19 Beloved Series That Fell Into a Slump!

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Sometimes some of our favorite series despite their best efforts experience a slump. 

There are many reasons why a beloved series could find themselves churning out a lackluster season to the disappointment of fans. 

There are times when the writing is inconsistent, or the character development is lacking, or maybe there are too many plots or not enough of them. There is also an argument for some of these shows to have shorter seasons for the sake of tighter storytelling overall. 

Be warned TV Fanatics, some of the shows that made it to this (previously assembled) list were casualties of Bloody Friday and Slaughterday. Sorry! That makes their cancellations all the harder to bear knowing they didn't go out on their best note. 

Check out our list of shows that experienced a rough patch, and sound off below if you agree, disagree, or have some suggestions of your own!

1. Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon
This one hurts badly. By now, fans are exhausted from the rollercoaster ride of Lethal Weapon behind the scenes drama and cast-shakeups. This show used to be one of the best FOX had to offer, and it was the strongest of this irritating reboot frenzy. It was a beloved series at TV Fanatic. Forgive me for speaking in past tense because with the abrupt firing of the supremely talented but seemingly controversial Clayne Crawford, I don't believe the series will be the same. It was renewed, and Seann William Scott is joining the cast, but only time will tell how the series will carry on.

Rocky cases, underused or uninteresting characters, and disjointed storytelling are a few of the reasons the series made it to this list. The biggest issue, however, is there was no end to Martin Riggs' pain and suffering. It's tough because if Riggs made too much progress, then it defeated the purpose of him being this troubled character. On the other hand, if he didn't make any progress or backpedaled it was redundant and not the least bit compelling. The series struggled a great deal this season pulling off the balance, and it missed it yet again with that finale.

It made for a heavy season weighed down by an unbearable amount of angst heaped upon this one character. Riggs had to be the most tragic individual on air. Riggs' tragic background and flashbacks were emotionally exhaustive. Perhaps there were signs along the way without us realizing it because Riggs' angst strained the friendship between Riggs and Murtaugh; there was a noticeable distance between them for most of the season. The heart of the series was the Murtaugh/Riggs partnership, and when that suffered, the show suffered. On that note, it's difficult to say how the new dynamic will play out onscreen now because Lethal Weapon was Riggs and Murtaugh and their kickass partnership.

2. Modern Family

Modern Family
Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Possibly. Modern Family is beginning to show it's age. The series has been on the air for nearly a decade now. The majority of the kids are grown or are adults, and that has made the series lose some of its chutzpah. The comedic timing has been off for most of the season, and it didn't pack the punch it used to with the comedy.

3. Scorpion

Another series that was visited by the grim reaper, Scorpion was one of those fun shows that usually pulled off the kooky and silly. That being said, the series pushed the boundaries of belief suspension. It tested the limits of fans mindlessly enjoying some of their implausible cases. It led to the adverse effect and sucked the fun out of most them.

Cabe's troubles never felt as dire as the show attempted to make them, and it never felt like the series was in danger of losing him. That also applied to the many times where a team member was in mortal danger.

The majority of the season was bogged down by relationship drama. The love triangle of sorts (or was it a quadrangle if you included Sly?) between Walter, Paige, and Florence was interminable. It made it to the season (now series) finale, which ended things on a sour note, to the extreme annoyance of fans. It's devastating that the series went out on such a sour note.

4. Arrow

Arrow's biggest pitfall this season was the never-ending inter-team squabbles. The infighting among the original Team Arrow and New Team Arrow was too much. What makes it worse is that both sides may have had valid points in the midst of the all the tension, but there was no way it played out where fans couldn't lean more towards OTA, even with Oliver's pesky trust issues.

Fans spent more time with the original members, and a rift spearheaded by a newer character who has at best been polarized since his arrival didn't do NTA any favors. Their actions were reprehensible all throughout, and it was never an even issue. NTA were wrong. Period. Any attempts at developing or adding layers to NTA to further endear them to the audience backfired. On top of that, the big bad of the season wasn't the least bit interesting.

5. Supernatural

A series that has been on for 13 years is going to hit a few rough patches, and Supernatural is no exception. The season kicked things off on a promising note by setting the season up to explore a brand new world. Unfortunately, the show didn't bother to truly delve into this new world until the end of the season. The show meandered along, and most of the season was forgettable. There was so much wasted potential. Nothing says slump like wasted potential.

6. Designated Survivor

Designated Survivor
To be fair, the second half of the season picked up, but that's due to the effects of the midseason finale and recurring guest stars like Kim Raver, Michael J. Fox, and Breckin Meyer. A series that relies on two time jumps in the same season would find itself losing steam.

Designated Survivor's identity crisis is the main issue. The show lost sight of its premise. Is it a political thriller or a political drama? There were terrorist attacks, conspiracies, and so many other plots happening at once that you felt you were being pulled in a million directions. The show had a difficult time spinning all their plates at once, and they often forgot some of their own storylines or wrapped them up in anti-climactic ways

In the meantime, one of the series' best characters, Aaron, was criminally and inexplicably underused all season. Hannah's job description was unfathomable to the tune of being utterly ridiculous, and Damian's presence in the season was a nuisance more than anything else. The 'ship between Seth and Emily was unpopular, and characters like Lyor were hit or miss all season. Designated Survivor's cancellation came as no surprise, sadly.

7. The Flash

The Flash
The season lost its mojo when they sidelined Barry. He was brought back from the speed force, but he ended up in prison shortly after that. He spent a significant amount of time in there only to come out and still take a backseat to Ralph.

There is such a thing as too much of the Elongated Man. Unfortunately, Ralph saturated the majority of the season with his cowardice, whining, and silliness. If you weren't a fan, or it took a while for you to come around to him, it made the season a chore to watch.

His arc was a repetitive and irritating cycle of tug-o-war. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming into heroic endeavors, lashed out at the team weekly, and required a pep talk multiple times an episode. Ralph's overuse meant the rest of the team were unable to thrive in their own storylines.

The series also spent the entire season portraying their antagonist as someone who could not be defeated, but then spent an episode revealing the simplest most obvious solution to defeat him with such overtness it took the fun out of the remainder of the season. The series is getting a bit repetitive. Also, still not over the wedding. Sorry, not sorry.

8. Lucifer

This one hurts the absolute most because even when this series struggled, as is the case with the recent season, it in no way deserved to be canceled. Lucifer is hands down one of the best series on FOX, and Lucifans are a force of hellraisers. We here are TV Fanatic are die-hard Lucifer fans and this cancellation has crushed us the most. There's hope, you guys. Keep tweeting and trending the series. #SaveLucifer and #Renew Lucifer are getting the necessary attention, and I swear to, Dad, we're not letting this one go without a fight!

Obviously, Pierce/Cain is the reason the series made it to this list. A soggy napkin has more personality and character than that guy. Ironically, Cain is more interesting when he's playing off of Lucifer, but they made the baffling decision to pair him with Chloe.

Was Ella responsible for this writing decision? She was the only person who saw chemistry between Chloe and Pierce. Dad knows Ella has become an extreme caricature of herself this season on top of everything else.

Lucifer, like some of the other series listed here, had the misfortune of having a long season with not enough material to carry it. There were a handful of episodes from the previous season randomly thrown in that threw off the narrative. The mythology at times was confusing for the writers and viewers.

Tom Ellis being the incredible Tom Ellis aside, the most compelling and interesting characters this season have been Charlotte, Linda, Amenadiel, and Dan. Please, someone, anyone, pick up Lucifer! They have one of the best cast on television. The series has a devoted fanbase. The characters are endearing, and the storytelling is compelling. No way this amazing series deserves to end. It certainly shouldn't end on it's most disjointed season. If it has to go, it needs to go out on top.


The crazy thing about this season of UnReal is that you didn't realize how disappointing it was until after you enjoyed the episode. Fans were so grateful the third season wasn't the trainwreck that UnReal's second season was that we settled for bronze instead of gold. We deserve gold!

The Quinnicisms have been on point, and the salacious drama was there all season, but what was the point of this season? It was boring up until the finale, and that was used to set up the next season. That's resting on one's laurels.

UnReal is best when it focuses on Quinn, but unfortunately, viewers were subjected to the neverending Rachel saga. What was worst, was there was no nuance to her storyline at all. At this point, I'm beyond caring about Rachel's emotional baggage. That sounds awful considering she is a mentally ill abuse and rape survivor, but bloody hell, enough already!

Serena was in no way likable, and many of the men pursuing her were awful, too. Some days, it's hard to believe that UnReal is the same Peabody award-winning, groundbreaking show that blew our socks off. Until next year, UnReal. Until next year.

10. Mary Kills People

Mary Kills People
This sleeper hit is one of the best things Lifetime has to offer, but the second season experienced that pesky sophomore slump. It's such a short season, which lends itself to tighter storytelling, but that wasn't the case for Mary Kills People Season 2.

The season's primary storylines had massive plot holes that couldn't be overlooked. The second season was darker and more somber, and the cliffhanger in the finale was a bit too heavy. It was also difficult when Mary went so dark that it was difficult at times to root for her. Still, the series is critically acclaimed for a reason, so hopefully it will recapture the charm of the first season.

11. Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is a hit, and Krysten Ritter excels at the role. Unfortunately, the sophomore season was stagnant. There was very little momentum which had the season dragging. It lacked action, and the antagonist wasn't nearly as gripping. The second season favored introspective character development and relationships that were more soap operatic than superhero. Sadly, it was dull and disappointing, and while the series maintains a strong feminist narrative, it still struggled with inclusiveness, particularly in its treatment of women of color.

12. Suits

This season has been all rinse, wash, and repeat. Mike's actions or presence jeopardizes someone or the firm. Someone is always "coming for them," and an angel loses it's wings every time someone says "goddamn" or "bullshit." The firm is always in jeopardy of failing, and someone always wants to take the group down. The worst part is, sometimes, it's hard not to root for the so-called "bad guys" versus our favorite characters because often, they're in the right.

The impact of Jessica's departure never landed because she reappeared so often. Donna's promotion to partner was one of the most ludicrous choices in the show's history. Donna and Harvey's relationship issues dragged on far too long, and the contrivance of Paula was just that, a contrivance. At this point, whether you like the 'ship or loathe it, you just want them to get it over with.

Meanwhile, Mike and Rachel's wedding was pushed back to serve as finale fodder to send off two more of the series' leads whose absence will significantly impact the series. Perhaps the addition of Katherine Heigl will revitalize the series for season 8.

13. Scandal

Scandal will go down in television history for being one of the most groundbreaking series ever. Scandal is a phenomenon and iconic, that will never be taken away from it. The series finally came to an end, and honestly, the timing couldn't be better. The final season was proof that the series was limping, not galloping, to the finish line.

The final season gave us dark Olivia, and while Kerry Washington gave it everything she had, dark Olivia wasn't terrifying or convincing. She was disappointing. It's hard to root for your protagonist when she goes completely off the walls. The series lost its pizzazz and intrigue, and by the end, die-hard fans were watching it out of obligation and a need to see it to its completion.

14. OUAT

The series tried to reboot itself with the introduction of Hyperion Heights, and in some ways, that has proven to be fruitful. However, it mostly feels like the series has given up on the season and they're just trying to make it to the end so they can wrap everything up. Despite being on for seven years, Once has never been able to reclaim the magic of its first season.

Much like Scandal, the final season is going out with a fizzle and not a bang. The writing is already on the wall that the finale may be on the disappointing side, but with the return of some of the series' most popular and beloved characters, maybe it won't be a complete disaster.

15. Chicago Med

Chicago Med
There was a time when one Chicago fans couldn't definitively say which series was the best and what was the worst. This season, Chicago Med slipped to the end of the pack. It's hard to pinpoint what specifically has caused the series to hit a snag this season, but it has been more than disappointing.

Nat's self-righteous crusades and ethical dilemmas are as annoying as they are redundant, and it begs the question of whether or not her character develops at all. There is little room for Will's character growth, too. Ava is an unlikable character through and through.

The show has become too formulaic. Thus the season has been rather dull. The story arcs are so drawn out it's excruciating to watch them. Also, who the hell goes to Shaw's and doesn't get to enjoy the oysters? Damn, you!

Nat isn't the only one who needs a break. I need a break from this season, and so does our resident Chicago Med reviewer. Hopefully, next season the series will bounce back. If not, a couple of us TV Fanatics may need to take a road trip to reason with the Med writers. I call shotgun!

16. Superstore

Superstore is one of the best comedies currently on the air, but it's not exempt from experiencing a few hiccups. It was a long season with too many breaks. Beloved characters like Cheyenne didn't get as much screentime as fans would have liked. Then, of course, there is the pregnancy plotline. No, I'm not talking about Dina carrying Glenn and his wife's baby. Although, that was a bit weird to process, too. No, I'm talking about Amy's pregnancy storyline.

It's bad enough that the love triangle between Amy, Jonah, and Kelly was barely tolerable to watch. Although Kelly was more annoying than endearing in all of her perky glory, she didn't deserve the treatment that Jonah and Amy doled out. Amy's pregnancy was an odd choice and another obstacle the show attempted to insert in there to come between Jonah and Amy. It didn't necessarily prevent the coupling, but it did make the hookup between the show's longest slow-burn unsatisfying.

17. Riverdale

Riverdale is a wildly addictive guilty pleasure, and it has given us some great plots sprinkled throughout the season. The thing is, Riverdale works best with a shorter season. As a result, the show drags on certain arcs in an attempt to make them stretch (Chic) and throws in miscellaneous, pointless story arcs that dangle loosely with the sole purpose of acting as padding and filler.

The Archie problem hasn't been fixed; if anything, he's bordering on insufferable as a character with a preposterous mafia goon arc. Jughead's ascent to Serpent Prince would have been more interesting if other serpents like Fangs and Sweet Pea were developed more. Most of the time, they serve as background fixtures taking up space until they may or may not meet their maker.

Speaking of character neglect, the series has grossly underused some of the best characters such as Cheryl, Josie, and Kevin in favor of the core four storylines.

The show has fully embraced its darkness, and it has all but given up on depicting any of the teenagers as realistic teens, but sometimes, they may have embraced it too much to the point of absurdity. The series is too dark and could use more balance. This series is a favorite, but it would benefit from a limited episode order. If the season were shorter the writing would be tighter and more enjoyable overall, just saying.

18. iZombie

IZombie Season 4 kicked things off on an interesting note with a new concept. It was like the show pressed a reset. Unfortunately, they may have been too ambitious with New Seattle.

The show had too many storylines they wanted to explore, some they never attempted to tackle at all, and not enough time to properly flesh them out and allow them to breathe. Fillmore Graves is the most polarizing and fascinating entity this season. Yet, it didn't get the development that it needed and deserved nor did conflicted zombie leader, Chase Graves.

The relationship drama and angst is exhausting and frustrating. Some of the character choices are disappointing. The season didn't live up to its full potential, but thankfully, thanks to the highly anticipated news of a renewal, there will be time to explore all that New Seattle has to offer next season!

19. Homeland

Once a critically acclaimed hit series that was must-see, Homeland is struggling to make it to the finish line. The series will come to an end after the eighth season, and based on the way the seventh season played out, it's almost a relief. The season suffered from an identity crisis losing itself along the way, and it made it very difficult to sit through. This season has pushed the boundaries as far as suspending belief, and the absence of a critical character such as Quinn is felt. It's limping along.

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