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TV Shows That Became A Different Show From How They Began

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Solitaire1, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    Disagree here. I've found loads of style over substance in recent times but not all that much that has held my interest beyond two or three episodes.

    Obviously, there are plenty of shows I haven't seen but 8o% or thereabouts of what I have managed to catch has been pretty dreary.
     
  2. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Well, of course everyone has their own interests, but there has been a pretty broad consensus to back up what I posted.
     
    carlwm likes this.
  3. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    I can only go on what I've seen and most of it hasn't been for me.
     
  4. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    Actress Anna Gunn has said that Breaking Bad fans came up to her for the first few years yelling at her, saying, "how could you be so mean and ungrateful to Walt?" So quite a few viewers confused her with the character she played, not understanding that she was just reading lines off the scripts that the writers and producers told her to say. Vince Gilligan has said that both Skylar and Jesse were deliberately written to be difficult in the first couple of seasons, but then would become much more sympathetic to their situation as the show went on.

    Note that as they got more sympathetic, we started realizing what a monster Walter White was becoming. So you could make an argument that Breaking Bad did become a different series by the time it ended.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2021
    lc1995 likes this.
  5. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Location:
    Honolulu
    Every major soap villain actor says hi starting with Eileen Fulton.
     
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  6. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    To me, Walter never became a monster. He had always been a monster and that was already apparent to me by the fifth episode. The only difference was that he was free to act like a monster, and that's when the show became something different and less interesting to me.
     
  7. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Wild Wild West.

    Season 1 was quite serious and moody...not so much by the series end.
     
  8. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    There's always the argument, like when somebody becomes extremely wealthy and turns into an @ssh0le: did the money make them that way, or were they always that way and the wealth merely allowed them to be who they always were?

    I think in Breaking Bad, Walter was resentful of the life he had to give up, because his girlfriend got pregnant, he had to quit a fledgling billion-dollar company to become a $40,000/year high school teacher, and then he got hit with terminal cancer. So I can see where he'd be able to justify every terrible thing he did because of his circumstances. It's a very skillfully-constructed show. The thing I like so much about Breaking Bad is that there's almost always a pay off for a lot of little details strewn all the way through. This is even more apparent when you watch all 62 episodes in order over a relatively short period (like a month or so. There was a lot I had missed before because we sometimes had to wait a year until the story resumed.
     
    SixtiesGuy likes this.
  9. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia

    theres a broad consensus that most of the best tv shows happen AFTER the year 2000?
     
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  10. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    The thing about Breaking Bad, and the thing that made it great--truly great, I think--is that it went exactly where it would have gone in real life. The writers made no concessions. Every horrible thing that you knew would have happened happened. Nothing was written around for convenience. (The one false step, perhaps, was the episode that involved the plane crash caused by the air traffic controller father of the woman "dating" Jesse that Walter leaves to die.) So many shows veer quickly into implausibility and incoherence because the writers/producers/network or whoever are squeamish and they want to avoid difficult topics and avoid working things out to their logical conclusion--avoiding the messiness that we know to be typical of real life--in the interest of keeping the plot moving or something else.

    I don't see the comparison with Ikiru in which a man, knowing he has little time left to live, decides to do something good for his community in the hope of giving his life meaning. Walter White starts out with a moderately selfish goal (helping his family after he's gone) and ends up pursuing an extremely selfish goal (gaining power and influence and making oodles of money--far beyond what his family could use--simply because it thrills him).
     
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  11. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

  12. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    welp thats useless. one quick scan of the shows listed i already see 8 that ended by 2005 and another 6 thats started in the early 90's . come on man dancing with the stars , the voice and american idol are on this as "great shows".
     
    Gumboo, Strat-Mangler and Pete Puma like this.
  13. gonz

    gonz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    The office

    Started of as a drably lit, depressed group of ugly brits.
     
    swandown and Matthew Tate like this.
  14. GregM

    GregM No static at all

    Location:
    Daddyland, CA
    The horrible thing that never happened was for Walt's family to leave him or be killed--meaning Walt's wife and children. Instead, the writers consistently made Walt out to be the smartest, baddest, luckiest most conniving person in the meth business, which requires great suspension of disbelief. But I was ok with that. I wasn't ok with the sloppy writing where the characters switched roles and were not true to themselves. Walt was at the top of his game one episode and then was spending the next episode running after a fly like a lunatic. Then Jessie, who couldn't do anything right the entire series, leads the escape during Gus' coup against the cartel. It was just cheap tricks by the writers. I agree with you about the plane crash being another example of bad writing.
     
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  15. Big Jimbo

    Big Jimbo Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY
    I could be wrong on this but the reimagined “Battlestar Galactica”. I’m sure Ron Moore will talk all about his plan but you start out with a civilization that very quickly goes from 28 billion people and 120 battlestars to 50,000 and and one battle star scheduled to be a museum with a President that was 42 heartbeats away from the job earlier in the day. They have to make tough choices while being pursued by a relentless enemy determined to wipe them out with a series creator yelling “I have no technobabble!”. Then several episodes after killing Starbuck she reappears with same ship, only brand new, her 2,000 year old corpse is later discovered on a planet far far away and in the last episode she disappears into nothing..a harbinger of what??? Still if you ignore that often a very inter series of people making right and wrong decisions under great pressure.
     
  16. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    The change to color for a lot of dramatic TV shows in 1966 was rough, and a lot of them (like Wild Wild West) lost that dark, moody, "film noir" kind of atmosphere.
     
  17. Paul_s

    Paul_s Forum Resident

    Location:
    North England
    Land of the Giants (as mentioned earlier) - the second series was just weird!

    Original A-Team series - the last season (5) - when they eventually got caught then started working for a government agency - nah I didn't like that at all.

    Airwolf - later NBC series - they really should have just put Airwolf on a train track like they did with Blue Thunder :laugh:
     
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  18. CMT

    CMT Forum Resident

    Fair enough. I probably should have said "relatively speaking". Given the constraints of writing for television, Breaking Bad requires a great deal less suspension of disbelief than many, many other shows require, to the point of being simply impossible to watch.

    Then again, we all have different tolerances for the absurd and some are more sensitive to things than others. I remember reading something about Carl Sagan saying he couldn't bear to watch Star Trek at all because the idea of Spock being half human and half vulcan--the offspring of creatures from two different planets--was so idiotic. He pointed out that often not even closely related Earth species can produce hybrids. Personally, that never bothered me that much. What I always thought strange was Dr. McCoy always professing not to understand Vulcan anatomy. I like to think that your average doctor in a future with interplanetary warp speed travel would be trained in at least the basic anatomy of a species from Federation planets at least and especially one apparently close enough in design to humans that a vulcan-human hybrid was possible--even if he (McCoy) wasn't a specialist in Vulcan anatomy. But I digress....
     
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  19. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    Related to this is Beast Wars (BW)/Beast Machines (BM), which were two Transformers series done in CGI*. BM is a direct continuation of BW, so I'm considering them the same series for the purposes of this thread. It started out as a straight-forward combat series between two factions of Transformers, the Maximals (descendants of the Autobots) and the Predicons (descendants of the Decepticons)** from the future whose ship crashed on a prehistoric planet.

    Due to the massive amount of energon on the planet, so high that the Transformers would shut down due to energy overload if they remained in robot mode for too long, they adopted animal forms to allow them to operate outside their headquarters. The Maximals took the form of mammals, and the Predicons took the forms of dinosaurs, insects, and spiders.

    As the series progressed the story became more and more complex, with mysteries, canon changes, a lot of surprising backstory, and much of interest to long-time Transformers fans. By the time of BM the series had completely changed into a Star Wars-type story of a very small group of rebels fighting a massive empire.

    *The series was done by the same team that did ReBoot.

    **An event called The Great Reformatting causes the Autobots to become Maximals and the Decepticons become Predicons.
     
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  20. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    Location:
    wales
    Interesting list, which prove that what TV offers, for the most part these days, isn't for me.

    I've caught fifty three of them at one time or another but there are only four that I enjoyed enough to watch regularly. That said, a bunch of shows I have enjoyed - Hinterland, Endeavour, The Mentalist, Elementary - are not listed, so the current era is not a complete desert for me. :)
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  21. lc1995

    lc1995 Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York
    I think it's definitely true of dramas. Cable (especially premium) gave a lot of creative freedom that broadcast didn't allow for.

    There could have never been something like The Sopranos in 1973.
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  22. cboldman

    cboldman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hamilton, OH USA
    The obscure Sherwood Schwartz- produced sitcom, ‘It’s About Time,’ flipped its concept halfway through its first and only season, from astronauts marooned in the Stone Age, to cavemen relocated to the present day.

    Wonder Woman changed when it jumped networks. It started out based in WWII, and jumped ahead to the present day, with secret agent-style plots.

    Dobie Gillis switched from high school humor to Army humor to college humor.
     
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  23. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Right. WWW was still a really cool show even in its later, campier seasons. I have so many childhood memories of Sunday afternoons spent glued to the TV set watching the adventures of Jim and Arty.

    The only real downgrade in the series when was when Ross Martin had to bow out. His final curtain call was such a loss to humankind. Just tragic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  24. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Speaking of ReBoot, season 3 definitely stood out as very different from the earlier show.
     
  25. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Carpenters Fan Thread Starter

    Yes. Part of the reason was the disengagement by ABC (the U. S. Television Network) from the series. Much of the toning down of the series was due to the requirements of U. S. Television. Once ABC was out of the picture they could take the series in a more adult angle. They did make a joke out of it with a character saying "The ABCs have turned on us!" in the middle of a battle.

    Also, most of Season Three consisted of one long story arc involving AndrAI and Matrix (the former Enzo Matrix ) trying find their way back to Mainframe. Included were many humorous episodes, such as "Where No Sprite Has Gone Before" which is a parody of Star Trek written by D. C. Fontana (famed Star Trek writer), one featuring a character named The Old One who looks like Mel Brooks' 2,000 Year-Old Man character, and a game with a lead character that looks like a combination of Sonic The Hedgehog and The Tasmanian Devil and Enzo reboots into Elmer Fudd (complete with a massive shotgun and a "W for R" speech impediment).

    Compare the original video games in the series, which were basically kids games. By Season Three they were doing games like "Mortal Kombat" (with all that implies, the ending of that game is still haunting). Also the character designs became much more adult, especially with a characters like AndrAI and Matrix (whose look seems to be inspired by Marvel Comics' Cable).
     
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