Jump in/off/out points with TV shows

For some reason a lot of TV shows don’t start well but then get good or are great to start with and then go off the boil.

Tell us about the shows that aren’t worth watching till episode 7 or season 3 and the ones that you need to get the fuck out of before season 4.

image image

Also, as a potential discussion point (or something to ignore completely) I’m constantly amazed at the number of quite highly-rated comedy shows that have absolutely terrible pilot episodes and even weak first seasons. It almost seems that there’s an expectation that opening episodes will be poor these days. This seems really strange to me, I get that a show will grow, develop and get stronger but shouldn’t professional writers be able to present a first episode that has some laughs in it?

Comedy mines laughs from characters more than situations generally. Without knowing the characters the comedy doesn’t land.

Generally, once you know and love the characters pilots and early seasons retrospectively hold up better.

The leftovers. Jump in at the pilot, jump out at episode 2 jump back in at season 2 then shake it all about until the end

1 Like

Arrested Development pilot. Full of laughs.

Yeah, that’s a show that is fairly uniquely written for wild plotting and structure and stuff though (and it still improves once you know the characters)

Basically, you can’t be like “Haha! That’s classic Joey” until you know who Joey is


I understand the point you’re making - the laughs should increase as we understand the characters better - but a good writer (ior team of writers) should be able to make an audience laugh from pretty early on.

1 Like

US Office

Jump in: Season 2
Jump out: season whichever it is where Steve Carell leaves


Jump back in for the last 2 episodes though.

Then constantly rewatch season 2 forever.

Think most folks agree that Bojack only really gets going midway through season 1 but you need to jump in at the start so I’m not sure that counts?

Jump off from Dexter the moment the closing credits roll on season 4.

1 Like

That’s interesting. I found the first episode mirth-free and that pretty much put me off.

Yeah, the whole setup of his persona and the ‘light’ humour of a world where animals live as humans is one of the great bait-and-switches but it’s a risky strategy. I gave up initially 4 or 5 episodes in I think. Then I revisited and it’s eps 6/7 where you realise the actual tone and themes of the show.

Honestly it’s one of the most profoundly emotive shows I’ve ever seen but you’d never glean that from the opening half of the first season.


Nah, you can stay on board with the Office throughout the James Spader episodes, it’s really just the last season that is pretty rancid.

Archer and Bojack take til halfway through series 1 to get going

My housemate is watching Parks and Rec for the first time and I said she should skip season 1 entirely


Interesting. Bounced right off this.

Jump out of Peep Show after the NYE episode.

1 Like

After the wedding I reckon, then back for the Christmas and NYE episodes, then out again.

1 Like

Season 1 is a totally different tone to season 2. Leslie becomes a lot more likeable, they beef up the characterisation and quickly dispense of the deadwood (BRANDANOWICZ!!!). Seasons 2-4 are absolutely superb television.


pilot is a bit shit imo, especially the longer version on the dvd. becomes great right from episode 2 though

Always Sunny - jump in at season 2. i didn’t hate 1 but feel like it’s a bit more ‘edgy’ and unpleasant in retrospect. there’s probably a bit of that in season 2 still as well

still has its moments now but you could probably jump out a few seasons ago without missing that much really