parks because of Marks But once I read they were getting rid of him and bringing on Adam Scott (I am obsessed with Party Down) I decided to give it another shot. And I love it. But I still can’t watch the first 2 seasons.

    • Violet

      I started watching Parks and Rec when Adam Scott joined the cast. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I call myself a huge fan but I’ve actually never watched before that point lol

    • Guest

      The first season is much more palatable after you have come to love the characters from the later seasons. I only kept watching after the first season because my friend INSISTED I would love it (I just adore Tina Fey and 30 Rock and she told me this would be the next show I love) and I did love it as the seasons went on. When I went and rewatched the first season, it wasn’t as bad as I remembered. Maybe give it a chance and know that it won’t be as good but it is still Parks and Rec. :)

  • elle

    You know what? Brooklyn 99 is actually a really hilarious show. Did it deserve that Emmy? No, it’s only been on for half a season but it is really funny and I love how diverse it is. Andre Baugher is so deadpan hilarious. And Terry Crewes is always great. I recommend watching the Thanksgiving episode and the episode where Jake is investigating an arson at a pizza place. Those are the two funniest episodes and if you don’t like them you won’t like the show but do give it a second chance.

    • elle

      Ok rereading I see Brooklyn won the GG not Emmy….still don’t think they should have won it. Maybe in a year or 2 but not after half a season.

    • Jenni

      Ughhhhh, fineeee, maybe I’ll try again!

    • Alison

      You should! I wasn’t sold on it from the first few episodes, but it’s really come into its own and has shifted the focus from being Andy Samberg-centric to being more of an ensemble. Last week’s episode had me laughing so hard I was in tears.

    • Jenni

      For no real reason, I can’t stand Andy Samberg. So this definitely helps the case.

    • Alison

      He’s toned down some of his….Samberg-ness…too.

    • elle

      I was dying at last week’s episode! Loved it.

  • Jill O’Rourke

    I don’t know if it was necessarily considered “bad” at first, but I think The Middle is extremely underrated. I didn’t start watching until the third season because I never really thought it would be my kind of show, but now I never miss an episode.

  • mbosnja

    The Mindy Project.

    • Jenni

      I gave it a second chance last year and really liked it. But then I couldn’t get into it this season. Perhaps, I’ll try again!

  • Alexis

    Trophy Wife is probably the best use of an ensemble cast even though it was iffy at first. Are You the One? on MTV (I know, I know) is so addictive. And I really love Enlisted as well.

    • Jenni

      Apparently Trophy Wife is not being renewed….and it was my fave new show this season.

    • Alexis

      OH NO! What a bummer! It was so great to have Bradley Whitford back on my TV (still upset about the West Wing…)

    • Jill O’Rourke

      Nooooooo! I need my weekly Michaela Watkins.

    • elle

      This is depressing news. I’m normally not a big Malin Akerman fan but I just love everything about Trophy Wife.

  • abby k.

    I don’t know about bad, but I swear no one has ever seen Terra Nova or Jericho, and both shows are AMAZING!

    • Jill O’Rourke

      I watched Terra Nova and enjoyed it while it lasted. That was partly because I had really liked Jason O’Mara on Life on Mars.

    • Josie

      Jericho was awesome. I was so upset when they cancelled it. :(

  • Christina Kwan

    There are so many new shows popping up all the time that it’s so difficult to discern what to try and what not to try! I too, enjoy The Goldbergs a lot (thanks to my boyfriend who got me onto it). I also love The Middle and Community thanks to him.

  • Kaitlin Reilly

    I’m going to throw The Following in here as well. I’m addicted, even though it’s ridiculous on all levels.

    • Jenni

      That’s actually on my list. I’m going into it knowing that it’s going to be ridic and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.

  • Guest

    This is definitely a critical darling (so not bad) but everyone that I know who watches it is my parent’s age so like 60 and above but…….The Good Wife! It is in season 5 right now and almost every single episode this season has been beyond fabulous! I jumped in to the series last year at the start of Season 4 and was hooked! But the only people who I can talk to about it are my parents’ friends….Odd. I would suggest starting a little further back than just season because of all the crazy game changing moments that are happening right now get set up well in the last season (or 2).

    • Jenni

      Just got into this year and I’m obsessed. I think it’s one of the best shows on TV and I’m 100% the person who previously wrote it off as a mom show.

  • Alyssa

    Dont trust the B in Apartment 23. :( it needs to come back

    • Jenni

      From your mouth to the God of TV’s ears!

  • Kaili

    More GCB please. It’s such a reminder of growing up and not wanting my heart blessed